Social Media for Professional Networking

Use Social Media to Your Benefit

  • Develop a professional presence: Have you Googled yourself lately? If the results are not professional, remove those party pictures and videos and create a professional persona. Add professional details to your Google, Facebook, and Twitter profiles.
  • Fill your profiles with keywords: Your social media profiles should include key words and phrases that a recruiter or hiring manager might type into a search engine. Look for relevant key words in job listings that appeal to you or profiles of people who have professions that you want.
  • Use LinkedIn to research: Set up a LinkedIn account, it is a 100% professional network. It offers a huge data base of other people's career paths from which you can explore companies, career paths, job titles, or professions that might be a good fit for you.
  • Be a joiner: Establish and take advantage of online communities to which you are already affiliated. This might include your university's LinkedIn group, the Facebook fan page of a nonprofit you support, or an industry association listserv. Once you are a member, you can comment on discussions, meet people who share common interests, and find exclusive job listings.
  • Tweet: Twitter is an incredible tool to research and connect with recruiters, industry experts, and potential employers. Even if you primarily "listen" more than tweet, you will likely value the information you discover. Also, more companies are tweeting their job postings.
  • Finally, as important as social media may be, online methods should supplement, not replace in-person and traditional job-search techniques.

Adapted from 10 Tips For Using Social Media in Your Job Search by Lindsey Pollak, Job Choices 2012

The DOs

  • Make wise use of privacy settings on Facebook and other social sites. Strengthen your privacy settings and and don't relax them even after you get a job.
  • Create a professional voice mail greeting.
  • Create a professional signature in your e-mail account.

The DON'Ts

  • Don't use an unprofessional e-mail address. (For example, partygurl@..., bulldog@..., longhornskika@..., iluvpuppys@..., gr8pick@..., etc.) Do not use addresses that could be construed as "cute," sexual, political, or religious.
  • Don't post party pictures or videos. If you already have, remove them.
  • Be careful who you friend and the organizations you like on Facebook. If they're tagging you in compromising photos or making inappropriate postings, shut them down.
  • Be careful of the organizations you like on Facebook.
  • Don't make negative, insulting, or petty posts. Employers are looking for positive team members.
  • Don't discuss hot topics. There are certain subjects that should not be discussed on your social media network. If you would not bring a topic up in a meeting with a client, don’t do it online either. For example, religion, politics, sex, partying, celebrity scandals, etc.

Remember that employers will probably be looking at all the information you have online. Take the time to periodically check all the information you have online, so you can make sure you don't get any unpleasant surprises during the hiring process. Also, what you e-mail, text, tweet, or post, becomes part of your electronic persona. So, don’t allow your Twitter and Facebook personae to tarnish your image. And remember that today, a first impression is often made by your electronic persona.

College of Education Career Services is neither responsible for, nor has control of, the content of any external Web sites, nor does it endorse any commercial products, services or Web sites. Remember - always research any job opportunity thoroughly.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a large professional network used by recruiters, hiring managers, and professionals. LinkedIn is a great source for networking and making contact with individuals who are in your field and industry of interest.

Useful Links

Find jobs and internships for students and recent grads using LinkedIn Students

  • This site gives students and recent grads access to thousands of job opportunities made especially for them.

Tips for the Professional

  • Your LinkedIn profile works as a résumé; it has sections where you can put your specific skills and experience. List your organizations in the ‘Organizations’ section, and enter your ‘Education’, ‘Awards’, ‘Certifications’, ‘Projects’, and more.
  • Use the “Company Search” option on LinkedIn to find companies that relate to your interest, and then narrow your search by industry, location, and more.
  • All LinkedIn “Groups” have a particular focus. Find a career related one and check the “Group Statistics” to see how active the group is.
  • Some groups may have specific individuals that are connected to it. Such as teachers, athletes, or doctors. Sharing information with other group members in your field can be a great way to learn and network with other members.

Facebook

Connect to the professional world through Facebook, which has more than one billion users. Use Facebook to connect with professionals, and share updates about the professional world.

Useful Links

Social Jobs Partnership App 

  • This search engine combines the job databases of US.jobs, monster, Jobvite, BranchOut, and WORK4LABS.
  • Narrow your search to the type of position that you want, and the location where you would prefer to live.
  • “Like” and “Share” job positions with others.
  • It is important to “Share” and “Like” company pages. Find out who else “Likes” this company and consider adding them to your network.
  • Join or “Like” Facebook Groups that relate to your interests. Become an active contributor to the group page and build your professional network.
  • Use the “About” page to provide the title and description of experiences that are similar to the type of job that you are interested in.
  • Use your “Status” to discuss your accomplishments and future goals.

Blogging

Blogging allows you to showcase your professional expertise/knowledge of a specific subject by writing. Your blog has the potential to get shared widely around the Web and can lead to incredible networking opportunities.

Useful Links

The most popular blogging Web sites are Wordpress, Tumblr, and Blogger.

One Day, One Job is a leading blog posts that posts a new company each day, along with information about entry-level opportunities and other company insights. 

Job Blogs dedicated to the job seeker:

Tips for the Professional

  • Things to talk about on a blog (keep it professional):
    • School Organizations
    • Classes
    • Books, Articles, Research
    • Jobs, Internships, and Volunteer Experiences
  • You can easily increase the success of your blogs by adding pictures, videos, and even music.
  • Check to see if a professional that you like has a blog; and “Follow” the blog of other professionals that share your interests.
  • Be cautious of how you comment on other blog posts. Harsh comments are negative and discouraging.

Pinterest

Utilize Pinterest to create an online visual identity for networking purposes and develop a profile that showcases you as a professional.

Tips for the Professional

  • What to “Pin”
    • Résumés
    • Events
    • Organizations
    • Volunteer Work
    • Former Employers
    • Inspirational Quotes
    • General things that you have created.
  • The content that you showcase on Pinterest is important, so keep your content consistent. You can “Like”, “Pin”, and “Repin” images that reflect your interests.
    • Choose images that represent you.
    • Consider how the content you choose to showcase will portray you.
    • Be aware of the Web sites where your content could possibly lead viewers.
    • You can add links to other Web sites, such as your own personal site.
    • What you choose to showcase on your “Board” is the most important part of your profile.
    • For your biography, reflect on your past accomplishments and future goals.
    • Everything that you “Pin” should lead to something that represents your professionalism. Add things that are educational and meaningful.
    • Make your Pinterest Board interesting and visually pleasing so that you can gain more followers.

Twitter

Useful Links

Use CareerArc to receive new job openings when they become available. 

Students should also view a list of tweetchats on the Twitter Chat Schedule Web site. To find a chat by keyword or phrase, students can hit Ctrl + F (or “Find” in a web browser) to search the next of this site. 

Tips for the Professional

  • Twitter accounts can be used as a powerful online presence for users, as tweets and pages are indexed by Google. Therefore, Twitter can provide possibilities to students such as: 
    • setting you apart in the applicant pool;
    • staying current with industry news, which is great for interview preparation and networking;
    • finding job and internship opportunities you might not otherwise be aware of; and
    • discovering and becoming an expert in the fields, or industries, of your interest.
  • A few suggestions of who to “Follow” include:
    • your college or university,
    • professional organizations,
    • companies and industries that you are interested in,
    • well respected professionals in your industries, and
    • companies for whom you have worked for.
  • Personalize your “Handle” (your username on Twitter). Use a short name that people can refer to you by if your real name is very long. Ex: @cmcdaniel
    • Your tweets can include your career interests, goals, experience, and training. Really use your twitter profile to showcase what you are capable of to other professionals and recruiters.
  • For professional use, you should “Hashtag” using words that are career related. For instance: #jobs, #employment
  • Consider separating the Twitter pages that you follow into lists, this way you can organize each page into groups that relate to their topic. You can choose to view the tweets of each group separately so that you are not overwhelmed by users tweets.