Using Social Media for Career Development
When it comes to social media, your options are endless. There is likely to always be something new and exciting to consider. Keep in mind, that whether you decide to use these platforms for personal or professional reasons, social media is going to be what you make of it. When used appropriately, it can be a wonderful tool for exploring careers, developing connections with organizations and professionals, and staying updated with current information. When used inappropriately, it has the possibility of hurting your chances when applying to opportunities and trying to make career moves. At the very least, you want to be sure you are controlling all privacy settings and staying aware of all information you are posting and sharing online.
It is a good idea to think about your specific goals in relation to social media, and identify a strategy for which platforms you want to use and how. Don’t be afraid to start by observing how others are using social media, and then slowly get more active as you feel more comfortable. Below are some tips (click here for the full PDF) to help get you started as you explore various forms of social media and the impact they could have on your career:
Pinterest, YouTube, Blogs, & More
Personal Online Management
LinkedIn.com allows you learn about companies and connect with professionals who are working in careers that interest you. Having a professional presence on LinkedIn can be a great way for you to start working towards your career goals now. Here are a few tips for using LinkedIn:
- Create a professional brand for yourself by building a strong profile and using an appropriate picture. Your profile can be similar to your resume in many ways, and should be updated as you continue to get involved with new opportunities.
- Develop your network by connecting with people you already know—family, friends, supervisors, coworkers, etc.
- Search WCU alumni at linkedin.com/alumni to see what others have done with your major and where they are currently working.
- Join groups that relate to your career interests. This is a great way for you to explore a variety of jobs and companies in that career field, identify professional contacts, and gain relevant advice and information.
- Follow companies and news to stay updated with new opportunities and current trends. Review company pages to locate possible connections within organizations.
- Maintain professionalism and use proper etiquette at all times. Personalize and tailor your messages when contacting individuals.
- Stay up-to-date and make the most of LinkedIn by reviewing the resources section on their website: university.linkedin.com.
Twitter.com keeps you up to date with current topics and information. Using Twitter for career-related purposes can be an excellent way to strengthen your professional image. Here are a few tips for using Twitter:
- Create a strong image by developing a professional username and having an appropriate picture. When building your profile, be original and consider what message you want to convey—you only have 140 characters so be clear about the information you are sharing.
- Follow individuals and groups that relate to your career interests to stay updated with current information and new opportunities—identify organizations, industry experts, career professionals, and news sites.
- Retweet postings that share helpful information or stand out to you. Retweeting is one way to capture the attention of the individual who posted the initial tweet.
- Search and use hash tags to identify tweets that relate to your areas of interest. Consider searching #careeradvice, #intern, #jobseeker, and other career-related keywords.
- Keep tweeting! Share articles and information, ask questions, and stay engaged. The more you tweet and retweet, the more likely people are to notice you.
- Pay attention to trends on Twitter for new ideas and information.
- For more Twitter resources use the following sites: Twitter Basics , Term Glossary , Twitter and Business.
Facebook.com can be used for professional purposes. Developing a professional image on Facebook can help you identify and connect with career opportunities. Here are a few tips for using Facebook:
- Update your profile so that it promotes a professional image of who you are. Pay attention to any pictures, posts, likes and tags.
- Like organizations and industry experts that relate to your career interests. Many companies have very informative pages on Facebook and will post information and new opportunities to their fans.
- Post and tag updates, such as articles and information. Add comments to pages when events and information catch your attention. These are great ways to get noticed by others.
- Facebook basics can be found here: Facebook Glossary, Personal Branding Blog , Personal vs. Professional
Plus.google.com allows you to enhance your professional image and connections online. Here are a few tips for using Google+:
- Google yourself and see what comes up! This will make you more aware of what information is already out there. Then, you can get started by updating your profile to ensure that it offers a professional image of who you are.
- Connect with others to increase your network—family, friends, supervisors, coworkers, etc.
- Join Communities and Hangouts to stay up to date with current trends and information related to organizations and careers that interest you. Many employers will host these types of forums to share information about opportunities they have available.
- Learn more about Google + on their website. http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/
Pinterest, YouTube, Blogs, & More
Pinterest.com, Youtube.com, Tumblr.com, WordPress.com, and other similar sites allow you to promote your professional image through the use of creative outlets. Here are a few tips for using these sites:
- Pinterest allows you to pin and repin images that are meaningful to you. This site could be used to share your personal artwork or images and information that relate to your career goals.
- YouTube provides a space for you to create your own channel and upload videos that highlight your skills and abilities. You can also subscribe to other channels to stay updated with new videos and current information. Many organizations and industry experts have their own YouTube channels that you can search for and subscribe to.
- Blogs are a source that you can use to share your interests with others. Blogs can be used to write articles, post images and videos, and much more. Many organizations and industry experts also offer blogs to keep their followers connected with current trends and information.
Personal Online Management
If an employer looked up your name online, would you know how you are currently represented? Would this online representation be a positive or negative reflection of your professional abilities? Knowing and monitoring your online image or brand is extremely important. Below are resources that will help you track, improve and/or enhance your personal online image.
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