Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How to Market Yourself on Social Media--Professionally!

It’s OK if you make a mistake. (Yes, I said it.)

And it is OK if you do not know something. (Yes, it is.)

College is all about learning and we want you to know that The Career Center is here to help educate you and guide you on your career path!

Today, several students and my staff listened to Lindsey Pollak, Global Ambassador for Linkedin, present a Webinar on how to network using social media.  One point she made was that we (the career counselors) are responsible for educating you (the students) on proper etiquette and to accept that you will make mistakes.  After all, how would you know that if an employer calls you and leaves a voicemail, that it is not OK to simply call back saying “Hey, you called this number?”  This is what many of you do on a daily basis, right?  It is our job to teach you to listen to the voicemail first and determine who is calling and what information they are providing to you.  Maybe the employer wanted you to email them some information; maybe they wanted you to call back at another date or time.  Another twist; if an employer calls you, call them back.  If an employer emails you, email them back.  According to Lindsey Pollak, you should use the same method of communication for the response that the recruiter used to contact you.  And of course, do respond promptly!

With that being said, here are some common social networking etiquette mistakes that you should avoid:

  1. Using the default “I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” email message when trying to connect with someone.  Instead, personalize the email and mention how you know one another.

  2. Sending mass email blasts to all of your contacts.  Instead, take the time to think about who really needs to receive this information in their inbox.

  3. Writing in a casual tone of voice like “Hey Suzanne,” misspelling words, using poor grammar, and using emoticons “ J “ or acronyms “TTYL.”  Any communication you have with contacts should be professional and represent you as the mature and intelligent person that you are!

  4. Using Facebook to connect with employers or professional contacts.  Keep all professional networking on sites like Linkedin so they cannot see all your personal updates and photos.

  5. Posting personal information on professional sites like Linkedin.  Your professional contacts do not need to know that you are broken hearted over your recent break up or that you are obsessed with Breaking Bad.  See #4.

  6. Using social networking selfishly.  Social networking is not just about what your contacts can do for you but what you can do for your contacts! Give back to your connections – post interesting and non-controversial articles, and insightful reflections on a recent job fair or an interview.  Use hashtags to professionally mention a contact or company.
Suzanne Dagger, Interim Executive Director

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