On September 15, I had the privilege of participating in a Twitter chat on “using social media to get a job.” Participants included many journalism professors who had spot-on advice for students and other job seekers, and who confirmed some best practices for using Twitter and LinkedIn to find a job.
One professor, Samra Bufkins MJ, APR (@Samjb) stated that she requires all her students to have a LinkedIn profile – and she grades it! Not only that, but she requires them to create a profile both at the beginning of the semester and at the end, hammering in the importance of keeping your LinkedIn profile fresh and up-to-date!
Here are the top 10 pieces of advice I gathered from the chat:
- Recruiters and employers are looking for you on LinkedIn. Use keywords that will help you appear in searches, and complete the Skills section which is searched by recruiters (@BrendaBernstein)!
- Always post a professional picture of yourself on LinkedIn (no cats or significant others – reserve those for Facebook!).
- Build and expand your LinkedIn network in smart ways, choosing the people you want to connect with and whose connections you would want to connect with (@BrendaBernstein). Students can start by reaching out to current and former professors and influentials they meet in their communities (@DarrinDevault). Don’t be afraid to ask for introductions from mutual connections or to interact with people by asking questions and sending compliments (@Samjb, @kingisafink).
- Follow organizations and companies that interest you on Twitter and LinkedIn, and connect with key people at companies you want to work for.
- Use the Find Alumni feature on LinkedIn (@jmeucci). Alumni can help you get in front of people who might otherwise pass you over (@Samjb).
- If you blog, write for student media, or do freelance work, post links to your work on LinkedIn (@Samjb).
- Read this article on How to Use Twitter to Find a Job.
- If you get somebody’s business card at a conference, connect with them using a personal connect request within 24 hours (@Samjb). (This tweet was hailed as bordering on “Biblical advice” by Jason Meucci (@jmeucci)).
- Supporting #5, always make LinkedIn connection requests from your computer, not from your phone, and do it from the person’s actual full profile, not from a list (@BrendaBernstein). That way you can personalize your request. Some professors will not accept any invitations that are not personalized (@DarrinDevault).
- Don’t be shy about displaying your accomplishments (@kingisafink).
- When engaging in ALL social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc., be aware that people could be watching. Be careful what you post!
- Teach others how to use social media and you will become better at it yourself (@uw_sjmc). And the more you use it, the better you’ll get!
- If you are a student, check out LinkedIn’s student guide to using LinkedIn.
- Congratulate people in your network on their new jobs, awards, etc. And wish them a happy birthday! You can find out about these events from your Connections tab on LinkedIn.
- Turn real life connections into social media connections, and vice versa (@kingisafink). The online world does not exist in a vacuum!
The above 15 tips speak for themselves. Whether you are a student or seasoned professional, start putting them into practice now! And of course, my book, How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn Profile, soon to be released in print, covers more LinkedIn job search tips than could ever be addressed in an hour-long chat session. If you are not on my e-list and haven’t gotten your free excerpt yet, please click here to join!