Posts filed under ‘Social Media’

LinkedIn: Reaching Out and Taking Names

By Cassidy Rowe

I have a confession to make. I underestimated the power of LinkedIn.

Sure, I had a profile replete with detailed work experiences, extracurricular activities, skills, and a professional photo. My connections included friends, work colleagues, and acquaintances. LinkedIn even ranked my profile strength as “AllStar,” but I wasn’t truly utilizing all that LinkedIn has to offer.Rowe

LinkedIn is a wonderful resource for connecting with others in a desired industry, for learning more about someone’s experience at an internship you’re interested in, or for getting more connected with a favorite company. However, it can be easy to forget that LinkedIn is a feedback loop. It is not simply a space to showcase your resume; it is a platform on which to grow your professional network and maximize your career opportunities. In this blog, I am going to walk you through some steps that will help you do just that.

Lose the fear. If you’re like me, the idea of reaching out to total strangers can seem uncomfortable–daunting even. But isn’t that what LinkedIn is for? To connect business professionals and widen your professional circles? You must lose the misconception that your invitations to connect are unwanted or unwarranted. That being said, I advocate for strategic connections, not the mass adding of strangers just to up your number of connections. So take a deep breath and click.

Personalize your invitations. I have denied my fair share of invitations to connect from strangers because they didn’t add a personalized note to supplement their invite. With over 400 million users, you are bound to send and receive many invitations, which is why you must make yourself stand out. Add one or two sentences to personalize your invitation to connect when you do not know the requested individual. Doing so reflects well on you, and it increases your likelihood of forming a more substantial connection with that person.

Follow companies of interest. I want to work in the sport business industry. I followed companies I am interested in working for, which led to my finding a neat feature LinkedIn has: ‘People Also Viewed.” You can find this feature on the right-hand side of your screen when viewing a particular company’s profile. I’ve discovered several more companies that I have added to my list of internship possibilities through this feature. Additionally, companies often post interesting articles and job opportunities on their profiles. I cannot stress how incredible it is to connect with a preferred company on this levelwithout even talking to an employee.

Engage with groups. Another great aspect of LinkedIn is its ability to connect professionals through nonprofessional hobbies and interests. Have an affinity for paddle boarding? Join groups that discuss paddle boarding. Search through groups to find professionals that share similar interests. This helps you connect on a personal level and build a foundation on something more than work related items.

LinkedIn is an incredible platform. It is designed to help you succeed in your search for a dream job. All you have to do is reach out and take names.

November 25, 2015 at 1:47 pm 11 comments

Get Noticed on LinkedIn

By Stephen Hansen

LinkedIn is the world’s most popular professional network, with over 380 million users–but nobody is looking at your profile. I was in your shoes when I first joined LinkedIn until I decided to edit and update my profile. Soon, I had received five interview offers with firms all across the United States. In this blog, I will walk you through the changes I made to get noticed by recruiters.

Put a Face to a Name. You’d be surprised how often people do not have a profile picture on LinkedIn. Oftentimes, these profiles have wonderful content, but experience might not matter to some if the photo is missing. LinkedIn profiles that include profile photos receive 11 times as many views as those without photos. Show off those pearly whites!

Go from Prom to Professional. We’ve all seen a photo like this one before.stephen Few people have a professional photo of themselves, so they come up with quick fixes by cropping pictures of themselves at prom or some other formal event and end up with a photo featuring an arbitrary floating arm in the corner. Some people might think that this type of photo is a good alternative to paying for a professional head shot, but it is not. Simply put on a suit and ask a friend to take a picture of you in front of a white wall; this new profile picture will save you time and money and convince potential employers that you are as professional as your LinkedIn content indicates.

Elaborate on Your Experiences. Don’t sell yourself short. Simply writing a title like Summer Analyst or Business Development Intern will not cause employers to drool over you. They need content. Michael Schmidt, Associate Director of the MBA Career Management Center at Kenan-Flagler Business School, says that the best way to present your job is by writing a two-to-three sentence job summary and then listing fout-to-six bullet-style skills regarding major projects. Also, stand out by including numbers. At Kenan-Flagler, our Business Writing Conventions and Expectations guide cites that “70 percent of the population values quantifiable data as their way to understand their environment.” Here is an example of how to present your skills:

Performed financial analysis on a commercial real estate portfolio in the eastern United States. Researched the restaurant and light-industrial sectors of the market.

  • Targeted undeveloped territories to source several high-profile Pennsylvanian Lone Star Steakhouses and sold to Texas Roadhouse, which resulted in a 50% return on investment
  • Accompanied management in negotiating and interfacing with lenders, advisers, and joint venture partners
  • Organized budgets, prepared forecasts, documented property tax expenditures, and analyzed non-possessory rights and regulatory restrictions for potential real estate investments
  • Created marketing materials for the sale of underperforming asset

One more thing to note is that most professionals across the globe agree that you should list no more than your past three jobs.

Personalize Your URL. As with other social networks, you receive a long, confusing profile URL when you first join. LinkedIn allows all users to change their profile URL in three steps:

  1. Click on “Profile”
  2. Click on “Edit”
  3. Click “Edit” right under your photo

A professional URL follows this form: http://linkedin.com/in/firstnamelastname. If that URL is not available, just add your middle name. Another alternative is to add your industry (e.g. JohnSmithBanker).

Add a Call to Action. All of these changes are sure to get the attention of companies and recruiters, but your efforts will be all for naught if you don’t guide employers on how to reach you. Make it clear on your profile how you would like to be contacted by listing your email, phone number, and link to your personal website.

LinkedIn is a powerful way to mass market yourself if you use it effectively. These changes should give you a great starting point to demonstrate your personal brand, get noticed, and land your dream job.

November 4, 2015 at 1:00 pm 8 comments

Smart Social Media Use Could Save Your Internship

By Paige Schafer

When it comes to social media use, we’ve all heard it before: “Make sure that you’re not wasting time on it in the workplace” and “Don’t put anything out there that you wouldn’t like your employer to see.” It’s easy to brush these suggestions off. After all, would your boss or employer really take time out of his or her busy day to creep on your Facebook page and walk by to make sure you’re doing your work? From personal experience, I know that the answer is “yes.”401 Blog Image

Eliminate Social Media Slacking at Work

My internship at a small marketing agency has shown me the importance of designating ONLY work to your job schedule. In order to understand my story, let me give you a visual of the office layout. The second floor where I work is a large room with desks for full-time employees on either side. In the middle, about 10 interns sit at a large table. The kitchen and bathrooms are off the side of the main room, so people are constantly walking past the intern table.

At first, I thought our supervisors and other full-time employees didn’t pay attention to what the interns were doing. It crossed my mind of course, but the other employees seemed to be focusing on their own goals and walking by too fast to study our computer screens. 

My perspective changed after an intern wasn’t pulling his weight. Another intern and I noticed what was going on and voiced our concerns to our supervisors. To my surprise, one of them said, “Yeah, I saw him Facebook chatting with three other people yesterday. It made me mad.”

Although I don’t worry about getting caught because I don’t slack off at work, this incident was definitely a wake-up call for me. It made me realize that even if it may not seem like it, your employers monitor your actions at work more than you think. Anyone could be watching you. 

Be Wary of Your Online Reputation 

My internship has also proven that your employer searches your social media accounts. One day, we heard some stir in the office about getting a new employee. It only took a few seconds into the conversation before someone asked, “What’s his name, I want to look him up on Facebook!” After some of the other interns and I laughed at this request, our supervisor said, “Oh, that always happens. We do it all the time.”

I glanced at some of the other interns, and their facial expressions mirrored mine. We were all thinking: Did they look at our Facebook accounts before hiring us too? I’ll never know the answer to this question for sure, but it’s safe to say they did.

The Moral of the Story

In just a few months, I’ve learned the importance of not slacking off on social media at work and maintaining clean social media accounts. Although you might not believe that employers check in on your work status and search your social media accounts to determine if you’re qualified, think again. You never know how many eyes are peering over your shoulder, whether it’s virtually or in-person at the office.

November 24, 2014 at 9:19 am 6 comments

Think Before You Tweet: Maintaining a Professional, Grandma-Approved Online Presence

Learn about the positive or negative impact social media use can have on your job search and get a few tips on establishing your online presence.

By Collin Engels

Social media use is growing exponentially. “Grandma-approved” started out as just an expression, but today your grandmother may very well be on Facebook, and she’s not the only one looking at your profile. Whether or not you are currently seeking employment, if you plan on entering the job market at any time in the future, you need to establish and monitor your online presence. If a potential employer Googles you and an embarrassing Facebook photo comes up, or even worse, nothing comes up, you have a problem.

The use of social media websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter has grown substantially in recent years; as of March 31, 2014, 1.28 billion people were actively using Facebook monthly, and this number continues to grow. The chart below shows the percentages of online adults who used different social sites in 2012 and 2013. I understand that keeping up with social media can sometimes be a pain (I’m not a huge fan myself), but more and more people will continue to use social media in the future, making it more important than ever to establish an online presence if you want to keep up with your peers. With such a large influence on society,that companies are factoring social media into the employee selection process is no surprise.pew

From Pew Research Center

Companies have adopted social media for recruiting purposes. The social media wave has spread beyond individuals like you and me; over 45 percent of Fortune 500 firms include links to social media on their career page sections, and 92 percent of companies use social media platforms for recruitment. The good old days when LinkedIn was the only website for professional networking and recruiting are long gone. LinkedIn is still the most widely used social media platform in the business world, but it is no longer the only site that potential employers care about. Over 66 percent of companies use Facebook to recruit, and 54 percent of recruiters use Twitter to search for candidates. If you’re like me, you probably feel a bittersweet nostalgia for a time when your Myspace top eight friends and your AIM account were the only things you had to deal with online, but times are changing, and you need to keep up if you want to be a well-rounded job candidate.

Your online presence could make or break your job search. In a recent Staff.com survey, 73 percent of recruiters reported that they had made successful hires through social media. On the other hand, one third of employers surveyed had rejected candidates because of something that they found in their social profiles. As you enter the job market, know how to use social media to your advantage and be aware of how social media can potentially hurt your application, or even disqualify you from the selection process altogether. Here are a few tips on establishing and maintaining a positive online presence.

  1. Use LinkedIn to build your network.

LinkedIn is the top dog when it comes to social recruitment — used by 93 percent of companies in 2012, up from 78 percent in 2010. This professional network is a must for any college student preparing to enter the real world. In the words of Ted Jenkin, the co-CEO and founder of oXYGen Financial, “it’s not what you know but who you know that will ultimately get you further in life… leverage your expertise and begin to build your networks out today so when you graduate college you have a plethora of people to talk to for finding your first job.” Through LinkedIn, research companies you’re interested in and make useful connections to individuals within your future profession. Jenkin recommends that college students spend their time actively making connections across the country within their field of study. Becoming one of the 187 million active users of LinkedIn is essential given the number of recruiters using it, as well as that 77 percent of job openings are posted on LinkedIn. Through every group project you have and every class you take, you meet people your age who may one day be able to help you advance in your career path. I am constantly connecting with my peers on LinkedIn, and I recommend that you do the same.

  1. Use Facebook to show your (not too) personal side…

Like LinkedIn, Facebook enables you to learn more about companies that interest you as well as apply for jobs posted by employers. In addition, it provides more opportunities to interact with potential employers and enables organizations portray their culture and create a community. Facebook has a less professional feel than LinkedIn; with Facebook, you can foster more personal connections with people in the companies you’re interested in, as well as get a better feel for whether or not you will fit in with the organization’s culture. It also enables you to show your personality and hobbies to potential employers, who probably get bored just reading resumes. While you can show your less professional side to some extent, don’t take it too far. You don’t want it to seem like all of your hobbies involve alcohol and partying with your friends. This brings me to my last and most important suggestion.

  1. Be careful! Once you put something on the Internet, you can’t turn back.

Many employers look closely at a job candidate’s online presence before making a decision. About 75 percent of hiring managers and recruiters dig into candidates’ social profiles at some point during the recruitment process, even if they are not provided by the applicant. If you don’t want to get rejected before you even have a chance to interview, you need to maintain a positive image of yourself on all of your social profiles. Make sure you portray yourself as someone employers will enjoy working with and can trust in everything you post or tweet, as well as pictures you’re tagged in. As a rule of thumb, I wouldn’t recommend posting anything online that you would not like your grandmother to see. If you have a particularly wild grandmother then pick someone else; the point is you should assume recruiters will see everything you have ever posted on the Internet. Some companies pay third-party organizations to run full social media background checks on candidates. Avoid references to illegal drugs, posts of sexual nature, inappropriate language, and embarrassing pictures in which you’re inebriated or doing something you’re not proud of. Always think before you post to social media; even if you are joking, anything you tweet or write on any other website can be taken seriously and hurt your reputation.

Hopefully these tips will help you out as you establish your online presence. You should continue to maintain your social profiles and use them to network while in college, throughout your job search, as well as throughout your career.

November 11, 2014 at 7:20 pm 3 comments

4 Tips for Keeping the Red Solo Cup Away From Your Job Search


By Katherine Peters

Social media can help you land a job—that is, until an employer reads your latest tweet. A Twitter resume and LinkedIn skill endorsements may impress an employer, but what do all of your social media posts say about you? That keg-stand picture and collection of drunken tweets from college share more with an employer than your resume does.

Websites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter created a new job-search process and are continuously developing additional professional functions. Many universities will incorporate social media into their curriculum to address students’ professional interest in social media. Social media in the professional sphere, specifically the job-search process, demonstrated importance according to a compilation of statistics by Career EnlightenmentRed-Solo-Cup

  • 14.4 million people used social media to get a job.
  • 1 in 5 employers use social media sites to research job candidates.
  • 1 in 3 employers rejected candidates based on something they found out about them online.

A strong social-media presence is just as important as face-to-face networking in the modern job search. Social media profiles reveal information about a job candidate that employers use in the hiring process. Individuals with interesting and positive social networking profiles may seem like more attractive job candidates. However, unflattering pictures or posts can deter employers from hiring an individual. How do we take advantage of social media’s professional benefits without personal posts getting in the way? 

  • Minimize your profiles: Do you really need a profile on every social media site out there? Choose the websites that you use the most, and limit your profiles to those. Fewer profiles make it easier to maintain consistent information between your profiles. For example, if you list work experience and professional skills on one site, you need to include the same information on all your profiles. Be selective about where you post to draw more attention to your professional profiles. 
  • Create the presence you want: Forget about pictures and posts from college. Include information that elaborates on your resume to build a strong professional summary.  Remember, employers use social media to learn more about you. Don’t be afraid to brag about yourself a little either.  
  • Make it private: Update your privacy settings for the personal information you decide to share on your profiles. Familiarize yourself with the privacy policy of the specific website. Most social media sites provide a “custom” setting that you can configure for maximum privacy. Remember, your individual profile privacy does not guarantee that a friend with a less private profile will not share inappropriate photos or posts about you.  
  • Google yourself: Make sure that your name reflects what you want it to. A 2012 study indicated that 90% of employers Google job candidates for information beyond what is included on their resume. Consistently search your name on Google to see your social media presence from an employer’s point of view. This way, you can change how you appear online.

Recognize the importance of social media in the job market today. Create a profile that builds your professional summary and makes you a more attractive job candidate. Do you want your employer to see your professional skills or a red solo cup?

October 27, 2013 at 3:42 pm 7 comments

Make New Friends with Twitter

By Sharon Cannon

I love this funny quote that I saw on Twitter: “Facebook is your living room, LinkedIn is the Chamber of Commerce, and Twitter is the friendly bar where you meet new people.” This description of the “big three” resonated with me and prompted me to use this blog site that I created for my fall courses to share my ideas on how to create an enriching experience with Twitter.

On Facebook, I informally communicate with family, friends, and colleagues whom I know well.  I wear my more professional face with LinkedIn—keeping in touch with business contacts, colleagues I’ve known over the years, colleagues I want to know better, and former students.  While some people I know hang out at the “Twitter bar” with me, I love striking up brief conversations with interesting strangers.

A number of my colleagues and students have experienced the benefits of Twitter, but many don’t seem to really get it. Luckily, I’ve paid attention to people who tweet more effectively than I do. Here’s what I’ve learned from them–my “LIB” advice for developing  an enriching Twitter experience. Listen. Interact. Be authentic.

1) Listen—really listen.  Read your Twitter feeds; if you’re following someone who tweets items of no interest, stop following that person or organization.  Follow people who provide information that you find useful or who inspire and entertain you or who engage in a back-and-forth exchange of ideas. Begin to notice what patterns of communication work for you and which ones don’t.  If you listen first, you’ll get a good idea of what you want to say when you begin to tweet. By the way, if you have no intention of reading your Twitter feeds, you are a “broadcaster” who is speaking at your followers.  I much prefer tweeters who occasionally like to have dialogue. Isn’t that the point of social media?

2) Interact. My opinion about the limited value of broadcasters is tied to my philosophy of public speaking and teaching.  Those who do it best “speak with the audience.” Twitter can be an enriching two-way experience. You may simply follow people who provide material you want to read, but if you want to make new “friends,” you actually have to walk up and say “hi” much like you would in a bar or at a party.  Compliment a person’s blog , retweet an item you think others would also like to see, or mention an interest you seem to have in common. The old adage applies: you have to be a friend to make a friend. I’ve had delightful brief exchanges with people and experts on Twitter whom I would have never met otherwise.  However, recognize the fine line here—people who have too many public conversations will lose followers.  Sometimes you need to take the conversation from a public to a private format. Go back to listening and figure out what mix of information and conversation works for your audience.

Also, provide something of value to those who follow you.  Share a laugh or inspiring quote or link to a good article. Have a personality. And remember that if you only show up at the bar once a month—no stranger will remember who you are. Be a regular.

3) Be authentic. Companies and businesses who want to be in front of their Twitter followers use apps like HootSuite that continuously churn out information and that deliver automated responses to new followers. This type of push-approach is “canned” and reminds me of traditional advertising—perhaps it has some type of value. A more experienced social media colleague taught me the “80-20” rule–that is, only 20% of what you tweet should be promotional.  I prefer not to be in people’s faces all the time and would rather be a real human being delivering real-time interactions. As an educator who enjoys cyberspace exchanges, this friendly and personal style works for me.

Finally, remember that unless you are a celebrity or drumming up business, it really doesn’t matter how many followers you have.  Cultivate quality contacts, not quantity. Happy tweeting!

February 3, 2013 at 5:16 pm Leave a comment

Be Careful: Twitter Can Result in Unintended Consequences

By Frankie Kelly

Social media has revolutionized the world. Now, I know what you are thinking: “This blog post is going to be another pitch, begging young professionals to embrace the ‘new frontier’ of social media.” Well, think again. Believe it or not, the often-praised aspects of social media, specifically Twitter, have other less appealing effects on the world.

I cannot deny that Twitter is an amazing way to remain updated on hundreds of people and organizations while also being able to broadcast your own life at all times. Unfortunately, Twitter is also an amazing way to remain updated on hundreds of people and organizations while also being able to broadcast your own life at all times. The very same benefits that make Twitter revolutionary are starting to turn around and negatively affect users, specifically celebrities, politicians, and athletes who use Twitter carelessly.  The public can misinterpret tweets or Twitter users can be plain foolish, but either way these 140 character messages have caused trouble on a large scale, especially in the football world. Not sure how? Here are two examples.

1.     The Tweet That Started It All 

In August 2011, UNC defensive lineman Marvin Austin sent out a “harmless tweet” to his thousands of faithful Tar Heel fans, filling them in on his daily activity.

Is Twitter not the best? We get to see into the personality of our gridiron heroes. However, the NCAA did not find this tweet to be too amusing. They saw the declaration of a “shopn spee” from an amateur college athlete as a possible sign of improper benefits from agents or boosters. The wormhole was open, and the investigation was on. NCAA investigations eventually revealed academic fraud involving tutors, and suspensions rained down on the football team. Two years later, the effects are monumental:

  • The University has fired head coach Butch Davis.
  • Athletic Director Dick Baddour brought an end to his exceptional career.
  • Chancellor Holden Thorpe decided to step down amidst continued negative press.

And to think, it all started with a simple tweet.

2.     The Infamous NFL Referee Lockout of 2012

This past week, my beloved Baltimore Ravens beat the Cleveland Browns. However, the excitement around the Thursday night game that came down to the last play was eclipsed by a bigger story: the return of the normal referees. While the regular refs remained in a bitter lockout with the NFL, replacement officials took their place and chaos ensued. Calls were blown left and right, none so impactful as a very questionable ruling as time expired in the Green Bay vs. Seattle game that gave the Seahawks the victory.

In a world without Twitter, the Packers’ players may have lashed out in a post-game interview or an official statement later in the week, amounting to nothing really. However, we have been blessed with the powers of the “twitterverse,” and the disgruntled Packers let the tweets fly (expletives used in full force, only deleted by author).

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN, TJ LANG

TJ Lang ‏@TJLang70

F*** it NFL.. Fine me and use the money to pay the regular refs.

TIGHT END, JERMICHAEL FINELY

Jermichael Finley ‏@JermichaelF88

Come on @NFL this s*** is getting out of Control. Caused us a DAMN game. Horrible!

The list goes on and on. For more Twitter reaction from Packers and other NFL players, check out this FoxSports article. All of these reactions would have likely remained silent, or at least less public, if it was not for Twitter. The NFL has not decided whether or not they will give out fines.

Twitter is the Changing Factor 

Illegal benefits for college athletes is not a new phenomenon.  This unfortunate practice has undoubtedly occurred for decades, with only the most aggressive cases becoming public. NFL players did not just begin to criticize the league. Twitter has changed the landscape of issues like improper benefits and emotional post-game outbursts by providing an avenue for former private information to become public in a heartbeat. Tweets provide a way for people to express opinions and actions that would be better left unsaid.

So be careful! Understand the power of Twitter. While most of us are not big time athletes, you never know when an untimely tweet could cost you a fine or your university a two-year headache.

October 1, 2012 at 4:32 pm 3 comments

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