Casual Conversation about Linkedin and student outcomes with Bernie Floresca


Join us tomorrow, January 15th as we discuss the value of LinkedIn for our adult learners. Bernie Floresca is a consultant on social media marketing. His background includes work as an engineer/project manager, deploying wireless networks around the world. Bernie is an educator with a true passion for coaching/mentoring, and has held various adjunct positions, most recently: adult general education development. 

We will discuss how to get adult educators and professional developers aware of the potential use of LinkedIn and to identify strategies to help students help students build social capacity and connections. 

According to Mr. Floresca, "If our job as educators is to prepare students for the workforce, and LinkedIn currently has over 610 Million global members as of 5/2019, why are educators not taking advantage of it?" 90 million senior-level influencers and 63 million decision makers use LinkedIn. 92% of Fortune 500 companies use LinkedIn. 57% of companies had a LinkedIn company page in 2013. To get started, let's talk about how many of our career services use LinkedIn as part of the arsenal to prepare students for the workforce? 

I'm looking forward to our conversation. 

Kathy Tracey



Bernie and all, Thank you for joining in this conversation. Before we begin with discussing how we use Linkedin to empower students and help them build their social capital, let's discuss how teachers could use this tool. What are the benefits of using LinkedIn and how should they use it? I'd love to hear thoughts from our members who are active on LinkedIn. Kathy

Thanks for the question, Christine. There are various facets to "best use LinkedIn" for Entry level workers.

Here are some general guidelines, and remember, one-size-does-not-fit-all.

The obvious, is

1.   Create a profile that puts as much Education and work / volunteer experience, regardless of completion or "relevance." 

We've all been there where we're pretty much putting "anything" that makes us look competent.

Make it look like you took some effort to present yourself professionally, and most importantly, that you're a real person.  The headline and "About" sections give you plenty of opportunity. Most of the Don'ts in resume writing generally apply. 

Upload a professional photo, this is NOT Facebook (our cell phones do wonders). 

The not-so-obvious is

2.  Start building your connections, specifically, with people who may help in whatever it is the worker is looking for in the future, [same industry, decision-maker, big network in city where one wants to relocate to, for example, currently works in the job-that-you-want, etc}.

3. #1 has to look "good" such that people don't question wanting to connect.

Here's an example of an actual connect request that I'm not connecting with.

Is this making sense so far?

Absolutely, Ms. Christine!  For students looking for starter jobs, I'm sure that's not their end goal.  LinkedIn is a living, breathing resource that is currently THE #1 business site. As such, it should be nurtured through the years as one grows professionally.

For the immediate need, think 6-degrees-of-separation -- the bigger and more "relevant" one's network is, could there possibly be a connection who could get someone that next Target or Outback gig?


But I would look at LinkedIn more long-term: the best time to start is ... NOW!


1.  Update your LinkedIn profile.  Make it as complete as possible.  

If you're in the old paradigm of LinkedIn as an online resume, you're fine.  At least students have an example to get one foot in this door to possibilities & opportunities. But as with anything, you only get as much out as what you put in. 

2. Connect & network with current & former students, other educators / professionals / decision-makers.

In general, the business community gets the idea of networking. It's simply messages, a conversation, albeit, text-like (in the beginning). 

If you don't do it for you -- do it for your students.  You could be the link to connecting them to future advancement.

3.  EXTRA CREDIT :) As a teacher, you're already "creating content." #ContentCreator  

LinkedIn encourages teaching and sharing on their platform -- you already do that with your students. This is how you stay fresh, interesting and relevant with the people you connect with.

Interestingly, the more people know you via your content, people will reach out to connect.

And the stronger your network becomes, in turn, the stronger the network of students connected to you.  #RisingTideLiftsAllBoats

Go -- expand your network!




Thanks so much for sharing your ideas with LinkedIn. Can you speak to the career mentoring option that is available? I am listed as a mentor and I receive questions from individuals who are entering Educational Leaderhip. There could be a great way to connect students with industry experts. 

Additionally, I'd like to share this LINCS resource: The Reader To Leader Framework: Motivating Technology Mediated Social Media. From the abstract,

"Billions of people participate in online social activities. Most users participate as readers of discussion boards, searchers of blog posts, or viewers of photos. A fraction of users become contributors of user-generated content by writing consumer product reviews, uploading travel photos, or expressing political opinions. Some users move beyond such individual efforts to become collaborators, forming tightly connected groups with lively discussions whose outcome might be a Wikipedia article or a carefully edited YouTube video. A small fraction of users becomes leaders, who participate in governance by setting and upholding policies, repairing vandalized materials, or mentoring novices. We analyze these activities and offer the Reader-to-Leader Framework with the goal of helping researchers, designers, and managers understand what motivates technology-mediated social participation. This will enable them to improve interface design and social support for their companies, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations. These improvements could reduce the number of failed projects, while accelerating the application of social media for national priorities such as healthcare, energy sustainability, emergency response, economic development, education, and more." 

From this idea, perhpaps we can garner some ideas about how to best move students to become collaborators and  use LinkedIn to move into career pathways. 

Thoughts and Ideas?


I shared our conversation on Linkedin yesterday ...

Here are some reactions.

Arthur Fox, "I have on multiple occasions received requests through LinkedIn from students to talk about specific topics and what they should do to pursue a career in innovation, marketing research or marketing.  I have always set up some time to talk with them."

Blake Schofield
"BERNIE Glad you are talking about this. It seems that many college grads aren't really aware of LinkedIn until they get their first corporate job and are required to create a profile. It can be such a valuable tool throughout college and entering their full time career fields."

Just ran into a tip from a business person.

Brigette Hyacinth
'Whenever I see someone’s post looking for a JOB I do three things:

1) I put a like on the post.

2) I put a comment even if it’s to encourage them.

3) I tag a couple of recruiters from my network. 

This all takes a few seconds, but may be a life changer for someone else.

I received the following from a job seeker: “Brigette I wanted to thank you for your words of wisdom. I'm happy to report 3 job offers. Thank you for encouraging me to keep going." -Steve

Job searching is emotionally draining. Let's help each other out. "We can't help everyone. But everyone can help someone."'

[ From: LI Student Succes ... Join us! ] There are 2 general categories to grow your LinkedIn network.   1. Hand-picking 2. Following "power networkers"   Why grow your network: Eg. If your goal is to find an internship / job, every person in your network expands yours with theirs.   In #1, you find people that you think could advance your goal and request to connect.   For #2, here's and example of a post today from Jordan Mendoza [Tip: follow or connect with Jordan]. Jordan created a space for networking.   Questions?   Homework: Share 1 or 2 actions you took as a result of this info.   Extra Credit: Find my reply in Jordan's post. See how I take advantage, creating more chances to add a few more "easy" connections.   #StudentSuccess #AltogetherWeRise #RisingTideLiftsAllBoats Unsplash Credit: Adetayo Adepoju