Getting Started with LinkedIn

These days, it seems as if everything revolves around social media. Whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or some other internet invention, your networks are growing every day. As a student and soon-to-be-professional, however, there’s one network that you might not have tapped into that is sure to come in handy: LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with over 225 million users and a great tool for job hunting. Getting started on a new, professional profile might seem daunting, so we’re here to help.

Once you’ve created an account, here’s what to do:

Fill in all relevant information.

Make sure your school, year, area of study, and past work experience (if you have any) are visible on your profile. This gives others information on your credentials, and helps you appear in relevant searches. Including your school can also help you tap into your alumni network, which could have many opportunities. Be sure to also include contact information, so that any interested employers can reach out to you. Finally, make sure that everything on your profile is also appropriate. You don’t want that unprofessional photo you’re considering as a profile picture to be the first impression that a potential employer has of you.

Join groups.

Find groups relating to your school or other campus extracurricular. These are a great way to connect to alums and other people who might be especially interested in you and your job application. There are also specific groups for recent grads or current students, so be sure to look for those as well!

Build your network.

The core of LinkedIn and all other forms of social media is connecting to others. Find your friends, classmates, family members, and previous and current colleagues. You never know where a connection can lead you in your professional life!

Once you’ve built up your profile and network, you’re all set to go! You can search for jobs or read different employment and field-related articles. With LinkedIn, you can connect with colleagues and people in your field. And don’t worry if your profile still looks a little bare right now…it’ll grow with time and with more experience.

Let us know if you have any other LinkedIn tips to share below in the comments!

Written by Guest Blogger, Katherine Chang

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4 No Fail Ways To Create Cool Instagram Photos

In case you haven’t heard, B&N College is running a contest to find your best original Instagram photos for our National Class of 2017 calendar! We’ve been amazed to see how talented some people are with Instagram. After leafing through almost 4,000 entries you pick up a thing or two about what makes an Instagram picture really pop. Here’s the inside scoop on some of our favorite tactics and filters!

1. Focus on one object and angle the camera so your object of interest takes up the whole camera. Up close pictures are very easy to enhance by sharpening the contrast and using a filter like X-Pro II, which gives your photos a more vibrant and warm effect. Lo-Fi might also be a good option as it adds rich colors and strong shadows to the image.

 

2. Create an interesting arrangement of the subject(s) in relation to the background and surrounding elements.Play with and manipulate the objects by moving them more to the side, forward, or backward. To make objects appear larger, move them closer to the camera and vice versa. Amaro will add more vibrant light to the picture, especially towards the center. This naturally draws the viewers eye to where you want it.

 

3. Take an action shot that tells a story. Insta-jump shots or pictures where people are laughing and doing other silly things are often more interesting than if everyone is pretty and posed. Early Bird fades  and blurs the colors of a photo making it look like a throwback, and the Valencia filter can make the picture look as if it were taken in the sixties.

 

4. Capture gray, moody skies on a cloudy day. I’ve noticed grim lighting actually works very well with the low resolution of most smartphones. The picture here is unfiltered, but you can use a filter like Sutro to give the setting a smoky, creepy kind-of-look, or Brannan to add a greyish tint and enhance dark tones for a metallic feel.

 

There are a ton of ways to make interesting Instagram art, just remember to have fun and change it up! Don’t just post pictures of food or scenery. If you’re going to post selfies, be tasteful about it (and leave out the duck face).

Don’t forget to enter your best original photos into the B&N College Photo Contest which ends on Monday, February 4th by uploading photos to instagram with the hashtag #bncollege. What do you think makes a great instagram photo? Tell us in the comment below or tweet at us @bncollege!

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DIY Dorm: Instagram Coasters

Before you brush this project off (coasters? who uses coasters?), you’re going to want to take a look at the latest DIY we’ve come across. Using your very own filtered-to-perfection Instagram photos and a few inexpensive materials, we’ll be crafting some customized coasters that will look cool on any surface. Think of it as a new way to display your favorite photos.

What You’ll Need:

-    4in x 4in ceramic tiles (pick some up at Home Depot for only 39 cents)
-    Mod Podge
-    A foam brush
-    Felt pads
-    Clear, waterproof sealant (you can try Walmart for this)
-    Printed Instagram pictures (one for each coaster)

What You’ll Do:

1)      First you’ll need to print your Instagram photos. The easiest way to do this would probably be to screenshot them on your phone and email them to yourself. Once you’ve done this, you can size them so they’ll fit the tiles and print. I used photo paper to ensure that the ink would not bleed when coated with the Mod Podge (plus, it’s sturdier). Cut out each photo square.

2)      Mod Podge one coat onto each of your tiles. Place the photo square where you want it and press out any air bubbles. Let dry – wait 45 minutes to an hour to make sure it’s completely hardened.

3)      Apply 2-3 more thin coats of Mod Podge over the entire tile and on top of the photo. It’s best to apply it both vertically and horizontally. Let dry for an hour.

4)      To make sure the coaster remains water proof, spray a layer of sealant over top of it. Don’t spray too much or it will get goopy. Let dry (follow the directions on the can in order to determine how long you should wait). Spray a second coat of sealant and let that dry as well.

5)      Add the felt pads to each corner of the underside of the tile. Most of these come with adhesive on the bottom but, if not, use some hot glue to attach them.

6)      You’re done! Easy, right?

Send us some photos of your coasters – we’d love to see how they turned out!

Of course we had to Instagram ours once we were done!

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