Using Social Media to Network & Search
Social media is a powerful tool that connects you with professionals, alumni, recruiters and organizations. Here are some ways to boost your professional presence.
Put Your Profiles to Work
There's a reason social sites are called networks. Here are a few easy ways you can use social media to your advantage as you search for an internship or full-time job.
If you are a recent grad just getting started on LinkedIn, be sure to check out LinkedIn for Students. It includes great tips and advice — from building a strong profile to networking online and searching for opportunities.
- Visit LinkedIn and start building your profile, if you haven't already.
- Round out your image by including all of the experience on your resume, relevant keywords and skills, accomplishments and Web links.
- Establish a professional image by using a career-appropriate headshot photo and a headline.
- Follow organizations you are interested in and stay current on news, announcements and opportunities.
- Join groups relevant to your field and follow discussions and thought leaders to learn about current trends.
- Update your profile with posts related to your field and work so employers can see how serious you are about your career.
- Leverage features such as the Job Search and Alumni Search tools.
- Search for alumni who work at your target organizations and reach out to see if they would be willing to provide you with advice.
- Reach out to established connections periodically and personalize each message.
Use Twitter to learn about industries, follow thought-leaders and organizations, share content you curate or create, establish connections and build your professional brand.
- Create a Twitter handle using your name or a combination of your name and profession.
- Upload a headshot photo that projects a professional image to potential employers.
- Create a professional profile that highlights top skills you can offer. Briefly describe the type of opportunity you are looking for, and add links to your website and/or LinkedIn profile, if appropriate.
- Show knowledge and interest in your field by tweeting links to relevant articles or samples of your work.
- Follow organizations and lists and look for interesting Tweetchats or Tweetups to join.
- Re-tweet, reply and direct message to establish connections.
- Search and follow hashtags relevant to your industry and your search. For example, #HireTigers is Princeton Career Services' hashtag and you can also search broad hashtags such as #internships.
- Search for jobs by location, job titles, hashtags or social recruiting resources. For example, TweetMyJobs.
You probably already use Facebook to keep up with friends and family but you can also use it for professional networking. However, you may want to keep your personal and professional "personas" separate.
- Professionalize your profile and use privacy settings and “friend” lists to manage who can view personal versus professional content.
- Build your network by “liking” Facebook professional and alumni organizational pages, and request to join relevant groups.
- Start discussions with people and organizations by answering questions, commenting, messaging and linking to informative content through wall posts or status updates. Always be professional.
- Apply for positions through the Facebook Marketplace job board and other job search apps such as BeKnown or BranchOut.
For industries that value creativity or design abilities, like graphic design, the arts, marketing or public relations, this platform provides a visual way to display your talents.
- Draft a headline that includes your career goals and 2-3 top skills.
- Create an infographic resume using charts, graphs and other visual images to "illustrate" your work history, skills and accomplishments. (However, you will still need a traditional resume as well.) If you are not a graphic designer, try using applications like Easelly, Re.vu or Kinzaa.
- Develop boards featuring career or professional information that inspires you or reflects your goals.
- Add links to videos, images and other projects.
The fact you may be "googled" makes it even more appealing to have a presence in Google+. This is yet another way for you to show up in search results.
- Create an optimized profile. Similar to LinkedIn, you should include information from your resume or CV and a professional profile photo. In your "About" section, you can let your network know that you are looking for work and the types of positions, industries or fields you are targeting.
- Use the circles feature to create circles that include recruiters, professionals and alumni in your target industry, as well as industry thought-leaders. Connect with influential people, participate in conversations and share content.
- Participate in hangouts relevant to your interests. Some employers may even host information session hangouts.