University of Evansville

Career Center

The Career Center is available to help students and alumni take the next step in their career.

Social Networking Talking Points

As the job market continues to change, it becomes more important to use multiple tools and resources in a job search. Looking for a job cannot be a haphazard, last minute race to the finish. Any job search needs to have a well-developed plan, should implement a strategy, and incorporate social networking as a tool.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the most professional of the social networking sites. More than 2 million companies have profiles on LinkedIn, including every major company and most small companies in the United States. Here are tips to effectively utilize LinkedIn.

  • Make sure your profile is 100 percent complete. This includes an appealing summary (your 30-second oral résumé), recommendation, experience, education, and professional picture. Your information should contain keywords that are relevant to your occupation.
  • When inviting someone to connect with you, personalize the invitation. Do not use the canned message.
  • Use the “Jobs” tab to search for available positions, then use your network to see who you may know at that company.
  • If you have a second degree connection, politely ask your first-degree connection to introduce you. REMEMBER: All formal business etiquette rules apply. You want to make the best first impression that you can.
  • Join groups that are of professional and personal interest to you. Follow the conversations on these groups and make intelligent comments. Potential employers may read these comments! Positions are often posted in the “Discussions” of your groups.
  • If you have an interview, research the interviewer on LinkedIn to help you learn about that person. This may prove helpful in establishing a commonality during the interview.
  • Include your LinkedIn URL in your e-mail signature, on your résumé, business card, and other marketing materials. This makes it easy for new acquaintances to connect with you.

Facebook and Twitter

  • Share that you are currently in your job search IF you are not currently employed. Your friends may know of a position. However, don’t expect your friends to do the work of your job search.
  • Visit Simplyhired.com and IntheDoor.com (powered by Indeed) and click the “log in to facebook” icon. This will allow you to see which of your friends’ companies have openings. These are both private features and do not share anything on your Facebook wall or profile. If you find a position that you are interested in, you can contact your friend and ask about the position, the company, and how to get in touch with the proper person.
  • “Like” and “Follow” any company that you are interested in. This will allow you see current news and possibly available positions.
  • Connect Facebook and Twitter to LinkedIn
  • Review the guidelines about digital dirt (page 21) and clean up your pages if necessary.

All of these forms of social media tools can be very powerful if used correctly. Be sure to create and implement your personal brand into your networking sites, always be truthful and obey the rules of etiquette.

Information adapted from: “How to connect with an employer via LinkedIn” by Kaitlin Madden, CareerBuilder “6 tips to help you use LinkedIn more effectively” by Selena Dehne, JIST Publishing “Using LinkedIn to get a job: Lessons from the KCITP Career Fair” by Dave Greenbaum, DoctorDave’s Blog

Google yourself lately? Employers have!

Most students today use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites to connect with friends, receive updates about the personal lives of their favorite rock stars, and share with the world their opinions of morning traffic and last night’s party. Unfortunately, this activity can have a negative impact on your personal brand.

According to a recent NACE survey:

  • Three-quarters of recruiters and human resources professionals report that their companies have policies that require them to research candidates online.
  • Eight-five percent of those state that a positive online reputation influences their hiring decisions.
  • Seventy percent have rejected candidates based on information they found online.
  • Ninety-three percent of consumers surveyed did not believe online data affected their job search (Spotlight Online for Career Services Professionals, March 17, 2010).

This does not mean you should delete your social networks. It is important, though, to monitor your online image, clean up the dirt, and build a positive, professional brand.

Step 1: Take an inventory of yourself

  • Google your name and e-mail address – search both documents and images.
  • Scan at least the first three pages of information.
  • Search for variations of your name and nicknames.
  • Perform the Self Audit to help you assess and manage your digital image

Step 2: Clean up your digital dirt

  • Contact friends or site administrators and ask them to remove the negative content.
  • Check your social networking sites’ privacy settings monthly.
  • Set all privacies to the most private setting possible.
  • Follow the 75/25 rule: 75 percent of posted information should be professional and 25 percent should be personal.
  • One hundred percent should be appropriate.
  • Remember: Once you post information on the web, it will always be there. It may get hidden or buried, but a tech-savvy person could potentially still find it.

Step 3: Building positive material

  • Having no online presence is not necessarily a good thing. Create a professional presence using LinkedIn and the University of Evansville Professional Network.
  • Join a professional organization and become a member of their online community.
  • Keep e-mail addresses simple and professional, no “hotchick” or “fratboy” usernames.
  • Use a signature line at the bottom of e-mail messages that includes your name, telephone number, e-mail address, and expected graduation date.
  • Volunteer to write a blog for a campus organization that you belong to.
  • Ask a professor if you can put a project you just completed on the course website.
  • Activate your readabout.me account! The University of Evansville has started using this platform to publicize your accomplishments, like making the dean’s list, studying at Harlaxton, or winning an award. This platform allows the University to send news items about your achievements back to your hometown newspapers and also to publish them on the web.
  • Create a virtual résumé. Using a site such as weebly.com makes sharing your academic, professional, and portfolio information simple.

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