How Grads Should Use Social Media after college

In our “social” universe, conversation has moved to entirely new platforms! We’re sharing, “liking” and socializing like it’s nobody’s business. But, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have specific purposes in our Web lives. Here are some helpful tips I’ve learned along the way to get the most out of each:

Facebook: Facebook is a place for chatting it up with friends and family – not to socialize with employers and colleagues. That’s not to say I haven’t accepted requests from colleagues, because I have.  If your profile, photos and status updates are “G-rated,” (and you aren’t chatting about how drunk you got last night) fine – befriend colleagues! This is a great way to get to know each other beyond the boundaries of work and build relationships. But, consider your shared information first, and make a promise to yourself to keep your “most personal” stuff out of the public eye.

An added personal note on photos: Good rule to follow – don’t share what you wouldn’t want Mom to see! Whether your profile is “private” or not, your photos are always discoverable through searching. Somewhere on the Web is a pic of you with a beer bottle shoved down your throat – or worse –  and it’s just waiting to be discovered.

Twitter: Twitter is the best place to brand yourself as a professional/expert! This is especially true for recent grads. There’s lots of mentoring opportunities out there too. Make sure you’re tweeting stories, ideas, or thoughts pertinent to information included in your bio, though. For example: my bio says, PR Pro, lover of all things green, Bruins fan, etc. So I regularly tweet stories related to public relations, green energy, and yes, the Boston Bruins.

Do searches of your industry to find influencers and follow. Just hit up Search.Twitter.com and enter in a hashtag, phrase or person. Follow relevant people and retweet and comment on their shares. Build relationships with them. With that said – make your best effort to spell correctly. Nothing screams “I’m lazy!” or “I’m stupid!” more than using characters like: u (you), r (are), K (OK.)

Other tips:

  • Use industry jargon hashtags
  • Re-tweet stories you find interesting (you’ll generally see your followers increase!)
  • Have a good follower/following ratio – and this starts with smart tweeting!
  • Clear, professional photo
  • Link your personal blog or LinkedIn page

LinkedIn: Your LinkedIn page is for finding a job and connecting with professionals in your industry – that’s it. Take the time to complete the page including the experience, relevant skills, and work and educational history sections. Add a professional headline – even if you’re unemployed! In fact, “In search of new opportunities” is a great way to attract attention from job posters if you’ve optimized your profile with industry-relevant keywords.

Other Tips:

  • Use bullet points to summarize skills and work duties – it’s cleaner and easier to read!
  • Join groups and start chatting with other industry professionals
  • Link your blog–but change settings to publish stories/posts related to your industry
  • Link your Twitter feed
  • Professional Photo

How do you use your social platforms? Share thoughts with me below!

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