Mark Grimm


College Grads Need Strong LinkedIn Presence

It’s graduation time for millions of college students facing this new reality — they need a job.

The savvy ones have already created a strong LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is the Facebook for professionals and you’d be surprised how many soon-to-be graduates don’t have a presence there. A 2013 survey indicated nearly half of students have never even used Linkedin and the number with strong profiles is certainly a much smaller percentage. It’s a mistake that can be fixed.

Employees search LinkedIn for talent and there are a huge number of jobs posted there. LinkedIn even has a Student Jobs 101 page to offer guidance.

My advice:

  • Begin with a professional photo, not one from the last keg party or of your giant tatoo. Visit here for tips on how to look good in a photo.
  • Don’t try to “spin” your way into an interview. Be honest. There’s no need to hide the fact that you have limited experience. Employers don’t hire college kids for experience. They look for brains, the ability to learn quickly and work ethic. Your LinkedIn profile should reinforce that notion.
  • Have a strong summary. It should explain what you bring to the table. Focus on how you can help an employer.
  • Show proof. What’s in your background that provides evidence you can bring something to the table?
  • Be passionate. Never underestimate the attractiveness of genuine enthusiasm.

For some sound advice on things like keywords, recommendations and connections, visit here.

It can seem overwhelmingly facing the job market for the first time. Take advantage of the help that’s out there.

The writer is a small business owner and longtime adjunct college professor.

TV News Insights Not Found in a Book: Hoppel Profile

Albany TV news journalist with media insights

WNYT-TV13 News Director Eric Hoppel

Longtime Albany TV news man WNYT-TV13 News Director Eric Hoppel says, “I never know what my day will be like.” It’s an appealing feature of a job that comes with ongoing challenges — increased competition, lower profit margins, tough budget scrutiny and playing the role of psychologist for employees.

Hoppel rose to his position as a leading voice in upstate NY journalism the old fashioned way, he earned it. He started in glamorous Altoona, PA as a weekend TV news producer, working 14-hour days while getting paid minimum wage for eight.

News is “what interests or affects people,” he told a College of St. Rose media class. While we “all cover the same big stories,” Hoppel says his department tries to distinguish itself by trying to tell why a story is important, adding special segments like Athlete of the Week and 13 Kids Who Care and maintaining an experienced staff that has deep community roots.

Is there room for all the local news stations to survive in the Albany TV market? “I don’t know” is his candid answer. The new realities are that you will see more one-man bands (a single person performing as reporter, videographer and editor). Hoppel says he’s learned to be creative about how to cover the things you really want to cover but don’t have the budget to do it the way you might have had in the past.

His advice for young job seekers, “If you want a job in TV news, be a producer.” They are the most in demand, according to Hoppel, a former producer himself. Whatever your chosen field, “there will always be a need for good communicators and good writers.” Some of my students smiled at that, they’ve heard that a few dozen times from their professor.

What jazzes the boss the most? When we do a story about a person and he or she calls to say, “Thanks, that helped me.” Hoppel added, “I also love it when we do a good story no one else has.”

The passion still lives. You can’t survive the business without it.

The writer is a former TV news anchor/reporter and adjunct media professor. He helps clients with media strategy and training.