Every Community College Student Should Post On LinkedIn

Community College Students Should Post On LinkedIn Image

Community College Students Should Post on LinkedIn

Community college students should build a strong online presence. Students should begin while in college to make a great impression.

Every Community College Student Should Post On LinkedIn


According to Jess Fee’s post on Mashable.com, 37% of surveyed job recruiters identified social professional networks as a crucial part of the hiring process.

Ninety of the Fortune 100 companies use LinkedIn to look for individuals to be a part of their team.

Setup a LinkedIn Profile

Students should set up a profile on LinkedIn and begin connecting with friends, instructors, former co-workers, and business professionals.

Students can greatly expand their network via LinkedIn. LinkedIn takes much of the legwork out of  networking.

  • Be sure your profile is very detailed and 100% complete.
  • Your profile should highlight the skills that match your ideal job.
  • Make your profile public. You don’t want to hide from potential employers.
  • Customize your URL so that your link will be easy to share. Add the link to your email signature.
  • Stay active on LinkedIn. Your contact will see your status updates on their page.
  • Include industry keywords and skills that help you show up in search results.
  • Use the links section to link to your blog if you have one.
  • Keep your LinkedIn Profile up-to-date.

Strong Resume

You can consider your LinkedIn profile as your online resume. But there are times when you need the old fashioned hard copy.

LinkedIn offers a free resume builder that converts your LinkedIn Profile to a draft resume that you can format and download as a PDF.

Update your resume often.

Get Recommendations

Community college students should get recommendations from instructors if they do not have prior work experience.

It helps if students suggest skills or projects for the instructor to focus on. Of course, if the student has poor attendance and non-stellar academic performance, no need to ask the instructor for a recommendation.

Ask for recommendations from former employers who know your abilities well.

There is nothing wrong with providing a draft recommendation for instructors or business professional when seeking a recommendation. People are very busy. The draft may increase the likelihood of getting a recommendation.

Eye-Catching Summary

Students should invest the time required to build a strong summary that highlights areas of interest and expertise.

According to Nicole Williams, best selling author, career expert, and the founder of WORKS, recruiters sometimes seek out individuals who are not actively looking for jobs.

After graduation when students are serious about finding a job, they can’t wait for employers to find them.

Students should make a list of standard industry keywords that relate to their ideal job. These keywords can be used when searching for LinkedIn job. You can also search for jobs by title, if you know the title of the job you want.

Building an Online Presence is Not a One-Time Event.

Focus on becoming a thought leader in one area. Research that area and post articles about your research.

Posting status updates on professional social networks like LinkedIn provides a chance to demonstrate your abilities to recruiters.

Get as many connections as possible.

According to Louis Fletcher of Blue Sky Resumes, LinkedIn’s search results are partly determined by the number of contacts you have.

The more connections you have, the more opportunities you have.

You may also want to read:

7 Steps To Creating The Best LinkedIn Profile (Arnie Fertig)

7 Extremely Useful LinkedIn Optimization Tips (carolhbates)


The Disconnect between College Students and Aging Faculty

Millennial Students

Millennial Students

The millennial students are those born after 1980. How they communicate, collaborate, and learn is much more digital than older faculty can appreciate.

These differences create the disconnect between college students and aging faculty.

Brian Solis, a digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist says, “For the millennial, digital is their DNA.”

It is this detail that separates millennial students from older faculty members. As a result, we see a split in our colleges between those faculty who “get” this connected generation and those who do not or will not.

The young millennial students and Generation Z behind them are in fact wired differently.

Consider some of the differences between the older and younger generation as pointed out by Brian Solis.

Differences Between the Older and Younger Generation

Comparison Between Older and Younger Generation image

Comparison Between Older & Younger Generation

As Faculty Age, We Should Not Become Irrelevant.

These young students started life differently from us. Will we refuse to see the world through any other way than our own perspective?

In a study by JWT entitled GEN Z: Digital in their DNA, we see just how different the younger generations are.

While some of us are still wondering if social media is a fad, we learn from the study that almost half of Generation Z feel their real social life happens on social networks.

Over half feel that it is more convenient to talk to friends online than in person.

Older Faculty Must Learn How to Evolve from Analog to Digital.

The millennials and generation Z were born with digital in their DNA.

Engagement strategies, learning strategies, and faculty-student interaction need to be more digital to meet student expectations. Students now prefer “screen face” to “face-to-face” interaction. Those screens include laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

What are ways that faculty members can change to meet the needs of the younger generation? Please add your comments at the top of this post.

You may also be interested in reading

The Disconnect Between Aging Management and the Younger Workforce (Brian Solis)

New Digital Influencers: The Coming Youthquake (Brian Solis)

Email Etiquette | A Basic Skill

The use of e-mail in community colleges and universities is prevalent. It is the primary mode of communication, especially in online classes. Even phone calls and office visits are pretty much obsolete.

More and more I hear comments from instructors about the way students misuse e-mail.

I would like to humbly suggest that it is not only the students who misuse this medium. With more than 20-years of teaching experience, I am continually surprised at how faculty, staff, administrators, and others sometimes misuse e-mail. And I have been guilty myself. On more than one occasion, I have had to resend an e-mail because I was vague or did not carefully verify my facts.

E-Mail Etiquette - The Basics Image

E-mail Etiquette – The Basics

Therefore, I would like to offer these 24 suggestions for better e-mail communication and etiquette in the community college and university environment.

1. Be brief and to the point. No one wants to wade through long explanations to find the main point of the e-mail.

2. Be informal but not unprofessional. Informal does not mean sloppy.

3. Use proper sentence case. Use the conventional way of capitalizing letters in sentences. Using ALL Caps is synonymous with digital shouting. And it’s hard on the eyes.

4. Use blind copy and courtesy copy appropriately. Only copy those who need to know. Never copy up just to impress or to get a response. If the person does not answer your e-mail, try another form of communication.

5. Don’t use e-mail when personal contact would be better. Some topics are better explained in person or over the phone and not in an e-mail.

6. Remember, e-mail isn’t private. It lives forever. Your e-mail can easily be forwarded. I have personally know of those who have lost their job because of an e-mail they thought was private.

7. Include contact information in your e-mail signature. Make it easy for the recipient of your e-mail to contact you if they have follow-up questions.

8. Summarize long discussions. We are all bombarded with an overload of information everyday. Make it easy for the recipients of your e-mail to get to the main point.

9. Don’t forward an e-mail without asking the sender’s permission. This is common courtesy.

10. Limit the use of group e-mails. The more people  you address your e-mail to, the less likely an individual will respond.

11. Send only one subject per e-mail. If you have several different topics to discuss, you will get a better response by sending several different e-mail.

12. Use specific subject headings. The more specific your subject headings, the more likely people will open, read, and respond to your e-mail.

13. Reply to e-mail in a timely manner. E-mail does not need an instantaneous response (even though some of my online students would disagree with this statement). Responding to e-mails once or twice a day is usually sufficient.

14. Never use e-mail to reprimand other. E-mail is great for praise. Bad news is better conveyed in person.

15. Be precise with your words. Vague e-mails often require more e-mails.

16. Acknowledge you have received an e-mail. Even if you are not able to completely respond at the moment, be sure to acknowledge you have received the e-mail so that people are not left wondering. Acknowledge receipt with simple words like, “I’ll check into that,” “Thank you, I’ll get back with you,” “Good idea!”, etc.

17. Don’t hit the reply button when you are mad. If it makes you feel better, go ahead and write your response, but let the e-mail sit a day or two before hitting the reply button. Then have a trusted friend or colleague read your response before sending. Remember, once you send, you cannot get it back. It lives forever.

18. Don’t overuse the “Reply to all.  People do not appreciate your filling up their Inbox with information they don’t need to know.

19. Keep the “high priority” flag for rare messages that need urgent request. If you overuse the “high priority” flag, people will ignore you when you do have an urgent message.

20. Provide “if-then” options. If a person has a conflict with a day or time that you want to meet, give alternatives cutting down on the number of e-mails.

21. Don’t forget to use “Spell Check.” Misspelled words speak to your credibility.

22. Proofread your e-mail before sending. I know we are all pressed for time, and we send many e-mails everyday. But reading and rereading your email is imperative and will save you time in the long run.

23. Don’t forward chain letters or articles. If you do forward articles, make sure you do so sparingly and that you know that the subject will be of interest to the recipient.

24. Don’t forward virus warnings. If you receive a virus warning, check with your IT department to make sure it is a valid concern. Your IT staff will alert others when appropriate.


Do you have other e-mail suggestions?  Please add to the comment section at the top of this post. If you disagree with one of my suggestions, I would love to hear that as well.



12 Tips for Better E-mail Etiquette (Laura Stack)

Email Etiquette 101 (Michael Hyatt)

You may also like:

Presentation Tip | Focus and Simplicity (carolhbates)

How to Create an Infographic with PowerPoint (carolhbates)

6 Reasons Why Community College Students Should Tweet

What is Twitter?

Let’s first look at Twitter’s home page for a definition:

Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest stories, ideas, opinions and news about what you find interesting. Simply find the accounts you find most compelling and follow the conversations.

Twitter has been around since 2006 and has grown rapidly worldwide with over 140 million active users according to Wikipedia.

Twitter is a microblogging tool made up of Tweets. Tweets are spurts of information no longer than 140 characters including spacing and punctuation.

Don’t be concerned about the 140-character limit in Twitter. You can share photos and videos and link to longer articles. View this short video to get an overview of Twitter .

Just like you don’t have to create a web page to benefit from the Internet, you can find value in Twitter without ever sending a Tweet. But why miss out on the fun?

Tweeting is easy.

You will want to update your Tweets several times throughout the day, but it takes very little time. You can Tweet from your computer, ipad, or smart phone.

Why should Community College students Tweet?

Six Reasons to Consider:

  1. Twitter makes it possible for community college students to connect instantly with family members and friends. It is a fun way to let your family members know what you are doing and to keep up with them. You can get these updates via your cell phone.
  2. Twitter is a convenient method for community college students to stay engaged with their academics and with other students.
  3. Twitter is a great way to make new friends who share your same interests. Twitter provides community college students with the opportunity  to follow interesting people that they would not have met otherwise.
  4. Community college students should learn to use Twitter to prepare them for their future careers. Twitter allows businesses, both large and small, the ability to engage with customers. Many employers are looking for people who can help them with social media tasks.
  5. Twitter makes it possible for community college students to connect with people around the world. Twitter is in almost every country around the world and is available in more than 20 languages.
  6. Twitter is a great tool to rally people around a cause.

Learn more about Twitter here.

While I love Twitter and think you need to get started right away, there are definitely some precautions you should take into consideration.

Precautions to Consider:

  • Just like on Facebook and other forms of social media, it is probably not a good idea to say you and your family are leaving for Gulf Shores for the week.
  • The world is full of lunatics and many of them are on social media such as Twitter. So use common sense. Do not post too much private information.
  • Don’t post anything you would not want others to read on a billboard unless it is a direct message. And even then be careful because others could retweet your message that you considered to be private.

How Do I Get Started?

Go to Twitter and open your free account.

Follow these tips:

If possible, use your real name for your username. This is how you will be known on Twitter.
Michael Hyatt recommends using initial caps and in-word caps so that your username will be more readable and memorable. For example, CarolHBates not carolhbates.

Once you click Create My Account, you’re ready. Twitter will offer some suggestions for popular people to follow. You may want to skip this step for now. Twitter will also give you the opportunity to search your contacts for people who are already on Twitter. This will not be helpful to you unless you use one of the supported services such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, or AOL.

Tweak your Settings. From the Home Page on the right hand side choose Settings.
Choose the correct Time Zone.

If you choose “Protect My Tweets” your tweets will only be viewed by those you approve. Your tweets will not be seen publicly. I suggest that you do not choose this option because you will limit your influence and limit the value you receive from Twitter.

Upload a Profile picture (Profile Tab). We will discuss more about your Profile picture later. For now, include the best shot you have of yourself. You do not want to be an “egg head” which is the default picture assigned to those with no picture. Note: Your picture must be 750k or less.

Make sure to complete the Profile description. We will give more thought to your Profile later. For now, complete your description in 160 characters or less.

Connect your Twitter account to your website or blog if you have one. You can also connect to your Facebook account. This will post all your Tweets to your Facebook account, but is generally not recommended. You can always go back and change later.

When you are finished, be sure to save.

Choose the Settings link.

Click on the Mobile tab. Enter your phone number and click on the Start button.

From you cell phone, you can Tweet using SMS (text messages). I had been on Twitter for some time before I learned to use this feature. Text message the code Twitter gives you to 40404. You will receive a confirmation notice from Twitter that your device is registered.

If you have an iphone, you can set up your Twitter in the Preferences. This gives you the ability to Tweet from within many iphone applications.

Send Twitter mobile updates using Text message. (Note: I prefer to download the Twitter APP instead of using text messages).

Go to your text message App and use the 404-04 (in the United States. In other countries check http://twitter.com for the number. 2) Type in the commands just like you were sending a text message.

You will enjoy Twitter much more if you are receiving Tweets on your phone. You can receive updates from all those you are following or a select few. A summary of the commands I use most are below.

ON: turns ALL your authorized Twitter updates and notification on.

ON [username]: turns on notifications for a specific person on your phone. For example, ON CarolHBates will set your phone up to receive notifications from me. Good idea, right!

@[username} + message: shows your Tweet as a reply directed to a specific person and causes your Tweet to save in their mention tab so they are more likely to see your message. But remember, everyone following you will also be able to read the message!

D [username] + message: sends that person a Direct Message that goes only to their device and saves in their web archive. You can also use M [username] to send a private message. For example, d CarolHBates I will not be in class this Monday. Emergency home situation. M CarolHBates I will not be in class this Monday. Emergency home situation will have the same results.

Off: turns all phone notifications off. This is only turning off you phone notifications. You will still be able to see this person’s tweets on the web site if you are still following her.

For a full list of commands and fun things to do with Twitter from your phone go here: https://support.twitter.com/groups/34-apps-sms-and-mobile/topics/153-twitter-via-sms/articles/14020-twitter-for-sms-basic-features#.

CAUTION: Twitter does not charge for this service, but make sure that your phone carrier does not charge or that you have an unlimited text messaging plan. You can run up a huge bill if you are not on an unlimited text messaging plan.

Follow people who share your interests. Click on the “Search” field at the top of the Home Page of http://twitter.com. You can type in a username or the first and last name the person. If necessary, you can create a more advanced search by clicking on “Refine Results.” You begin following by clicking on the follow button. Note: you may choose to follow only your friends and family on your cell phone.

The way I learned more about interesting people to follow was to look at who other people are following.

You will see everyone you follow from your Twitter Home page, and you will see the people who are following you. Click on the name of a person you are following and you will be able to see who they are following.

Always keep in mind that what you post can be read by anyone following you unless you send a direct message.

Other commands:

Replies – If you want to direct your message to a particular person, choose reply. But remember, while you may be directing this message to a particular person, everyone following you can read the message.

You can also direct a message to a particular person by using the @ symbol before their username. For example, if you want to be sure that I read your message, you would use @CarolHBates in your Tweet. But remember, everyone following me and everyone following you can see this comment.

You can also use the Reply function to mention a person. For example, I am attending a workshop with @katvhall and @noracoxwell. This makes these links “clickable.” So if you click on the links, you will be directed to that person’s Twitter page.

Direct Messages – This is the function you use when you only want the person to read your message. No one else will be able to see the Tweet. For example, d katvhall it looks like I will not be able to be at work tomorrow. I am not feeling well.

Hash Tags (#) – Use the # to mark key words in your Tweet. If you click on a hash tag, you will see all the other Tweets associated with that hash tag. For example, at our recent workshop, we announced the hashtag to use #jdccsmm. This enabled everyone attending the workshop to follow what others were saying about the workshop. This idea of tweeting using a hash tag during a conference or workshop is called “back channeling.” We will discuss more about “back channeling” later.

You can follow a topic with the hash tag without following the person.
For example, an instructor tweeted during the workshop #jdccsmm do we rethink our electronic device policy to better use social media???

Another instructor tweeted, #jdccsmm how do I get more followers on Twitter?

Follow – you can quickly add people to follow by using the Follow [username] command on your cell phone. For example, text 40404 Follow CarolHBates.

Many other fun commands can be found here: https://support.twitter.com/groups/34-apps-sms-and-mobile/topics/153-twitter-via-sms/articles/14020-twitter-for-sms-basic-features#

Consider Third Party Apps

HootSuite. This is the application that I use. You can manage your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter from one application. I love the face that you can organize people by groups such as family, friends, co-workers, Sunday School class, etc. You can use HootSuite on your ipad, mobile device, or desktop computer.

Buffer – I use this app to schedule my Tweets. You can store tweets in your Buffer. You can decide how often and when you will post. You can also buffer your Facebook status updates.

That’s enough for now. I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed.

Twitter is fun. You will best learn Twitter by using it. So let’s get started! Have fun!

You may also want to read:

The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter (Michael Hyatt)

Why Social Media Should be Taught in the Community College (carolhbates).

Google+ A Resource for the Community College Instructor

Tell Me About Google+

Tell Me About Google+

Google+ is a resource for the community college instructor.

I love Google+.

Google+ is about connecting with people who share your interest.

According to Guy Kawasaki, the key to social media is using the right tool for the job. Not everyone should be on Twitter or Facebook or Google+. Everyone’s needs are different. We all have different preferences.

It does take a little time to learn to use Google+.

The community college instructor is very busy. Her time could be spent doing other things such as grading papers, planning lessons, checking email. You should, however,  be aware of this free resource for the community college instructor.

You should be aware of the advantages of Google+, and ask yourself if you and your students would benefit from this brilliant, free tool.

Everyone seems to compare Google+ to Facebook and other social media platforms.  They are not the same.

Think of it this way.

Twitter – Instant updates. Twitter is a great way for getting real-time updates on trends, news, and current events. Twitter is for on-the-spot happenings. Twitter lets you learn about and participate in events as they are actually happening.

Facebook – Friends, family, and old classmates. Facebook is a great way for keeping up with people you already know. It’s also great for learning about cats. (I don’t know what the deal is about cats on Facebook.) It’s fun to share pictures of your grandchildren and to keep up with family and friends who live a long distance from you. Facebook is great for renewing old friendships.

Google+ – Ideas and Interests. You follow people who share your interests. You don’t necessarily know the people you are following. For example, if you are interested in photography, you follow photographers. If you are interested in social media, you follow social media experts. The more people in your Google+ “circles”, the more interesting and valuable Google+ becomes to you.

LinkedIn – Professional Networking. LinkedIn is about making professional connections. Think of LinkedIn as your expanded Business Card or your Rolodex on steroids.

Tell Me About Circles

“Circles” are groups of people that you create to keep you organized. You might create a group for your Speech class, a group for colleagues, a group for photographers, and a group for sports fans.

No one will be able to see what “circle” you put them in. So if you have a “circle” called Optimists and one called Pessimists, no one will know which “circle” you put them in. So organize your groups the way you think will best help you to organize your life. You can put people in more than one “circle.”

You will be able to filter out what you read based on your “circles.” When I am at my home feed, I will see what everyone I am following has posted. But I can choose my students “circle” and see only what my students have shared.

I can post so everyone sees my post or so that only those in my colleagues “circle” or student “circle” can see my post.

“Circles” help you to control both your incoming and outgoing information.

Tell Me About Hangouts

Google Hangouts are FREE live video conferences. Google Hangouts allow you to connect with up to ten people.

Hangouts allow you to create this virtual space that can be used for office hours, meetings, advising, group projects, or speeches. Google Hangouts are great because you can use sound and video.

Did I mention, Google Hangout are FREE?

You can also use other features in your Google Hangout such as Google Docs, notes and sketchpad.

Google Hangouts are FREE.

Your students only need is a computer with high speed Internet connection and an inexpensive webcam. We have experimented with GearHead which can be purchased in our JDCC bookstore for around $13 – $16. We compared this inexpensive webcam to the more expensive webcams and could tell little difference in the quality.

You can purchase the Gear Head Pro from Office Depot for about $15 and other webcams for less.

One drawback to Google Hangouts is that it cannot currently be used with Virtual Desktops (VMWare) that we use in the computer labs at JDCC. But must students will not need to hangout from the computer labs at school. They will generally hangout from remote locations using their personal computers, laptops, ipads, or cell phone.

Tell Me How to Get Started

It is so easy to share on Google+. It only takes a few minutes to open up an account, add some people to your circles, and begin sharing.

Sign Up – Very easy

It’s really easy if you already have a Google email. Google+ is deeply integrated with your Gmail. Keep this in mind. If you have two Google email accounts you will have two Google+ accounts so decide which email you want to be associated with your primary Google+ account.

At the top left hand corner of your Gmail, you will see Google+. If you already have a Google+ account, you will see +YourName. For example, +Carol is at the top left hand side of my email screen.

If you don’t already have a Google email account, sign up here .

Once you sign up for your Google+ account, you simply start “circling” people.

You will want to “circle” at least 50 people to make Google+ interesting.

Who do you “circle” ? People you are interested in and people who share your interest. As an instructor, I circle my students and put them in my “students” circle. Students will only see what I share with my “students” circle.

Click on the “Circles” Icon on the left side of your screen and begin “circling” people. You can drag people in your contact list into one of your “circles”.

Ideally, they will add you back to their “circles”.

It is very easy to add a student to your “circles” after they initially email you. When you receive an email from your students, look at the right hand side of the screen. You will see the option to add the student to your “circles.” You can choose which “circle” to add the students to and the students will receive a message that they have been added to your “circles.”

How do you know what “circles” to create?

It’s up to you.

You can see that I have different “circles” for family members, colleagues, church friends, students, and even different classes.

When you share information, you can choose which “circles” to share with or you can make the post public.

If you make a post “public”, it will be visible to anyone who’s added you to a “circle”, as well as on your public profile.

Google+ is a brilliant product for engaging students and colleagues.  Google+ is easy to set up because it is deeply integrated with your Google email.

Open your Google+ account and begin adding students and colleagues to your “circles”. But don’t stop there. Add people from around the world who share your interests.

Google+ is a great tool for professional development and professional networking as well as connecting with students.

Google+ is a great tool for the Community College Instructor.

You might also be interested in reading:

31 Ways to Use G+ in Education

Google Drive: Upload, Edit, Share Collaborate

Google Drive: A Video Overview of How Google Drive Saves Me Time