Social Media Importance for every College Grad

Being active (and appropriate) on social media can help you land your first job, stay in touch with old friends and generally be the awesome, productive member of society we know you are. Here are three tips for social media for the new grad, especially for those who are looking for a career in marketing, PR or communications.

Make Connections Before Graduating

Make sure that you connect with your existing social community before you leave for the great unknown. Facebook makes this easier than ever, but be sure to friend those people you keep forgetting to friend, and get email addresses for your friends, professors, advisors and any other faculty or staff members who have been mentors to you. These relationships are valuable! Plus, the majority of (good) professors love to hear what their past students are up to. Don’t be shy.

I also suggest moving on from your university .edu email address. If you’ve been still using your university provided email, it is time as a graduate to upgrade to a Gmail account. Remember to make it professional and nothing that will make you stand out in an unprofessional way that will lead to your resume being turned away.

Clean Up Your Social Media Presence

Your parents and teachers have been telling you this for four years, and a lot of you still do not listen. Potential employers will look at your Facebook, that’s the world we live in. I’ve noticed a lot of college kids changing their Facebook name to “First Name Middle Name”, presumably thinking that they’re going to avoid being found by nosy relatives and potential bosses. Guess what–both Facebook and Google are smarter than that. You might fool your grandma, but you will not fool an employer that really wants to find you. Scrub that profile, untag pics that will look bad to a future employer, delete any post that may be risky to leave up.

Get a LinkedIn, and Use It

If you’re not already on LinkedIn, you must get a profile. Think of LinkedIn as an online home for your resume: all your education, skills and experience should be here. Do not leave your photo blank: upload a simple, flattering head-shot. Now, start making connections.  LinkedIn allows you to find people in a variety of ways. You can search manually, port over your email contacts and have LinkedIn find your friends that way, or you can find your college or university and browse users that way. Connect with your friends, but also connect with people in your major and in any organizations you belong to, even if you are not close. LinkedIn is not like Facebook–you want to be connecting with people who might be able to help you out professionally in the future, not just your regular crew. You should also connect with any professors who you have a good working relationship with–it’s a good way to keep in touch with them, and if you keep up that good rapport they may send advice, introductions or even job leads your way in the future. You should also join some alumni groups from your college. These are particularly great if you’re going to be moving to another area after graduation. (For instance, the UNH alumni group has chapters in DC, NYC and Austin)  You’ll be able to make some professional connections in your new city, and you’ll already have something in common with them.

It’s vital to be proactive in your social media presence as a recent college graduate. Companies will review the social media aspect of possible people previous to an interview with the company. Make smart decisions to help build your chances to land that dream job that everyone is looking for.

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~ by Pete Peluso on March 7, 2013.

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