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 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.