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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Pintern Summer Challenge: Lace Doily Candle Holder

A couple weeks ago, I saw this beautiful, delicate, and simple DIY for a lace doily candle holder on Pinterest, and I knew I had to try it. It seemed easy enough!

What You’ll Need:

Lace doilies
A balloon
Mod Podge
A foam brush
Cleaning supplies
A LOT of patience

What You’ll Do:

Step One: Blow up your balloon. After, soak your doilies in the Mod Podge. And really, really soak it in.

Step Two: Cover the balloon with your sticky doilies. I used three.

At this point, you probably don’t have enough Mod Podge on your doilies, and they aren’t sticking to each other or to the balloon. But fear not! The next part is very messy, but it keeps everything down.

Step Three: Take your foam brush and drench the entire surface with more Mod Podge. Keep adding Mod Podge until you can’t see the balloon.

Step Four: Find someplace to let the balloon dry. The DIY suggested hanging it from a lamp, but since all the lights here at BNCollege are in the ceiling, I made a little stand from a paper plate (time to get creative!).

Step Five: Once your doilies have dried (I left it overnight), pop the balloon. This is where my troubles began…

Step Six: Aaaannndddd… it’s stuck. Looks like the doilies imploded with my balloon.

I think it’s safe to say that this is not how this pin is supposed to turn out. But that’s ok! We’ve all gotta fail occasionally and now you can learn from my mistakes!

Check back for more Pintern Summer Challenges coming your way this summer! Have any project ideas for us? Facebook or Tweet us using the hashtag #PinternChallenge!

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Pintern Summer Challenge: Photo Canvases

Our Pintern Summer Challenge is in full swing! Our Guest blogger, Katherine, is on to her next project…this time putting some beautiful photos to good use.


If you’re like many people, you have taken tons of great photos that you’d love to put to use. Or, if you’re like me, you’re in desperate need of wall décor for your dorm room, and have friends who gladly share their artsy photos of your beautiful campus (I’m photographically challenged). If you fall into either of those categories (or a category of your own!) this easy, fun, inexpensive, and aesthetically pleasing DIY that I found on Pinterest is for you.

What You’ll Need:

Printed pictures (printer paper works fine)
Mod Podge
A foam brush
A paint brush
The pin also called for black paint, but I didn’t need that. I’ll explain later.

What You’ll Do:

Step One: Trim your pictures so that they can fit on your canvas. I personally recommend leaving a bit of a margin.

Step Two: Take your foam brush and add a layer of Mod Podge to the canvas. Gently position the print and smooth it out. Then, wait until the Mod Podge dries.

Step Three: Take the Mod Podge and layer it on top of the picture, first vertically, then horizontally. Wait until this dries.

Step Four: The instructions suggest that you take the black paint and paint the edges, but for my canvas and prints, I decided that it would be better to wrap the excess margins around the sides and glue them down.

Step Five: You could stop here, but I felt that the pictures lack texture, so I took a brush and went over the prints with Mod Podge again, this time, following the grain and texture of the photos as if I were painting. This added a little bit of depth to it, but you can only see the texture and brushstrokes if you look very carefully.

And there you have it—beautiful pictures to add a personal touch to your room!

The only thing about this DIY is that the instructions say that the bumps will disappear when the Mod Podge dries. Sadly, this isn’t true. Still, these canvases are definitely making an appearance on my dorm wall next year!

Try it out and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments! And let us know what you’d like to see next in our Pintern Challenge!

Written by Guest Blogger, Katherine Chang

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Pintern Summer Challenge: DIY Colored Bobby Pins

Our next Pintern Challenge project features our Guest Blogger, Sydney. She’ll be sprucing up some plain bobby pins, just in time for summer! Summertime isn’t exactly the best time for good hair days. Heat and humidity calls for putting your hair up or styling it away from your face. My solution is always grabbing a few bobby pins and pinning the hair around my face back into small braids. The problem with this is that the bobby pins tend to stick out from my hair and look somewhat sloppy and boring.

Then I found this new tip from Pinterest! Using plain old bobby pins and some nail polish that you (probably) already have, you can turn those plain bobby pins into fun and colorful pins that will help with any bad hair day!

The Pin: DIY Colored Bobby Pins

All you have to do is put the pins onto a thick piece of paper or cardboard and space them about an inch apart.

Next, coat each bobby pin in the nail polish color of your choosing. Wait for the first coat to dry and then add one more coat in order to really bring out the color of the polish. Wait for the second coat to fully dry before wearing!

You can even paint stripes or any other designs if you are feeling daring! Use the nail polish brush or a thinner nail art/watercolor brush to make intricate designs.

This is a fun, easy and cheap way to spruce up your hairpins and add a little flare to your look! Tell us what you’ve done with this idea!

Written by Guest Blogger, Sydney Sheehan

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Pintern Summer Challenge: DIY Pencil Holder

Our next Pintern Challenge installment features our blogger, Katherine, of the University of Pennsylvania. She’ll showcase her efforts at a DIY Pencil Holder!


I saw this pin on Pinterest, and the concept seemed so simple. All I would have to do is cut and fold. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t that easy.

Materials (Here is the Printed Pattern):

Cardstock (I used manila folders)
A knife
A lot of patience
Optional: Extra colored paper

Instructions Given:

Cut along the black lines and fold along the red…this didn’t happen.

Instructions Actually Followed:

1) Take your printed pattern and either glue or paperclip it to your cardstock, depending on if you want the leave the pattern there. I decided that the pattern wasn’t big enough to accurately cut, so I decided to hand-draw the pattern onto my folder instead. Make sure you do this on the side that you intend to make the back and bottom. This took some time, but wasn’t too difficult, because it was just a lot of lines. (It would have been much easier if I had a ruler.)

I then darkened the lines that I was going to cut.

2) The next step was the one that I thought would be hardest. I cut the circle out, and wound up using a knife instead of the scissors to cut along the black lines, since I was really just slicing the paper. After I made these marks, it looked pretty much the same.

3) Then came the hardest part, turning this two-dimensional project 3-D. The instructions didn’t include which line should be popped in, and which should be popped out, so I followed the finished image, line by line.

I was pretty much done, at this point, after some time of analyzing, and all I had left to fold were the stairs. I was trying to figure out to do this, step by step, when I realized that I could fold an entire staircase at once. All you have to do is take the space to the left side of the stairs and pull right, and push the space to the right of the stairs left.

4) With the main part done, I took another manila folder, this time red, and traced a circle of the same size and attached it to the back. I also added a quarter of a red circle on top of the bottom to give it more color and weight/balance.

5) I glued the parts together and let them dry as paper clips held them together.

6) After this, I decided that the structure just didn’t stand out enough, mostly because of the background. I took a blue (hurray for the red and the blue!) sheet of paper and traced out my structure. I cut it out and pasted it on the background.

Ta-da! And there you have it. This cut-out paper holder was definitely not as easy as it sounded (I didn’t expect to spend 2.5 hours cutting, gluing, and folding), but it also wasn’t as complicated as it looked. The many layers of manila seem to be holding up just fine under the weight of a few pencils, and I’m excited to make this an addition to my dorm in the fall!

Try it out! Do you have any ideas on how to make this project better? Let us know below in the comments!

Written by Guest Blogger, Katherine Chang

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The “Pintern” Summer Challenge

As you’ve probably noticed, we at Barnes & Noble College can’t get enough of Pinterest. From DIYs using miscellaneous household objects to outfit ideas to study tips, we can’t help pinning all day long (don’t deprive yourself, check out our boards!). That’s why this summer, we’re putting our pins to the test. Each week, we’ll be posting a new project and our spirited attempt at it. Full posts →

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The IT List: Emerald Green

Not long after the release of The Wizard of Oz prequel, Oz: The Great and Powerful, it seems as though the dazzling Emerald City has jumped off of the movie screen and onto the runways. This vivid emerald shade has been deemed Pantone’s 2013 Color of the Year. We’re here to showcase some of our favorite looks featuring this dynamic shade.

Look #1: A night out is the perfect time to show off this vibrant shade. Pair a ruffled, emerald tank with a fun pair of skinny jeans for a bold look that doesn’t cross over into being tacky. Simple black booties and a stack of silver bangles are great finishing touches. Dab on some emerald nail polish to complete the entire outfit.

Get this look: Tangled Up in Green Top from ModCloth, Black Boots from H&MPolka Dot Denim Skinnies from Forever 21, Silver Bangles from Target, Essie “Going Incognito”

Look #2: Just because you’re going to an internship, doesn’t mean you can’t sport this trend. A belted dress (like the one below) is conservative, trendy, and comfortable. Add some diamond studs and a demure (but still trendy!) pair of heels and you’re ready to head off to work for the day.

Get this looks: Pleated Belted Dress from Oasis, Paititi Pyramid Studs, Moda Spana Penny Pump from DSW, Leather Messenger Bag from Etsy

Look #3: Want to add some emerald green to an outfit without fully committing? Emerald accessories are tons of fun and add a pop of color! Opt for a statement necklace (like below) or choose a green eyeliner to spice things up.

Get this look: Nine West Jeleena Leather Flats, High-Waisted Eyelash Lace Short, Mango Cropped Knit Top, Francesca’s Collection Arrowhead Necklace

How would you incorporate emerald into your own wardrobe? Post a comment and share it with us!

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DIY Dorm: SmartPhone Amplifying Speaker

Mashable recently pinned a tutorial on making an amplifying speaker out of a Pringles can. I love this idea because I am far too cheap to spend money on an iPod docking station. I may or may not have broken my last one by knocking it off the table during an intense dance party…

This project costs less than six dollars!

What You Will Need:

1 Pringles Can (minus the Pringles and crumbs)
Toilet Paper (approximately 14 inches)
X-ACTO Knife (or scissors)
Two Binder Clips (large)
Spray Paint (any color)
Sheet of Paper

1.Eat Pringles…

2. Trace the outline of bottom of your device (any iPod or iPhone that plays music out loud) onto the sheet of paper. Wrap paper over Pringles can, aligning the traced area parallel to the end of the can about an inch away from the can’s bottom. Use the knife or scissors (carefully) to cut around the inside of the outline. You want the hole to be a little smaller than your device so it will fit very tightly.

3. Position the binder clips metal hands open at a 90 degree angle. Rest the can on top on the clips so that they act as a stand. Tape the metal parts to the can.

4. Coat the outside of the can and binder clips with spray paint. Let dry for 2-4 hours.

5. Cut 14 inches of toilet paper. Insert throughout can – you want it to be evenly distributed.

6. Insert your device into your brand new amplifying speaker and start listening to your favorite playlist.

Other fun DIY Dorm Projects:

Smartphone Projector
Decorative Book Phone Charger
Instagram Coasters

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Dorm Décor: Brighten Up Your Room

Awesome Post-it Wall Art found on Pinterest

With a little Pinspiration and creativity making your space reflect cheerful and chic is easier than you think. Little pops of bright colors can help you overcome the dulling effects of the winter months while a color scheme and strategic use of patterns and decorative items can make your room look pretty and pulled together. While you probably can’t paint the walls of your dorm or pick the carpet color, there are (literally) hundreds of other ways to make your room reflect your individuality.

DO Pick a color scheme.

DON’T Become a slave to it. Pops of other colors can be a welcome relief to the eyes after seeing the same colors over and over again. Additionally, adding a daring color can give your room a funky, eclectic feel.

DO try something simple like buying flowers. I prefer fresh buds, but there are a lot of beautiful silk flowers you can buy at most home good or craft stores.

DON’T spend a lot of money on real flowers. You can buy inexpensive (less than $5) seasonal bouquets at Trader Joe’s and some other grocery stores.

DO Use bits of patterned fabric or wallpaper as a cover for your desk, bureaus, or bookcase shelves.

DON’T Be tempted to use sealant (polyurethane) to attach fabric or wallpaper to your dressers or shelves if they are school property. It will not be worth it when the furniture becomes damaged and you have to pay for it at the end of the year.

Photo credit


DO Use throw pillows on your bed, futon, or butterfly chair. You can even make your own with this DIY tutorial found here.

DO Use functional decorations. For Christmas I asked my parents to buy me colorful organizations and storage things. The set of fabric boxes my mom bought me from IKEA make my room look less cluttered and more stylish.

DO Create your own artwork and decorations. You don’t have to be a skilled painter or sculptor to make a collage, use colored post-its to create a mosaic, or decorate a bulletin board with paint & stencils. This is less expensive than buying ready-made decorations and can be completely original.

Give us some more decorating Dos and Don’ts in the comments below or tweet us pics of your awesome dorm room @BNCollege!

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Dish It: Pinterest-Inspired Pumpkin Pie Dip

After drooling over this recipe for weeks, I finally decided to share it with all of our readers. I came across this mouth-watering dip on Pinterest and couldn’t resist clicking through for the full list of ingredients. It comes from the site Six Sisters’ Stuff and is the perfect way to get your pumpkin fix.

What You’ll Need:

Makes about 6 cups (12 servings).

  • 15 oz can pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice (check their site for instructions on how to make your own!)*
  • 6 oz fat free Greek yogurt
  • 8 oz Cool Whip (I used fat-free)
  • cut up apples, bananas, and other dippers

What You’ll Do:

Mix pumpkin with brown sugar, vanilla and spices. Blend it well. Add in the yogurt and mix again until smooth. Fold in cool whip and chill in refrigerator until ready to eat. Enjoy!

For more tricks and recipe ideas, check out the full site here.

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