Monday, March 19, 2012

Using Social Media Professionally

by Amber Weaver, Career Assistant

Almost all of us use social media in one way or another – whether it’s through our Facebook page, blog, Twitter, or Pinterest account. Recruiters know this, and many use it to their advantage during the selection process. Because of that, it’s very important to use social media in a professional way.

One easy way to assess your online image is to do a Google search of your name and see what comes up, without being signed into a social media site – then you can see exactly what a potential employer could if they did the same search. If you have a common name you might need to add another word to help it find you, such as “Ashland.” Based on what you find, you might want to change your privacy settings so that only your friends can see most of your information. (For more information on Facebook privacy settings, visit and However there is still some information that anyone can find. For example, anyone can see your Facebook profile picture if they look up your name – so it is important to keep it classy! Same goes with any other information that you make public, on any social media site that you have.

LinkedIn is a social media site that exists solely for the purpose of helping professionals connect with each other, and is a great place to start building your professional image online. Anyone who searches for your name online can find your LinkedIn profile. Therefore it is important to use it wisely. In general, you should post a professional profile picture, updated employment information, and all of your organizations and honors. LinkedIn should not be used in the same way you use Facebook or Twitter. It is used to connect with other professionals – not to update your friends on what you did last weekend. Therefore its content is more focused on business, scholarship, and employment opportunities. More and more companies and recruiters are using this site, so it is a great way to network and get your name out there!

The Career Services Center will be having a Social Media Workshop on Wednesday, March 21st at 6:00pm to talk more about how to use these sites in a professional manner that benefits your job search. This workshop promises to be very informative and interesting, so we hope to see you there!

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