Read part 1 about Facebook and LinkedIn
Imagine two second year students – let’s call them Alice and Adam. Alice, who we met in the first part of this post, is studying business management and wants to go into human resources. Her friend Adam is studying geography and wants to be a journalist. They currently use Twitter to follow celebrities and tweet their friends but they’re missing an important opportunity to develop their careers.
So what do they do?
1. First, they write full profiles. Great profiles for careers purposes are detailed and specific. They might describe any relevant experience you’ve already had, where and what you’re studying and your future career goals and your interests. For example, Alice writes:
Business Management student at QMUL, aspiring HR professional
Student journalist for QMessenger and geography student at QMUL; I write about environmental issues on my blog: [he inserts his blog address here]
Both of their profiles include links to their LinkedIn pages and they also choose professional profile pictures.
2. Next, they follow the companies they would like to work for and people who tweet about their career area. Often big companies will have one general Twitter account and one recruitment account and it’s a good idea to follow both. Once they’ve followed a few relevant people, the ‘who to follow’ section on Twitter will automatically recommend similar others.
3. They search for job and internship opportunities and information using # (e.g. #HR or #humanresources, #journalism).
4. Then they tweet regularly (most days). Their contributions are always professional but they also try to be interesting and engaging. The more informed and articulate they are the better!
They might tweet links to interesting articles – for example:
Interview with Ann Pickering, director of HR at Telefonica O2 UK: ‘The digital journey will drive our future.’ http://ind.pn/1i8ncYh
An eloquent and important defence: ‘The value of professional journalism’ http://ind.pn/18Cj1QJ
5. Adam and Alice also engage with other people’s tweets by retweeting and replying. In this way they become involved in the conversation on career-related topics.
6. If they want to tweet things which don’t fit in with their employer-friendly Twitter account, they can also create personal, fun accounts which don’t use their full name, in addition to their professional ones.
Alice and Adam then start reading blogs about the areas they want to work in and they also tweet links to any particularly interesting blog posts.
Adam starts a blog himself. As he wants to work in journalism, a blog is a great way to display his work to potential employers, providing examples of his writing ability. Blogs are particularly useful if, like Adam, you’re applying for a job which requires written communication skills, or if you want to work in a creative field. Blogs can also be used to write about current issues, events or news stories related to the field you want to work in.
Adam links to the content he has created using his Twitter feed. For example:
New blog post: ‘Talking to skeptics about climate change – 5 tips’ [link here]
He also links his blog to his LinkedIn page and vice versa.
By proactively thinking about the public, visible ways they use the internet, Alice and Adam have now created linked up online brands; all of their networks are connected and work together to sell their skills and experiences for future employers.
For more information see our hand-out: How to use social networking in your career research