Ask Becky

Unraveling the mysteries of the network and LinkedIn.

I love Bryn Mawr and am awed by our awesome alums. I’d like to expand my connections with them. How do I find others who are willing to talk? —Proud Mawrter

Dear Proud Mawrter:

The Bryn Mawr community is diverse and powerful—and present throughout the world! We have a network of smart, talented, and supportive individuals who will happily make time to meet another Mawrter.

LinkedIn is one of the most robust places to identify alums and build a network. You can go to the Bryn Mawr College page, click on the Alumni menu (also known as the “LinkedIn Alumni Tool”), and search for others using geographic location, industry, major, class year, keywords, and other filters.

When you find someone of interest but aren’t directly connected to them, see if you have any connections in common; if you do, ask if they are willing to facilitate an introduction.

Join the LinkedIn Bryn Mawr College Alumnae/i group. You are able to send messages to fellow group members even if you aren’t first-degree connections. Bryn Mawr College Alumnae/i has more than 4,500 members—that’s a lot of potential in one group!

Saving the best for last: Join Mawrter Connect—our enhanced professional and personal networking community! You’re more likely to get a response from another alum on Mawrter Connect because they have specifically raised their hands to be contacted. Within the community, you may search for individuals with shared experiences and identities, and use filters tailored specifically to Mawrters (i.e., info you may not find on LinkedIn).

Email invitations are being sent in November 2019, but you may also go to Mawrter Connect to participate. And students will be joining in January!

I'm looking for a new job, and everyone tells me to liven up my LinkedIn profile. I hear that the headline is really important. What’s the best way to write my headline on LinkedIn? —baffled

Dear baffled:

You get one chance to make a good impression. So, yes, your LinkedIn headline is key! Additionally, it gives you just 120 characters to catch the attention of potential employers.

Using your current job title and employer is the easiest and, sometimes, most logical choice. For example, I chose that option because I want to promote that I provide Alumnae/i Career Services specifically for Bryn Mawr.

But the job title–employer headline can be limiting—or complicated if you are between roles or have been out of the workforce for a while. Recruiters may scroll right by your profile and never see the value you might add to their organization or industry.

So, first, ask yourself two questions: How do I want to be known professionally? What are my (four or five) strengths?

Next, reflect on what you hope to accomplish.

  • If you’re a job seeker, just put it out there: for example, you might try, “Social Media Strategist and Content Manager Seeking New Opportunities.”
  • Likewise, if you’re promoting your business, put it front and center: “Marketing Consultant/Sales Generation Specialist.”
  • Are you promoting your value proposition? Highlight your strengths: “Partnerships Creator and Innovative Strategist.”
  • Or, if you want to showcase your skills, you might go with “Web Developer | Full Stack Engineer | Front End Specialist | HTML5, CSS3, Bootstrap, JQuery, PHP.”

Need help navigating the world of work? Career guru (and Bryn Mawr's senior associate director of Alumnae/i Career Services) Becky Ross takes your questions at Please keep your questions succinct.