Learning online networking through a LinkedIn workshop

Students had the opportunity to expand their networking skills through the “Learn, Create, and Leverage Your LinkedIn” workshop presented by LinkedIn Learning Ambassador Ryan Zervakos on Sept. 22.
Zervakos went through the process of creating a profile, building a powerful network and thought leadership, which he defined as posting content on the platform.
“If you can grow your network, all of the sudden, the ‘who you know’ starts getting bigger and bigger and bigger,” said Zervakos. And those people can get you economic opportunity.”
When someone creates their profile, the first goal is to make a good impression, since it only takes 20 seconds to make a first impression, said Zervakos. He started this topic by instructing to use a headshot as the profile picture.
“You can wear really whatever you want because you’re really just focusing on your head,” said Zervakos.
Zervakos then briefly mentioned the tagline, which is a sentence under the profile picture.
“You have an opportunity with the tagline to give them something to think about you,” said Zervakos.
The last piece in this portion he delved into was the about section.
“The about section is your opportunity to talk about yourself, to craft your story,” said Zervakos.
While covering this section, Zervakos emphasized the importance of crafting a story, and displaying the work one has done outside of school, which translates well to employers.
After his in-depth guide to building a LinkedIn profile, Zervakos went into detail about growing one’s network on the platform, and one of the easiest ways is through the alumni network.
“You can see where they live, where they work, you get to see what they do, and what they study,” said Zervakos., “So if you’re interested in connecting with somebody, you can connect with your alumni really easily.”
When connecting, he said it’s important to add a note so they know the purpose of connecting.
One can also find people to connect with through the people tab on a company’s profile, which works the same as an Alumni network, said Zervakos.
“50%, sometimes even more than 50 percent, of people who have LinkedIn profiles are not active on LinkedIn,” said Zervakos “So you’re going to need to send out, you know, four or five connection requests a day to get one or two people to say yes.”
The final topic Zervakos covered was about posting and being active on the platform, which he described as “thought leadership.”
He talked about social media activity as steps, with the first step being liking a post, commenting on posts, sharing other material on one’s own account, creating one’s own content, then finally posting a video.
When posting content, Zervakos recommended using between three to five hashtags and tagging two to three other people.
“LinkedIn is not a lot like other social media where you should post a lot. Once a day. Once you start posting once a day, you’re muddying up the feed,” said Zervakos.
This workshop helped students like Eric Caberera Dominguez, a 19-year-old criminal justice major attending Sacramento City College, and Kristin Tran, a 20-year-old computer science major attending American River College, learn about what LinkedIn was, and how to use the platform.
“Before attending the workshop, I had heard of LinkedIn, but I hadn’t ever used it,” said Tran, “I know that my parents used it, and it was kind of a career connection website, but I hadn’t used it prior to the workshop.”
After the workshop, Dominguez utilized what he had learned about LinkedIn to grow his network.
“I currently have many connections now I didn’t imagine before I started LinkedIn,” said Dominguez, “And I’ve had the chance to reconnect with people I’ve lost touch with.”