Using social media to your educational and professional benefit

Social MediaThe use of social media has been blowing up in recent years, no longer used only for connecting with friends and family in your personal lives. Social media is being increasingly used in education and business, and it is becoming an almost integral part of our current culture.

One thing to keep in mind is that the technology we use today contributes to our digital footprint, meaning that the things we email, text, tweet and post all become part of our electronic persona. When you land that job interview, you should expect that your potential employers will Google you and look up your online presence before you step foot through their door.

Tips for developing your online presence

In an article titled “10 Tips for Using Social Media in Your Job Search,” author Lindsey Pollack outlined a series of do’s and don’ts for social media. It is an excellent idea to make sure that the image you are portraying through various social media outlets is a professional one. This means it could be wise to go through your Facebook account and remove pictures that may be online of some of the parties you attended in college. At the same time, add in professional details to your Google, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, blog and Twitter profiles.

LinkedIn for professional networking

USA Today shared a series of tips that students and professionals can use to get the most out of their LinkedIn accounts. LinkedIn is entirely free to use and your profile is essentially a digital version of your resume. It is an excellent outlet for building up professional connections.

To get the most out of your LinkedIn account, make sure your profile is 100 percent complete. Forbes magazine explained, “Nothing screams ‘rookie’ like an unfinished profile.”

LinkedIn is particularly user-friendly and will prompt you to fill out all the various portions of your professional profile, as well as consistently remind you if certain sections have not been completed.

It is also a good idea to make sure you use a professional, nice photo. Your photo should make you look friendly and approachable rather than like a party animal.

While some students and professionals can struggle with their resumes as they try to fit everything on one sheet of paper, the nice thing about LinkedIn is that it gives you unlimited space to work with. While it can be tempting to list every job you’ve ever had, it is a good idea to keep your profile focused.