As we inch closer and closer to graduation many professors are encouraging students to expand our professional networks to help improve chances of landing interviews and ultimately employment. Since our topic for this blog post was open ended, I felt that reviewing social media as a networking aid would be beneficial. I will attempt to pass on some advice with regards to how you manage your social networks.
There is no question that utilizing these networks allows you to easily expand your professional contacts and promote your own personal professional presence, used correctly they can be a valuable tool.
There are however some precautions you should take. Before you begin looking or applying for positions its a good idea to clean up your social media accounts. In a perfect world none of us would have to worry about the content on our media pages, but most of us have some pictures floating around out there that we may not be super proud of. Either delete, or untag yourself in posts or photos that may be inappropriate, or just tighten up your privacy settings so potential employers aren’t able to access content of that nature. You may also want to review the organizations you have liked. Unlike any that may be controversial.
Once you have cleaned house, it’s time to redecorate. Take a look at your accounts, make sure the information provided is accurate and current, especially your contact information. Do not use a personal email address for professional contacts. Make sure that if you leave a phone number your voicemail greeting is appropriate. Utilize communities and groups that would allow you access to relevant employment information and opportunities.
The vigilance shouldn’t stop after you gain employment either. All it takes is one bad post that gets seen by the wrong person to derail things. The best practice would be to just strive to conduct yourself respectfully and professionally in all things you do, then you won’t have to worry about spending so much time altering peoples perception of you because its true.
Alright so there’s my two cents for what it’s worth :).
~Diana Lynn Schwartz