You Shared WHAT!?

By: McKenzie

Social media is a huge part of our lives. We have reached a technological point where almost everyone is advertising themselves on one online platform or another. Whether you accept it or not, your online platforms are marketing who you are to anyone who comes across your profile. This includes, but is not limited to, friends, family, peers, coworkers, and employers. While technically your social media is not something employers should not be looking at it does not mean they cannot see it. For example, I recently learned in an HR course that more and more companies are using social media to engage employees. One of the companies I work for uses a Facebook group so supervisors and employees can offer and see other shift openings all across the different company locations. This is incredibly useful, but it means that every coworker and supervisor in my company can easily access a direct link to my Facebook. I personally am not concerned since I monitor my platforms for inappropriate comments, posts, etc. I, however, have seen plenty of people who should be concerned about the content of their social media.

Social media, mobile Facebook app on phone

I will admit I am a curious person and would argue that most people are too. Having worked with many staff at one of the companies I work for, I was very curious when their profiles were being suggested as “friends” to me. It is very hard, if not impossible, to not click on a coworker’s Facebook. I have seen the all the profiles of those who I work with directly (including supervisors) as well as other staff who work at varying locations. I was amazed at what people were willing to post publicly. I felt that I gained a lot of knowledge of the people around me. Not all the information I came across was pleasant so I was shocked that it was also public. If you have learned anything from what I have just told you then I hope it is this: you should assume anything you post online is now public information. You ARE advertising yourself. Post everything you do with the mental note that anyone could see it.

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Photo by: Unsplash | William Iven

Personal Branding – Knowing Yourself

By: Abby

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about how to brand yourself. Personal branding means figuring out who you are and communicating it to the world – or employers – often times, over social media. Personal branding is a very important part of the job search. It can give people a huge competitive advantage and help you reach your dream career.

Yet, it might be difficult to brand yourself before you actually know yourself. This process can be difficult for some.

I was reading a post by Kristen Fischer on personalbrandingblog.com that talked about this exact issue.

know yourself

Before you delve into your personal brand points, and your story, it is important to fully understand who you are and what you offer. If personal reflection doesn’t come easy to you, here are a few questions to spark this conversation:

  1. What do you value professionally and personally?
  2. What do you have to offer that no one else does?
  3. What do the people you work for, or your clients, need from you?
  4. What three things do you want your brand to emulate?
  5. How do you want people to perceive you?
  6. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?
  7. What can customers/clients/employers count on you for?
  8. What is your competitive advantage as an individual?

Take each question at face value and just start writing whatever comes to mind. Before you know it, you’ll be an expert in yourself and you’ll be able to spread the word about how employable you are with the world – or employers.

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Figuring out “Twitterverse”

By: Taylor

Recently I have been on a personal pursuit to figure out more about the so-called “Twitterverse.” I realized that I didn’t know much about how to make my profile stand out.  Like most college students I want to find a job as soon as I graduate, so it is important that I present myself in a professional and appealing way.  Today in my blog post I will pass on some of the great tips I have learned!

As expected, Twitter upholds many of the same rules as other social networking avenues. You always want to keep professionalism in mind. Recruiters could be looking at your page at any time. Make sure your pictures are appropriate and your posts should follow suit. Avoid posting photographs of the parties, alcohol, and other personal ventures you may choose to pursue. They say a picture is worth a thousand words; what do you want those words to express about you? Your tweets should also avoid messages with this type of content. In your bio, you could post links to your other online profiles such as a blog or your LinkedIn account. This will encourage others to find out more about your experiences and could also lead to them finding a resume!

So what should you tweet about? Professionals are not seeking students that only post about their favorite beverage, nor are they seeking students who only post about their dog. The key is a balance. When you read a great article or hear a great quote it is a great idea to post it. Talk about the field that you are hoping to work in someday – offer your opinion on something relevant, a favorite class you’re taking, or your career goals. If employers are your target audience, prove your legitimacy by posting appealing tweets.

Twitter is not just for following your favorite celebrities but can be a great networking opportunity. Furthermore, there are various pages that post job openings and tweet about career advice. Try following a company if you are interested in working for them in the future as it will help you learn more about their business. Through the recruitment and interview process it will show that you are interested in and knowledgeable about their business. Interact with a prominent figure at your company by retweeting things you find interesting that they post or offer your perspective.

I encourage each of you to consider your Twitter account seriously. By performing very basic researching, I have realized that it is a great resource for up and coming professionals. From branding yourself by making your experiences stand out to learning about employment opportunities, Twitter has the potential to be taken as seriously as other professional social networking sites. Good luck!

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Why LinkedIn?

By: Zach

Hey there! Glad to see you could take a quick break from Facebook to see the latest from the Peer Into Your Career blog, brought to you by your friendly, local Career & Internship Services! OK, so maybe you may not have been on Facebook, and you were working hard on that equation from your Mathematical Foundations of Bioinformatics class… yeah, maybe. At any rate, you know you’re going there. Even if it is for a five-minute break to see if Stacy posted those vacation photos from her weekend trip to Mexico… lucky her! But instead of Facebook, let’s click on LinkedIn and see where the adventure takes us!

Whether you have heard of LinkedIn or not, I can guarantee that if you spend just one of those ten “Facebook breaks” you take a day on LinkedIn instead, you will be benefiting quite a bit more. If your professors have not told you the secret already, I will lay it out for you here… After graduation, we face the “real world” and it’s tough! Graduation is quite the accomplishment, and we will have a lot to be proud of, but as we open that door to our future careers, so do millions of other fresh graduates, and you are guaranteed to be competing with them in this selective job market. Now the question becomes, “How can I stand out in the crowd?” We all know you have the talent and skills, but that is not always enough… The answer is LinkedIn!

If you have not already started a profile, I am not going to go through the first ten steps of setting up your account because you can find those resources just by walking in our office (LinkedIn Drop-ins happen in our office every Thursday, 2-4pm). I am here to convince you, and to explain how LinkedIn is going to help you stand out from the competition!

Let’s start with “What is LinkedIn?”

  • LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional online network with over 135 million members
  • Connects you to your trusted contacts and helps you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broader network of professionals

Other students are joining! Here is the “College Community”

  • 2.1 million college students are currently members of LinkedIn
  • 37,000 university groups (including UMD Career & Internship Services)
  • 200,000+ groups/organizations

Now you might be asking… “How does LinkedIn benefit me?”

  • Helps you build a network of professional connections
  • Find valuable information on companies. Which proves helpful during interview and informational meetings
  • Search for positions in your field. LinkedIn is the extensive resume we are not allowed to have on our one-page resume, so make it count and share what you’ve got!
  • Display your personal brand! The question still stands, “how are you going to market yourself to stand out in the crowd?” It’s a huge game of Where’s Waldo, and they are looking for your candy cane outfit!

What are the facts, and “Why should I join LinkedIn?”

  • Nearly 3/4 of professionals can be found and connected with online (eMarketer.com ©2010)
  • People with more than 20 connections on LinkedIn are 34 times more likely to be approached with a job opportunity than people with less than 5 connections (Anne Baber ©2010)
  • The earlier you start with your career explorations, the more of an advantage you have over your peers!

If you can take only one thing away from this post, it would be to remember that it is a tough world out there, and you need to prove how you are going to be a better choice for a position than your peer. How are you going to separate yourself from your competition? How are you going to market your skills and abilities so that it will separate you from the rest? The answer, LinkedIn! It is a dog-eat-dog world out there, but luckily you’re a BULLDOG!

Check out this infographic on how LinkedIn works

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