It's May, and that means graduates across the country will be entering the workforce and looking for their first professional jobs. Making the transition from college student to professional can be confusing and the skills you needed to be a great student are often different than the ones you need for making your mark in your chosen industry. Where you may have been using social media as a way to stay in touch with your friends and socialize, you will now be needing to use them to help you find a job.
If you are just beginning your career, here are 5 social media tips that will get you headed in the right direction:
Check your online prescence - Google yourself and find out what information is already online about you. Review the results and try to imagine what type of judgments a prospective employer would make about you. If you don't like the way it makes you look, see if there is something you can do to change it. For example, if the result is for your blog, maybe you can edit it or remove the things that identify you as the author. However, if the result is for a site you don't have control over, look for other ways to make it less accessible.
Look at Facebook and Twitter - Go through your Twitter and Facebook settings and history. Untag yourself from photos that don't show you as a professional. Remove any comments or wall posts that contain profanity or the like. Adjust your privacy settings to make sure that you know who sees your information.
Build a professional web presence - Clean up your online presence and if there isn't much information about you, consider starting a professional blog or setting up a few social networking accounts as a professional. This will give you some positive information online that will appear in a web search about you. You can use these accounts to build your professional network and promote yourself to employers.
Play around with Linkedin - Linkedin is a social networking site that connects professionals with other professionals. This site can help you build your career and find a job. Set up an account and play around with it until you feel comfortable. Join groups and get involved with others. This will help you find information about jobs in your industry and even help you get your foot in the door at companies you really want to work for.
Make a "Plan B" - No matter what you future career goals are, be open to other possibilities. A good idea is to keep two resumes. One that is tailored specifically for the career you want and another that is geared toward other entry level jobs that can give you an income while you follow your dreams. Don't be afraid to accept temporary work or other entry level work that will give you valuable experience to put on your resume.
Starting your career is an exciting time. The key is to be prepared and lay a great foundation.