Why should you brand yourself and get involved on social media for career purposes? How do you even do that? Alright, so maybe you’re the Facebook junkie who does filter what you put out there for potential employers to see, but you don’t see the need to try and use social media for more than just social interactions. Or, if you’re anything like my roommate, you aren’t very active on social media to begin with. Maybe you have the attitude that you’d rather keep your privacy and not tell everyone in the world what you ate for breakfast. Both of these attitudes are perfectly understandable! However, social networking has become a prevalent part of today’s job search.
First, quickly, I must preach to you. If you’re going to use social media for social uses, that’s perfectly alright. Just remember to use your privacy settings, and do know that whatever you put online has the potential to be seen by future employers. Basically, think before you post. Phew… now that that’s been established, here’s what to do and why you should do it!
The best way to utilize social media for career use is through LinkedIn. Why do you need to create a LinkedIn page? LinkedIn is like your resume, online, and what makes this online resume so great is that it’s also interactive. You can request recommendations from employers and also contact recruiters.
Delegate this profile to be strictly for networking and career oriented information; LinkedIn is a place for career networking and growth, it is not the same as Facebook. Think about what you post, as if you’re posting it directly to an employer, because most of the time you are posting for past and future employers to see.
When creating your profile, there are some things you should do:
Use a tasteful headshot for your picture. Again, this is not Facebook; don’t post a picture of your dog as your profile picture. Employers want to be able to see who you are, not who your friends are.
Fill out ALL the areas you can about your work experience, your activities, your school, and yourself. The more you fill out, the more likely it is that someone will be intrigued by what you’ve done!
Search for people you have worked with or had classes with and request them as connections. DO NOT just send the generic “I would like to add you to my connections” that pops up. Add a nice message saying hello and that you would like to keep in touch with them.
Request recommendations from the connections you’ve worked with in the past. This lets employers read not only what you did, but someone else’s opinion about how great you did it!
Join groups! There are tons of groups with people that have the same career interests as you, and you can use these groups to have discussions with people all over the world in the same field as you! This could be a way to make more connections too!
Use LinkedIn to contact company recruiters or talk to people already in your field. There are even job postings on LinkedIn!
Your LinkedIn profile is basically your resume online, so reference your resume if needed to make your LinkedIn profile attractive! Whether social media is or isn’t your thing, you should try and put your name out there on LinkedIn. It’s a great resource for networking and searching for jobs!
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