By Samantha Bequer, Beta Class
Our generation is connected through social media. We are constantly checking Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or whatever the case may be, and we are constantly told how important it is to keep those platforms clean so we can have a “good presence” on social media.
But having a good presence goes further than just refraining from posting pictures of your Saturday night adventures. You can easily set your accounts on private and not have to worry about what potential employers might see, but that doesn’t make you stand out. That doesn’t show employers how you will utilize social media to further their company, which is something a lot of employers are seeking in their future interns, employees, etc.
Look at your friend’s Instagram or Twitter. Chances are, they aren’t posting about how they attended Intern Pursuit last Wednesday, how they networked with someone high ranking in a company their interested in, or posting pictures of them being a young professional. When you start doing these things, that’s when you begin to stand out.
Employers want to be able to look at your page and see that you are pushing yourself to be a better young professional. Everyone can talk about all of the things they do within their university and the internships they’ve had on their resumes, but being able to document it in a modern way shows that you’re able to adapt with changing times, able to utilize resources to your advantage, and able to connect yourself in an innovative way.
Your reputation follows you from the minute you begin to put yourself out there as a young professional. Employers can write recommendations for you, and you can be a hard worker, but social media allows you to take charge of your reputation. You control what you post and what you post can have a direct effect on how others view you. Social media is mainly used to highlight the best moments of your life, why not use it to highlight the best moments of your young professional career as well?
If you’re not ready to make the total switch on your personal accounts, consider making a separate professional account that you can use to begin branding your image. Twitter is a great platform to show that you’re involved with current events, that you’re retweeting and favoriting companies’ content that pertains to what you want to do, and that you’re sharing your professional thoughts. Instagram on the other hand tells a story through pictures. Try sharing pictures of you at your internship or visiting a place that shows you’re actively involved in furthering your career.
Having a LinkedIn is also a great start to putting yourself out there on social media. LinkedIn allows you expand your resume and go into detail about all of your professional accomplishments without being confined to a singular page resume. It allows you to connect with alumni, professionals, and other young driven individuals as well.
Overall, your image is the most important thing you can have. We are millennials and we have broader opportunities to put ourselves out there. Google your name and see what comes up. Is it your LinkedIn? Your Twitter account? Or is it an embarrassing picture from your freshman year of college?
These are steps you should be following in order to begin your path to succeeding in not only the communications field, but any professional field.
- Start your social media cleanse. This is something you should be doing constantly, but it never hurts to double check.
- Begin posting pictures of yourself accomplishing your goals. Use social media to brag about yourself and your skills, that’s what it’s there for.
- Connect with others in the industry that you hope to work with one day, take initiative and follow them on their own social media accounts.
- Find your own voice. While it’s great to be a professional on social media, be a professional with your own personality. Make yourself stand out, because a resume will get you an interview, but your personality will get you the job.
You already know social media is important, start realizing how you can use it to make yourself stand out and then you’ll start the path to achieving your career goals.