Social Media and Digital Networking - Career Guide Series - Part Five

Social Media and Digital Networking is one very important tool for successful career networking. With Social Media and Digital Networking you will be able to broaden your horizon in the online job market. These and many more are what we are going to be discussing in this post in continuation of our comprehensive career guide series. In the last part of the series we discussed some important tips in career networking. Today we would be exploring the meaning and various strategies in Social Media and Digital Networking.

Social Media and Digital Networking

Research has shown that 93% of recruiters are likely to look at social profiles, 72% of recruiters view typos negatively onsocial media, 87% of recruiters find LinkedIn the most effective internet site when vetting candidates during the hiring process, 87% of recruiters have a negative impression of oversharing on social media

Within the past few years the popularity of social and digital networking has exploded. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs, text messaging, etc. have dramatically increased the amount of connection we have with each other. These networks provide excellent opportunities to stay in touch with others that can give you advice. And you can return the favor by helping them with information when they need it.

Tips for social and digital networking

  • Google yourself to see what comes up – know what to expect, clean up your image
  • Create a professional profile on LinkedIn. Employers are using this site on a regular basis.
  • Join some LinkedIn groups – or create one
  • Be careful about Facebook pages, pictures, etc. Employers look at them
  • Pay attention to your privacy settings
  • Network before you need it. Networking – staying in contact with people - is ongoing, not just when you need something like a job.

Considerations for Influence of Social Media on the Hiring Process

1. Control Your Image
Review your online presence…How do you appear on Linkedin? Facebook? YouTube? Your blog? Remove anything that could potentially damage your reputation. And for future posts, remember that anything you post might be accessed by others in the future.

2.Communicate in a Professional Manner
Each interaction with your network or potential employers is a demonstration and potential evaluation of your communication skills. Maintain professional language at all times. Respond promptly to emails. Be careful not to communicate too frequently with minutiae, as this can be perceived as needy.

3. Use Twitter

Employers post job opportunities on Twitter, so investigate whether your ideal employers have Twitter handles to follow. Also, consider searching for handles dedicated to jobs and internship postings such as @JobsandScholars .

4. Be Active on LinkedIn
LinkedIn has become the preferred professional networking site for employers and employees. Create an account and keep it updated. Employers use LinkedIn frequently to vet candidates further so make it look.

Benefits of Using LinkedIn for Professional Networking

  • Each month, over 187 million users visit LinkedIn.
  • LinkedIn:
  • o provides an online professional presence
  • o contains content from your resume, cover letter, and references for others to see
  • o is a networking site that allows you to make new professional connections
  • o contains access to job listings
  • o contains Information for research on companies or people you are going to meet
  • o has a students job portal:

Career Fairs

Another source of career networking which we would not want to miss out is Career Fair. To put this to use, Prepare by Researching companies in advance; identify locations of ideal employers especially at the large fairs. Below are some helpful tips in your approach in a career fair.

What to Say
Have a 60-second elevator pitch ready and rehearsed (see the next page for developing one)

What to Wear
Dress according to your profession; overdressed is better than underdressed

What to Ask
Prepare a list of questions in advance that demonstrate your knowledge of the company.
Here are some possible questions to Ask Employers at a Career Fair
  1. How long have you worked at your company?
  2. Does your company hire on a continual basis or only at certain times of the year?
  3. What are the most important qualifications your company looks for in an employee?
  4. Are there particular personality traits you look for?
  5. Are graduate degrees important? In what areas within your company?
  6. What kinds of courses do you suggest in order to be a successful candidate?
  7. Is there a GPA cut-off for your recruiting process?
  8. What is the training process like at your company?
  9. What kinds of entry-level positions exist within your organization that would be open to someone with my background?
  10. Is senior management grown from within or does your company hire from the outside?
  11. What are your organization’s major goals in the next few years?
What to Bring to the Fair
  • 2 resumes per employer
  • pens and paper
  • portfolio as writing surface and to hold your resumes
Be sure to get names and business cards of individuals you speak with so that you can write a thank-you.

Elevator Pitch

Our list will be incomplete if we did not add Elevator Pitch as one of the many sources of career networking. Elevator Pitch is a very brief introductory meeting with prospective employers and in most circumstances you have just 60 seconds to convince an employer to engage you further. Some tips for a successful elevator pitch include:

Identify the goal of the pitch, , Focus on strengths,
  • Self-introduction
  • Advertisement
  • Building a connection
Clearly describe what you do
  • What you study, research, build, make
  • Past experiences
Credit and/or compliment Team members, supervisors, mentors

Engage listener with a question
  • Offer an opportunity to respond
  • Unique ideas, recent activities, latest accomplishments
Avoid Missed Opportunities
Often times, we miss opportunities because of our lack of intent, preparation, or comfort in commonplace conversations that are simply banal. We can also miss an opportunity to effectively communicate by minimizing or over inflating discussions of responsibilities and accomplishments.

Do Your Research
Developing a meaningful elevator pitch requires research on the person, company, organization, or program that you are making a connection with. You should pinpoint qualifications, skills, and experiences that best align with the opportunity and reiterate interest in learning more.

Body Language
Be mindful of body language and use hand motions moderately. Maintaining enthusiasm and energy is significant. If you jitter in nervousness, consider grounding your feet to the floor and lean in when appropriate. And most importantly, don’t underestimate the power of a smile.

Managing Anxiety and Self-Doubt
Engaging in persuasive speech and talking about yourself can be a daunting experience that spurs up anxiety and self-doubt. Manage your angst with breathing techniques, power poses, inspirational quotes, positive attitude, and humor.

Practice, Practice, Practice
Assess the content you might add to your elevator pitch, acknowledge your successes with confidence, examine your body language, and identify growth areas to continue strengthening your pitch. Even while you practice, don’t forget to dress the part, sometimes a blazer goes a long way. Be sure to focus on the message and being true to yourself—authenticity is impressive!

Outline of a Possible Elevator Pitch
Greeting: Hello, my name is…
Year in School: I am a (sophomore, junior, etc.)…
Major: majoring in…
Experience: I have done (research, projects, etc.) on…
Accomplishments: I have (produced, presented, written)…
Seeking: I am seeking a(n)…( internship, full-time job, etc.)
Question: I know your company has a program on (X, Y, Z), can you tell me a little bit about the ongoing projects in which interns could participate?

Now that we are building relationships and making connections through our networking strategies, another ingredient for a successful career is a curriculum vitae (CV). With Networking you will be able to broaden your horizon in the job market. These and many more are what we are going to be discussing in our next post in the Career Guide Series and it will focus on How to Write a Curriculum Vitae (CV).

What is your thought? Feel free to make your contributions, observations or ask questions on this topic of Social Media and Digital Networking or any part of our Career Guide Series using the comment form below and we will be more than happy to add to our data base of knowledge because nobody knows it all.

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