Education

Caribou native earns top profile competition honors

DUDLEY, Massachusetts — Caribou native Brooke DeMerchant received top honors at the inaugural LinkedIn competition hosted by Nichols College on Nov. 3.

Out of a pool of 18 student competitors, DeMerchant placed third. 

“I decided to compete because I felt that my profile was strong, and I thought it would be a fun opportunity to push myself to improve my LinkedIn profile,” DeMerchant said.

Preparing Nichols College students for the workforce is a priority of the college. Through yearly professional development seminar classes students learn how to craft a compelling resume, interview skills and the power of networking. 

Liz Horgan, director of the Career and Professional Development Center, said creating a LinkedIn profile and learning how to maximize the tool is part of second- and fourth-year professional development.

The LinkedIn Competition was created to offer students the opportunity to showcase their LinkedIn profiles, personal brand presence, and receive valuable feedback from alumni judges Margaret Colom (2011), Sean Glavin (2012) and Amahl Williams (2002). From 18 students, the pool was then narrowed to a top 10 prior to the final competition.

The top 10 contestants had 30 seconds to introduce themselves to the judges, and then the top five were selected. Those five then had three minutes each to present their profiles to the judges. 

During the presentation DeMerchant, an aspiring marketer, pointed out what made her profile unique, “I am a visual person, so I made sure that there were photos and examples of my work on my profile. I also used emojis to suggest my creativity to potential marketing employers.”

Judging was based on profile, purpose and passion. Profile criteria included professional photo, attention-grabbing headline and a concise summary pointing out their unique attributes. Purpose involved how the contestant used the tool to make connections and cultivate their brand. Passion was judged by their plan to leverage the LinkedIn platform to achieve their goals.

“I feel strongly about my social media skills,” DeMerchant said. “This competition helped me bridge the gap to not just be good behind the scenes creating and posting content but to become more comfortable with public speaking.”

DeMerchant said much of her success thus far is thanks to the strong farming community in which she grew up, and added that community support gives her the courage to take on new challenges.

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