So you’re a recent adult grad and looking to enter the real world to put your degree to good use, eh? The good news for you is that networking is easier today than it’s perhaps ever been – and that’s because of social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. In fact, according to a survey from Microsoft, it’s estimated that as many as 79 percent of all employers first peruse a job candidate’s social media pages and/or personal blogs before deciding to whether to bring them in for an interview.
The challenge, of course, is knowing how to use each of these mediums to the best of your advantage from a professional standpoint.
Here’s 5 Social Network Tips
- Clean up Facebook: Chances are that you already have a Facebook account and use it for personal purposes. But don’t think that potential employers won’t be taking a peek at your profile to see how you check out. So go through your timeline and clean up any inappropriate photos, controversial status updates (stay away from politics!), cursing and anything else you don’t want someone you’re unfamiliar with seeing. You know what they say about first impressions.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the professional social network – so treat it that way. Use it to connect with fellow members of your graduating class and be sure to connect with anyone you came across during school or in any networking sessions you’ve attended. You never know where a job lead might come from.
- Complete profiles: Don’t just create a LinkedIn account and expect it to do wonders for your career – you have to work at it. Take the time to complete your LinkedIn profile to the fullest extent so that it’s not just you searching for connections, but so that connections are able to more easily find you.
- Use your real name: It’s common on Twitter, Facebook and even email for users to go by fake names, aliases or nicknames. Don’t do that. Use your real name. Going along these lines, always use a professional looking photograph as well. That’s a big part of online social networking – keeping a professional image.
- YouTube: If you start a YouTube channel, take the opportunity to make it unique, fun and engaging. For instance, you might upload a video cover letter or resume that you edit and shoot yourself. If done correctly, these can really catch the attention of employers and put your resume into the short stack.