Wednesday was a big day for me because I planned and spoke at a school-wide workshop, “Using Social Media in Your Job Search.” Then, I hosted my first Twitter chat to carry on the conversation with #IQSocial, where I asked my fellow Intern Queen Campus Ambassadors to share how they use social for internships and career planning. I got a lot of great feedback on the tips I shared in my talk and on Twitter, so I’m happy to summarize what has brought me success thus far.
Develop Your Online Presence
First things first. Before you can start interacting with potential employers, you need to build up your online presence. To stand out, create a website for your résumé and a brief introduction about yourself. There are several free options for this. If you think you’ll be blogging, a WordPress blog is the easiest and most industry standard platform to use. If all you’ll need is one page to give a quick overview and link to ways to connect with you, About.me would be a better option. Finally, check your overall online impression with Vizifiy. You can even use this as your main site by adding facts and customizing the information you want to share.
Next, to demonstrate your personality and interests, post about what matters to you. Share news and information relevant to the industry you are trying to break into. Talk about classes and extracurriculars that can relate to your field.
Social media isn’t social when it’s all about you. Beyond sharing your own opinions, join in on existing conversations online. Find out what hashtags are widely used on Twitter within your industry so that you can track what people are saying and start to connect with them.
Follow potential employers on Twitter and Facebook and interact with their posts. The key here is interaction. Passively following along on what the company is up to is a great start; bringing this knowledge into interviews is crucial. Beyond this, however, liking, sharing, tweeting at, retweeting, commenting–the list goes on–will show serious interest. The company will notice your name consistently coming up in their social feeds and this can put you at the top of their list when their looking at candidates. If you’re sharing insightful comments and have already developed appropriate profiles on LinkedIn and the site you created for yourself, you’ll also give the employer a chance to get to know you in a positive way before you meet in person.
Networking with employers in this way can really put you ahead of the competition, but don’t stop there. It’s equally important to maintain relationships with fellow interns and students, and of course alumni. Share different information on the appropriate social platforms that will help you keep in touch of each of these groups uniquely.
Hopefully by now you know how to make an outstanding, quantifiable resume. Transfer this to your LinkedIn profile and make connections with as many people as you can. Don’t forget to utilize advanced search to look for alumni connections in particular regions and industries.
After you network with someone in person, make sure to keep the relationship going online. To really impress people, connect with them the night you meet them. Make sure to send a personal and thoughtful message along with your invitation to them.
There are several ways to keep yourself top of mind with the people who you are connected to on LinkedIn. Join groups that are relevant to your college, major, and potential job field. Actively look through the posts in these groups and even make posts of your own if you have blog posts or articles you can share. In addition, give recommendations and endorsements to people who you’ve worked with. There is a great chance people will reciprocate and recommend or endorse you back. If they don’t right away, don’t be afraid to ask.
There are dozens of people to follow who are constantly tweeting free advice and job and internship listings. A few I find most helpful are @internqueen, @internships, @InternMatch, @YouTernMark, and @earlycareerists. To get more specific information, find the local and industry focused handles that are relevant to you. For example as a New Yorker interested in marketing I follow @nycinterns and @nymarketingjobs.
Finally, participate in chats that are specifically geared towards careers and internships. This is another source of finding influential and useful people to follow because the people who lead or participate in these chats frequently are full of great tips. These are a few great chats to check out: