How to Build Your Professional Network Online While in College
Many college students seem to have some crazy idea that they will easily find a brillant, high-paying job right out of college. Landing the perfect job requires a little more hard work and dedication than just completing assignments for your 4.0 GPA.
Building connections and creating a network is a steller way of preparing yourself for finding the perfect job!
- Connections can inform you of job openings or help to get you noticed.
- Your network can act as advisors when you have assignments that are outside of your area of expertise.
- Strong social media connections are a magnet for high paying employers. For an employer, you will be their walking billboard. Your network is an extension of the value that you will hold within their company.
3 Social Media Networking Sites You Should Have & Utilize During College
LinkedIn is considered to be the Professional’s Networking Site and for good reasons. For the most part, members of LinkedIn are professionals in various fields that use their profiles to showcase their skills, connections and experience. As you start your LinkedIn profile, list all of your accomplishments, experience and education. As you gain more accomplishments, be sure to add them onto your account.
Twitter functions as a short 140-character message sent out to the masses. Create a Twitter profile targeted towards your future career and Tweet relevant content. As you network grows, the hope is that you will have a large number of followers interested in your line of work. However, there is also a ton of junk on Twitter. Avoid using the Twitter account that you will provide on your resume to Tweet random junk about your boyfriend’s old girlfriend or other random bits of gossip. It’s a poor reflection of you and not something that will impress a future employer.
Google+ tends to be a little bit more spamming, but it’s a great place for aspiring professionals to build a network outside of the normal acquaintances.
Where to connect with your classmates, but not for the purpose of sharing with your future employer:
In all reality, Facebook is the place where people tend to share details of their everyday personal lives. While connecting with your college friends is great, don’t make the mistake of sharing all this information with a future employer and keep an eye on your privacy settings. The old adage, “You are the company you keep,” rings true for potential employers looking for right recruitment. As there are no current Federal laws preventing employers from using Facebook as a reason not to hire you, it’s best to be aware of what you like and put on your page.
However, use Facebook to your advantage and post a comment when you are looking for a job. Someone may know someone who knows someone and you may land your dream job!