This is a guest post from Meagan Cook – a freelance writer and nursing school student.
As you move through school it is important that you start to work towards getting your name out there for a career. Plenty of studies have shown that employers are more likely to look at your social media background than ever before, so making sure you use social media effectively can give you an edge in the market as you close in on your graduation date.
1. Be Genuine
If you build a Twitter or Facebook profile that is constantly pushing one aspect of your skills and focusing only on trying to come across as employable, you won’t come across as a genuine person. Use the same accounts that you connect with friends and family with to help push your name into the market you wish to enter. Just be careful about putting up pictures or statements that would turn off future recruiters.
2. Get Connected
By connecting with people already working in the industry through LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, you’ll slowly drop your name into conversations. Over time, especially if you start doing this when you start college, you’ll be more recognized in the field when it comes time to hire new graduates.
3. Use it as a Job Hunting Tool
If you follow recruiters from different companies, they will often post a need for new employees. Feel free to strike up conversations and make your name known at any point, but pounce on these options when they show up. If you aren’t yet qualified for the position, ask them if they would be willing to grant an internship.
4. Be Curious
By following those in the industry, you can start conversations about what you are learning. Ask specifics about what you are learning and be willing to accept what they say without getting into arguments. Discussions are good, arguments are bad.
5. Stay Semi-Professional
Try to keep your posts on a casually professional level. Stay away from internet lingo whenever you can. Things like “Dinner b4 movie gonna be gr8!” won’t look good when those in the industry start to take notice of you.
6. Don’t Be Selfish
Self-promotion is fine to a certain extent, but you’ll get more bang for your buck by sharing the spotlight with others that are doing great things. If you are having difficulty on a particular part of your education and someone in the field comes through for you and makes it clear, thank them publicly and help them get some recognition. They will do the same for you.
7. Be a Little Showy
When people in your future industry start discussing issues, jump in where you are most knowledgeable and show off how well you understand the subject. People will take notice.
8. Keep it Clean
There are very few college students that went through life without dropping a few choice words. Do what you can to keep the most “unacceptable” speech off your feeds.
9. Play the Long Game
By focusing on what you want to do in the future, plant seeds slowly. Don’t hesitate to make it clear that you are heading into a particular field and make minor mentions about your accomplishments. Give people a slow understanding of your growth in your expertise.
10. Stay Involved
Even in situations where you are not an expert, involve yourself in conversations. As questions to better understand the subject and thank people that explain things to you. Showing that you are willing to learn is going to go a long way when someone starts digging through your profiles.