First of all, we’d like to send a big congrats to everyone graduating from college this month. We’re a social media marketing agency, though, and we wanted to make sure that all of you new grads have a social media presence that matches that slick new diploma. Being active (and appropriate) on social media can help you land your first job, stay in touch with old friends and generally be the awesome, productive member of society we know you are. Here are three of our favorite tips for social media for the new grad. And again, congratulations!
Make Connections Before You Leave Campus
Make sure that you connect with your existing social community before you leave for the great unknown. Facebook makes this easier than ever, but be sure to friend those people you keep forgetting to friend, and get email addresses for your friends, professors, coaches, advisors and any other faculty or staff members who have been friends or mentors to you. These relationships are valuable! Plus, the majority of (good) professors love to hear what their past students are up to. Don’t be shy.
A note about email: it’s time to graduate from your .edu email address. If you’ve been using your college account as your primary email address, upgrade to a Gmail account. And please make it a professional sounding email–nobody hires [email protected].
Clean Up Your Social Media Presence…Yesterday
Your parents and teachers have been telling you this for four years, and a lot of you still don’t listen: get those kegstand pictures off Facebook, now. Potential employers will look at your Facebook. That’s the world we live in. I’ve noticed a lot of college kids changing their Facebook name to “First Name Middle Name”, presumably thinking that they’re going to avoid being found by nosy relatives and potential bosses. Guess what–both Facebook and Google are smarter than that. You might fool your grandma, but you won’t fool an employer that really wants to find you. Scrub that profile, untag those pics of you winning the Beerlympics, and maybe put up a nice new profile pic of you in a cap and gown instead of a toga. (Oh, and: stop drunk tweeting. Come on guys.)
Get a LinkedIn, and Use It
Okay, good, you’re back. Now, go on that new LinkedIn page and start putting it to work. First, fill it in completely. Think of this as an online home for your resume: all your education, skills and experience should be here. Don’t leave your photo blank: upload a simple, flattering headshot. (Need a new one? Here’s four good tips for taking a spiffy new profile picture.) Now, start making connections. LinkedIn allows you to find people in a variety of ways. You can search manually, port over your email contacts and have LinkedIn find your friends that way, or you can find your college or university and browse users that way. Once you’ve made some connections, you can also use the “People You May Know” function to find–surprise–other people you may know. Connect with your friends, but also connect with people in your major and in any organizations you belong to, even if you’re not close. LinkedIn isn’t like Facebook–you want to be connecting with people who might be able to help you out professionally in the future, not just your regular crew. You should also connect with any professors who you have a good working relationship with–it’s a good way to keep in touch with them, and if you keep up that good rapport they may send advice, introductions or even job leads your way in the future. You should also join some alumni groups from your college. These are particularly great if you’re going to be moving to another area after graduation. (For instance, the UNH alumni group has chapters in DC, NYC and Austin) You’ll be able to make some professional connections in your new city, and you’ll already have something in common with them. If you belong to any national collegiate organizations, like fraternities, sororities or honor societies, join those LinkedIn groups too. You’ll be making connections like a pro in no time.
Want some cool (usually), professional (usually) people to follow with your new, grown-up Twitter account? Follow the Vital team. If you’d like some more advice on how you can use social media to land a job, check out Doug Ridley’s social media blog series that he’s writing for his alma mater, The College of Saint Rose. He’s just started so it’s perfect timing for you to join in.
P.S. If you’re a web development rockstar who needs some post-grad summer plans, we’re searching for some paid web dev interns. Check it out. Want more? The Vital team is here to help with your social media questions. Talk to us today.