How College Students Can Leverage LinkedIn for Career Fairs

With 450 million users on LinkedIn, including one out of every 3 professionals in the U.S., LinkedIn is the place to be for college students to get noticed. Yet, most students don’t leverage LinkedIn and use it to their advantage, especially as it relates to career fairs.


Check out these tips to stand out at your career fair:

  • Review the list of companies attending and send a personalized InMail to the college recruiter communicating your interest in the company and asking to connect
  • Once you’ve met company recruiters during the career fair, follow up with a personalized thank you
  • Send a customized connection request to additional company contacts you engaged with
  • Keep your contacts apprised on your job search process and send articles of interest or congrats for recent press to so they know you’re really interested in the company

Your friendly and consistent communication will help you stand out from all the other applicants.

3 Resume Building Projects to do this Summer

Summer is the perfect time to do those side projects that you have been keeping on the backburner. Even better, you can turn those projects into resume builders that will impress recruiters! Below are 3 project ideas with free resources that will ensure they are great.


  1. Make an iPhone App

Whether you are a computer science major, a business major, a fashion design major, or anything in between, an app on your resume will definitely catch a recruiter’s eye. Even if the app does not necessarily relate to your major (bonus points if it does) recruiters will see that you are creative and took the initiative to take on a personal project. An iPhone app is the perfect talking point in any interview. Learn how to make an app here, for free.


  1. Start a Blog

If creating an app sounds daunting to you, blogging is a simpler but still great way to show your creative, passionate side to recruiters. And the best part? You are building your own personal brand. Here is a free website that can help anyone with an idea and some passion to start a blog.


  1. Learn Photoshop

Not only can “Proficient in Photoshop” make for a killer resume booster, but it can be fun! In the downtime this summer, play around with some of your old pictures and learn a great skill. Here is a great free training course that can get you started.

Back to School Means the Start of the Recruiting Season

Every year, college students are shocked to learn that some industries begin recruiting in September. Financial services, management consulting, and accounting firms are usually the first – hosting information sessions the first two weeks of the month and conducting interviews mid-month.  We’re also seeing an increase in restrictiveness this year for resume submissions based on GPA, Honors only programs or a specific major or skill.

What does this mean for students?

  • The early bird gets the worm – it is never too early to start exploring careers, developing skills and looking for internships and jobs
  • Resumes and LinkedIn profiles must be polished early (ideally before school even starts) so students can focus on company research and interview prep
  • Cover letters should be customized for each position
  • Info sessions are important for making personal connections with company recruiters
  • Students need to understand what industries hire on campus vs. other channels as only 11% of all jobs are placed through the career center

Career Onward is here to help. Sign-up for a free consult.

Make Sure Your Resume Makes an Impact – Don’t Just Say What You Did

It’s December – that time of year when students search their archive folder for a resume, add last summer’s internship, study abroad, and/or service project, and blast it out with a cover letter to a variety of employers in hopes of getting an internship or full-time job after graduation.  This annual ritual repeats itself across dorm rooms, apartments, and sorority/fraternity houses nationwide.

Sadly, over 50% of students do not search out feedback on their resume from college career counselors, career advisors, mentors, or even parents before submission. Before sending out your latest resume, make sure it contains numbers that tell a story and translates to skills valuable to the employer.


Social Committee Chair  – Responsible for planning events throughout the year


Responsible for event planning, contract negotiation, social media marketing, and successful execution of 8 events/year, 600+ attendees/event, managing a $40,000 annual budget


Cover Letters – A Blessing and a Curse

I have yet to find anyone who enjoys writing cover letters, yet they are just as important as the resume in terms of moving you one step closer to an interview. In fact, the cover letter provides an opportunity to more creatively tell your story.

Think of the cover letter this way:

C – Call out leadership experiences, success stories, skills, or awards in the very beginning  that tie specifically to the job description as this will keep a recruiter’s attention.  Do NOT repeat bullet items from your resume.

O – Open up. This is your chance to be bold and proud of your accomplishments. Show how these skills will benefit the employer and minimize the use of “I”.

V – Verify the appropriate contact name to use in the greeting. If this information isn’t provided, do some research. Check LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook or call the company and ask who the HR representative or the hiring manager is for the position. Never use a general greeting like “To whom it may concern.”

E – Elevate your strengths. Instead of using terms like detail oriented, strategic, or team player, use a descriptive statement and then follow it up with a specific instance when you displayed that skill.

R – Review your cover letter to ensure it complements your resume, sounds personal, has a consistent tone, and is less than one page.  It’s your chance to give an employer a holistic picture.  Don’t forget to check spelling and grammar too!

8 Tips for Your Resume to Stand Out From the Crowd

Even in this digital world, a quality resume is still essential to your job search. And in a competitive market, it’s important to stand out from other job seekers. Once you have the basics covered —your resume has a clean look, it’s passed your grammar and spell check, and clearly presents your skills and experience, it’s time to incorporate some of these tips to take it to the next level.

  • Include Key Words – check the company website and LinkedIn profiles of others with similar job titles and job descriptions to ensure you’re including the right words. HR systems use key words to filter out resumes before a person even reviews applicant resumes, so this is a crucial first step.
  • Take a Targeted Approach – Focus on an industry or a specific type of job so your resume tells a rich story that will resonate with the audience
  • Add Social Media Profiles – Since resumes should be 1 page, including your LinkedIn profile is very helpful to recruiters as they can learn more about you.  Of course, this assumes that your LinkedIn profile is as professional and current as your resume!
  • Include Hyperlinks to Relevant Work – This is a great way to stand out if you have marketing materials you’ve created or a presentation on a relevant topic that you’d like to share.  Only include hyperlinks in resumes that are emailed as it will be marked as spam in most HR databases.
  • Send It to the Right Person – In addition to sending your resume to the address noted, do a little research on LinkedIn or Google to see if you can also find the hiring manager’s email address or contacts within the company that are a part of your network.  You can never have too many connections!
  • Create a Digital Friendly Version – Many HR systems do not like bullets, boldface type, indentions, unusual fonts, etc.  Have one beautiful copy you use for emails and in-person interviews and a digital version you upload to HR databases.
  • Make it Relevant – Tell employers what they want to know about you, not what you want to tell them about you.
  • Include Your Passions – Make it authentic as this differentiates you from other applicants.