Social Networking: Marketing Yourself in a Positive, Professional Way
By Sammi Knutson, Rachel Marti, Stephanie Peterson, and Danielle Saxe
Today, the majority of college students and alumni are a part of the social networking phenomena. We often hear that using Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter can potentially damage a reputation when job searching. For example, many employers will Google an applicant's name and examine the links to these famous social networking sites. However, you can use social network sites to positively impact the chances of receiving the job of your dreams.
While Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter are the top three social networking sites around the world, many users do not assume that their employer or potential employer will be looking at their profiles. Adam Mallek, LinkedIn member since 2008 and marketing major at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, explained, "Do not include anything (on your profile) that you would not tell an employer during an interview. Social networking sites will be visible to the entire professional world so do not include any information that could be detrimental."
Mallek explained that while he uses Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter, he also uses LinkedIn to effectively market himself in a positive way to other professional users.
LinkedIn has many features to help communicate and network with its 85 million members. Other than creating a profile clarifying professional experience and achievements, LinkedIn is a professional tool that can assist you in creating your own personal brand that will be appealing to employers, including executives from all Fortune 500 companies who are LinkedIn users. LinkedIn allows you to do the following:
- Manage the information that's publicly available about you as a professional
- Find and be introduced to potential clients, service providers, and subject experts who come recommended
- Create and collaborate on projects, gather data, share files and solve problems
- Be found for business opportunities
- Gain new insights from discussions with like-minded professionals in private group settings
- Discover inside connections that can help you land jobs
When joining a social network, you start by creating a personal profile that summarizes your professional qualities and aptitudes. When using LinkedIn, you have the ability to store and manage professional experiences and accomplishments for future job searching.
"As a person becomes more involved in LinkedIn, he or she can begin joining groups and answering questions in discussions. This will eventually lead professionals to view you as an expert in that field and many contacts can be made through that expertise," stated Mallek.
Mallek believes that the only disadvantage of having an account on a social networking website would be not keeping it updated. If used properly, "LinkedIn allows users to brand themselves as professionals before they graduate as well as to continue to brand themselves after graduating. I strongly recommend that all college students have an account."
If you would like more information about LinkedIn, please visit press.linkedin.com/about. By setting up an account and using your profile effectively could be just the tool you need to land the job of your dreams.
From left to right: Sammi Knutson is a senior management major from Rice Lake, WI;
Rachel Marti is a senior accounting major from Adams-Friendship, WI;
Stephanie Peterson is a senior marketing major from Duluth, MN; and Danielle Saxe is a senior marketing major from Eua Claire, WI. They wrote this article for their BCOM Advanced Writing class.