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How To Use Social Media Networking For Professional Advancement

by Emily Cassens
Marketing Assistant

May 08, 2015

What is Professional Social Media Networking?

Professional social media networking is the art of acquiring and connecting with contacts online to attain information, advice, and referrals in the job market. Regardless of your field, networking is a great way to invest in future opportunities.

Online networking in particular is of the utmost importance for the simple reason that it’s such an accessible forum, providing an easy way to connect directly with the movers and shakers of your industry.

Why Is It So Important?

It’s estimated that 80% of today’s jobs are landed through networking. If you’re a recent college graduate, you can increase your chances of scoring a great job just by knowing how to effectively use professional social media networking.

What Social Media Platforms Should I Be On?

For professional networking, having a profile on LinkedIn is essential. Twitter is also a valuable tool to help keep you informed and connected.

No matter what social media platforms you use, you should always remain mindful of how your online presence affects your professional reputation. The guidelines for building a professional online personal brand are generally the same across all platforms.

How Should I Represent Myself Online?

Read up on how to build your personal brand; this is important when it comes to standing out amongst the sea of other job hunters.

Knowing proper online etiquette will play a huge role in how potential employers perceive you. Here are a few tips:

  • Have meaningful conversations instead of just rattling off your personal elevator pitch. It’s not just about your job search, it’s about building mutually beneficial connections.

  • Helping people is a great way to network. Offer your advice, ideas, or time to professionals you would like to associate with. Not only does assisting others do wonders for your professional image - it feels good, too.  

  • Have fun! Sharing ideas and meeting new people is enjoyable. A positive attitude will go a long way.

Get the most from professional social media networking:

  • Join groups– This is especially important on LinkedIn. Groups are a fantastic way to meet people who have similar backgrounds, interests and career paths.

  • Participate in discussions and offer valuable insights– Don’t be a bystander. Follow the same rules that apply to online class discussions.

  • Diversify your contacts– More variety means more opportunities.

What Should I Not Do?

Employers want to be confident that you’ll be a positive representation of their team.  A couple pointers:

  • Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t feel comfortable with your grandmother (or boss) seeing. Play it safe and keep your posts proper.

  • Know what you’re “tagged” in, and what your privacy settings are.

  • Your profile picture shouldn’t shed a negative light on you by showcasing a night out drinking or an overly scandalous outfit. Present your best self in a well-lit photo where you look confident and friendly.

Often, getting your foot in the door is half the battle. Professional social media networking can help you get there.

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