The Career Development Center educates you about responsible use of social media, in a manner that demonstrates your professional communication skills and serves to highlight your strengths.
LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, currently connects over 400 million professionals, offering access to the networks of others, job opportunities, news, updates, and more. To get started, visit www.linkedin.com and create your free profile. Keep these tips in mind:
Add a photo.
Profiles of people who have added a professional-looking photo are much more memorable.
Craft a compelling professional headline.
This section, found under your name, should reflect your career goals. For example, ‘Aspiring Public Relations Professional’ tells a reader more than does ‘Saint Joseph’s University Marketing Major’. The same is true for location and industry. If you currently live in Philadelphia, for example, but wish to work in New York City upon graduation, list NYC as your location.
Customize your LinkedIn URL.
Include your customized LinkedIn URL in the contact information section of your resume, on business cards, and in the signature on your email.
Complete the Experience section.
Your profile should reflect current and previous positions and professional accomplishments.
Include your skills.
Include skills that are valued in your field(s) of interest to increase the likelihood that recruiters will find your profile when seeking these skills.
Add your Education.
LinkedIn helps connect you with your classmates and with SJU alumni.
Now that your profile is off to a solid start, check out these resources to help you make the most of LinkedIn’s functionality (link to Visit LinkedIn for Students). In addition, it is important to keep privacy settings in mind.
Other Social Media Platforms
Regardless of the platform – current or emerging – it’s important to know that people use your online presence as the basis to form judgments, including decisions about whether or not to interview or hire you. Make responsible, well-informed decisions regarding the photos and other content you post. Consider if what you’re posting, tweeting, liking, etc. in your personal life represents how you want those in your professional networks to see you. Quickly give it the “Billboard Test.” Ask yourself, “Would I want this content on a billboard in Times Square with my name on it?” If not—if it would be too personal, inappropriate, or negative—then avoid posting altogether.
Unsure as to what constitutes negative content – potentially leading to an adverse hiring decision – from an employer perspective? Some of the most commonly cited answers from a recent CareerBuilder.com survey of recruiters include:
However, there are many ways to leverage your social media presence in a positive manner. In the CareerBuilder.com survey cited above, recruiters commonly found information that interested them in interviewing or hiring a candidate; among them:
Now that your online presence conveys a professional image, learn how to leverage social media and other networking resources in your internship or job search.