Posted tagged ‘LinkedIn’

Maybe someday?

April 23, 2009

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Top 5 Ways to get more connections on LinkedIn (for beginners)

April 23, 2009

You’ve accept the invitation, you’ve created a profile and you have 1 connection. Now what? First of all, let me congradulate you for getting this far and actually taking the first step into social media by signing up, but the whole point of social media is actually being social. Here’s how you can get more connections and continue to build your network:

1. Search out past and present coworkers– LinkedIn is a professional networking tool, so it makes sense to start gaining connections by adding your professional relationships. Make a list of 10-20 coworkers that you’ve had acquaintance-level or above-average connections with and search for them. If they have a common name, use the advanced search tool at the side to refine the location. Don’t be afraid to add bosses, managers, secretaries, clients, entry-levels and interns- you can benefit from connecting with all types of people in all types of positions.

2. Search out friends and family– Same deal as point #1. Cousin, uncles, grandmas (way to go grandma!), moms, mom’s friends- all great connections that are bound to have contacts in your field. Add away! I think I still have 20+ outstanding sent invitations.

3. Moniter connection update statuses– Your homepage basically gives you a status report of your connections everytime you log in of who your existing connections have recently connected with. More than likely, you will know some of these people. Log in every once in awhile to see if you can make any new connections.

4. Invite non-LinkedIn members to connect– Have a coworker that is a social butterfly? Send them an invitation to connect! If they know a lot of people, they can benefit from joining an online network and can, in result, benefit you.

5. Make sure you are available to connect with– Review your privacy settings to make sure you are easily accessible to others. Also, keep your contact information up-to-date in case any new connections would like to contact you.

Even if you aren’t currently looking for a job or new clients, continuing to build your network is a great tool to have when you are wanting to stay updated with trends in your industry and stay connected with the people of both your professional and personal life. Its not as hard as it looks- honestly, it seems like I gained 100 extended connections overnight by just connecting with my list of 20 coworkers.

The ME in Social Media

April 19, 2009
My social media evolution

My social media evolution

I started my involvement in social media way back in junior high with AOL Instant Messenger spending hours after school IMing friends and crushes that I had just spent literally 7 hours with and apparently had a lot more to say. I then graduated to my first blog with Livejournal in high school to write about my dance competitions and spring break adventures for my friends (aka my dance team members and fellow spring breakers). Facebook came in college and peaked my social media interest with all of its applications and abilities. A way to connect with high school friends and college friends AND post pictures?? I’m there.

As my interest for the communication industry grew, so did my involvement in social media. A lot of people see social media as completely overwhelming and often ask me where to start. My advice: Just try! It’s been my experience that as I start experimenting with one site, it often leads me to another, each being very different and beneficial in their own ways. You have to figure out what you want out of the social media world and go from there. Here is my breakdown of the major hitters for beginners:
1. Facebook: “the connector” the largest social network available in the US. Fairly easy to use as a way to connect with friends and family. It was originally created for college students, but is now accessible to any user with an email address. Not recommended for work-related connections as it can be a breeding ground for very personal, very “not work-friendly” content through pictures, videos, wall posts and applications. Businesses are beginning to jump on board creating “groups”, which are company pages facebook members can become fans of as a form of social media advertising.

2. Myspace: “the anything goes” site. You can create a profile and connect to people you know and people you don’t know, which has caused to be quite controversial due to the unfortunate online creepers. Virtually anything and everything has been seen or advertised on myspace: pictures, videos, artwork, music, comedy, poetry movies, etc. You have the ability to express your creativity in creating your own custom background skin, automatic music selection and overall feel of your profile. Also not recommended for work use because of the potential vulgarity.
3. LinkedIn: “the professional developer” Use this site to connect with coworkers, bosses, clients, industry workers and future employers. You can virtually display your resume, personal recommendations and professional connections for your work community. Great for getting a job or keeping up with current industry topics and discussions. I highly recommend joining specific LinkedIn groups which can range in topics from city, hobby or industry. Each group will send you conversation updates directly to your email allowing you to read up on or interact with people to discuss topics relevant to you and your job market.
4. Twitter: “the social butterfly” Use Twitter to create a customized microblog of valuable information and thoughts gathered from people all over the world. Accumulate “followers” by “tweeting” interesting pictures, links, videos, quotes or just plain thoughts in 140 characters or less andgain exposure in the twitter community. Useful as advertising for local businesses or the average housewife who wants to know what Ashton Kutcher is doing at all times of the day. Can be very time consuming, however, probably one of the simpliest forms of social media to use.

If you are new to social media, try it- you may find it easier and more rewarding than you think. Once you get the hang of it, you can branch out more and more to what peaks your interests both professional and personally. Good luck!

Top 5 Tips for Upcoming College Grads

April 15, 2009

I just did my taxes, March Madness just passed and it’s constantly raining, which can only mean one thing- it’s April and college graduation is springing upon us shortly. With the way the economy is, I really don’t envy college seniors and the career decisions they are forced into making, however, I can offer some advice being a graduate myself just 2 short years ago. Here are my top 5 tips for transitioning into the real world and landing your first job:

1. Review your facebook page

Remember all those frat parties and football games? I’m sure some more than others. While it felt like a good idea at the time to document every moment with your digital camera, you are now tagged in 500 pictures of you at all points of inebriation, which is a big turn-off to your future employers. It is an absolute fact: companies DO research their interviewees on facebook! I’ve done it myself! Take some free time to delete or untag yourself from inappropriate pictures. Also remember to go through your bios- if your activities include drinking games and “being fratty”, you may want to make some adjustments.

2. Get Linked In

Since you’re already on the computer to make your Facebook profile “job friendly”, take a few minutes to create a professional profile that can capture the attention of future employers in your industry. A continually growing favorite is LinkedIn, however, there are several other options that are more industry specific. Because you won’t have a lot of work experience, be sure to list position titles you’ve held in clubs and organizations as your previous jobs. The sooner you start to network online, the better chance you will have at connecting with a recruiter and setting up an interview. *Make sure to double and triple check your spelling since there is no spell check device on the site.

3. Review your connections

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “it’s not what you know, but who you know” and it couldn’t be more true. These days, the way to get in the door is to market yourself out to other and connect with people in the industry. If you have no idea where to start, start small. Start by reviewing your family’s Christmas card list, find anyone in your industry? Call them up! Your parents’ friends are great people to interact with about open positions, resume building, industry leaders, new corporations and other professional advice since they are often seasoned professionals who have worked in their field for 10 years or more.  Other starting off points for networking can be high school friends, college alumni and neighbors. Be ready beforehand with a list of questions about your industry so they can point you in the right direction. Continue to grow your connections from there and repeat. *Be sure to keep their contact info organized in your OWN address book for your reference, although Mom probably wouldn’t mind the phone call home every week to ask for your contact’s information for the 3rd time.

4. Create Networking Cards

While you’re continuing to network, people will ask you for your contact information and it would be considered bad form to write it on a cocktail napkin, even if you are entry-level. Order networking cards- they’re business cards for people looking for jobs. You can include your name, email address (avoid your postal address), phone number, social networking site URLs, personal blog and/or online resume link. Also, be sure to include the (general) title of the position you are looking to obtain so people know who to send the information on to. A set of 500 can cost only $20- a small price to pay to set you apart from your competitors. Pictures or logos can also be added for an additional fee.

5. Move out!

I firmly believe that everyone should live on their own for at least a year before they are 23 and hopefully all of your networking and preparation will make this step possible. When you live on your own (roommates or not) you are able to get a sense of Independence by paying your own bills, buying your own groceries, fixing your own leaky faucet, etc. Gaining responsibility in your personal life will give you great experience for taking on responsibility in your professional life. Make the financial sacrafices, find some cheap furniture and get to it!

Congratulations to all of you who are graduating this Spring and good luck in starting your future!


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