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How to use Social Media for Professional Networking

October 1, 2021

Social media has evolved over the years, and has moved away from the ideology that social media platforms are just used for entertainment purposes. Social media networks have become a critical part of how we communicate and interact with each other. It has given the opportunity to expand your professional network through mutual friends and giving an alternate platform to network alongside meeting new people at social gatherings. Social media platforms have evolved to be more business-oriented and provide users the opportunity to connect with potential employers. We also are aware that users are able to generate profits through social media platforms such as providing content that multiple viewers are drawn to. This article moves away from the entertainment aspect of social media, and focuses on how we can use social media platforms to increase our network base to enhance our professional influence. We are going to take the misconception that social media is only primarily used for entertainment purposes, and highlight key attributes that can help you connect with the right people to further your professional career. We will now look at key factors that can positively influence your professional career. 

 

1. Utilizing Linkedin can facilitate more opportunities.

 

Having a Linkedin profile that is constantly updated is essential in opening up networks that could land you an internship or job you have been searching for. Users should spend sufficient time in developing a profile that stands out such as hiring a professional photographer or going out and getting professional headshots to enhance your Linkedin profile. Treat your Linkedin profile like your resume that could make or break the opportunity of you landing an interview for a job. Nowadays almost everyone in the College of Business at Idaho State University has a Linkedin profile, but when it comes to knowing the ins and outs of how to get the right connections and build your profile, there are challenges faced. Individuals need to tailor their profile in providing the most necessary information that aligns with a specific job or career focus that they are looking to get into as employers will search for these attributes and connect with people that fit the particular job description. Additionally, connecting to people you already know can expand your network with mutual connections that increases your chances of finding the right connection that could land you a job opportunity. If you have worked with people in an internship or current job, you should use the recommendations feature to show that you vouch for them and this could positively impact your profile with recommendations as well. Finally, we would encourage users to spend a lot of time knowing the details behind the search feature when job hunting as this could give the latest job postings and being in a continuous search of finding the right networks could increase your chances of getting in touch with the right connection.

 

2. Use you resume to enhance your Linkedin profile

Job seekers should not have the assumption that the Linkedin profile has dismissed the traditional resume, and these individuals are focusing more on their Linkedin profile and leaving their traditional resume untouched. The best way to go about both of these is align your LinkedIn profile with your resume.. One should be more in depth, but innovative LinkedIn profiles have their resume attached to the top of their profile where employers can easily click on their traditional resume. Some researchers suggest having a brief resume, but a detailed LinkedIn profile as employers spend approximately 10 seconds going over a traditional resume. Another way to go about your traditional resume and LinkedIn profile is that they can be used to enhance each other such as having the QR code on your traditional resume that links potential employers to your LinkedIn profile by scanning with any mobile device. 

 

3.Research your current connections, they are more than just a number

Utilizing your current contacts is extremely important for connecting with new people.  We are not just talking about focusing on your current contacts on your LinkedIn profile, we are talking about going through every social media platform where you have an active presence and connecting with current individuals in communicating your career path desire and exploring these networks in a way that could help give you opportunities towards a desired professional career. Most people are unaware of the exact number of people they are connected to on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. Have you ever spent some time just going through each contact that you are connected to on these platforms? You may be surprised to find people that you have been connected to for years that may want to connect to you in having a shared desired career path. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of keeping in touch with people that you have either gone to school with or worked with in the past as you don't know where they will end up and they could have an opportunity where they could help you get a foot in the door.

 

As we are living in a digital world, it is important to keep up-to-date on different ways employers are reaching potential employees as this could be the difference between finding a dream job and having missed opportunities. We encourage students to actively engage with current connections and add connections weekly on platforms such as LinkedIn as an active presence will get noticed. If you have any questions or concerns on how to expand your use of platforms such as LinkedIn to enhance your professional career, Idaho State College of Business has a Professional Development program that will guide you on the right path to set yourself up for the best opportunities. Alongside elevating your LinkedIn profile and connections, Professional Development program has an outstanding team dedicated to helping students can find internships, polish resumes and find the perfect career through the College’s Professional Development program. Please contact John Ney, Director of Professional Development, (208)282-3637 | neyjohn@isu.edu, if you would like to expand your connections through LinkedIn or improve areas of your resume. 






    

 

 Work Cited


Sreenivasan, S. (n.d.). How to use social media in your career. The New York Times. Retrieved September 30, 2021, from https://www.nytimes.com/guides/business/social-media-for-career-and-business.