160 Characters to Tell Your Story

Guest Post By: Ellen (Career Counselor & overseer of all social media for UMD Career & Internship Services)

I am a huge fan of social media. Then again, I have an undergrad degree in Communication and love everything about the process of how individuals communicate with one another. Of all the social media platforms available to us in this era of instant communication, my favorite is Twitter. As one of my favorite higher education social media people noted while he was visiting UMD this past Winter, Twitter is 140 characters of awesome.

Personally, I love Twitter because the information is quick and easy to digest. I organize all the people I follow into lists. I have lists like: Student Affairs, Twin Ports, Career-Related, and Travel. The lists are great because all the tweets I’m reading are about the same general subject. I’ve used to Twitter to connect with professionals in field, to live-tweet from events and conferences, follow conferences from afar, share my life, and much more. It was the easiest way for me to connect with other professionals in Higher Education from around the United States while I was in graduate school. Now that I’m in my professional career, it’s still the easiest way for me to do that networking and connecting.

Twitter Bio

Okay, now on to the real reason for today’s post about Twitter.

Your Twitter bio.

You have 160 characters to tell the story of who you are, what you do, and anything else you want to share. Sounds impossible, right? Fear not, here are a couple of tips to help you be on your way to crafting an awesome Twitter bio.

  • Include information about your major and/or your intended field. I have that I am a career counselor at UMD. For the UMDCareers account I manage, the bio is a condensed version of our mission statement.
  • Include relevant hashtags or Twitter handles. In the UMDCareers bio, I’ve included my own Twitter handle so that our followers can see that the UMDCareers account is managed by a real person. A possible hashtag we could use (if we had more characters) would be #UMDProud since it is widely used on the UMD campus. Another example is the UMD Admissions office. They use #futurebulldog in their bio as another way to tie with all of their online and print branding. That’s right, hashtags and handles can help with your personal branding!
  • Have a professional profile photo. Using the same photo as you have on LinkedIn will help with branding across your social media platforms.
  • Use the header photo to show off your personality, hobbies, and/or interests. Mine has a photo of a sunrise that I took. It conveys that I have an interest in photography and I enjoy the outdoors. For UMDCareers, we have a photo of Aerial Lift bridge, which is an icon in Duluth.
  • Update your profile as things change. This could include your major, intended field, finally graduating, or when you’ve gotten a full-time position.

Here are some snapshots from bios of people I follow. Great examples of how to tell your story and show your personality.

  • Career Counselor at UMD Duluth, traveler…photographer, & loves working in Student Affairs.
  • Higher ed geek who thinks new year always refers to August…Accidental techie, bookworm, hiker, and traveler.
  • Advocate for Awesome…Dislikes standing still.
  • Leadership Educator. Runner. Yogi. Speaker. Delta Zeta Alumna.
  • Aspiring archivist, lover of history.

Now it’s your turn. If you’d like help with writing your bio, make an appointment with one of our counselors today!

If you’d like, you can follow @UMDCareers or myself @Ellen_Hatfield.

Social Media in the Job Search

Social media. Love it or hate it, it’s here to stay. As a student or young professional, you can harness the power of social media to find opportunities, stay connected with contacts, find new contacts, research organizations, and learn about current events in your industry. How you use social media can create a picture of who you are to perspective employers. Make sure it’s an awesome one!

Digital Stamp: per Erik Qualman (the founder of Socialnomics) your digital stamp is a combination of what you post yourself (digital footprint) and what other people post about you (digital shadow). Here’s the easy equation:

Digital Footprint + Digital Shadow = Digital Stamp

I highly encourage you to check out Erik’s TEDx Talk My Digital Stamp for more information on the topic.

SoMe in Job Search

General Resources

LinkedIn

Twitter – “140 characters of awesome” – Eric Stoller

Pinterest

Social Media Tips from Dr. Seuss

By: Anna

Finding yourself on social media can be a daunting task. Defining who you are and who people see you as can follow you for the rest of your life. One inappropriate or offensive post can change your peers’ perspective of you forever. I think Dr. Seuss says it best when it comes to life advice. The children’s books aren’t just for the young; they truly have changed my perspective on life advice given through these stories.

SoMe tips from Dr. Seuss

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is you-er than you.” Be yourself and consistent in who you are. When tweeting or posting on social media sites, stay consistent with what you post. Anything you put on the Internet will come back to you. Be your unique self! By being consistent, you are creating your image and branding yourself across social media and it will help you become recognized!

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” Every connection counts! Networking with even one new person can lead to more opportunities. You never know what one new connection can lead to. Down the road that connection could become a job resource or even a good friend.

“I meant what I said, and said what I meant.” Never post anything on your social media sites that you would not want your mother to see. Only post things that you would be willing to defend in person. Be true to your beliefs and stay consistent on all your social media platforms.

“If you keep your eyes open enough, oh, the stuff you will learn! The most wonderful stuff!” You never know what you will come across on social media sites. Follow people and businesses you are interested in and learn valuable information from them. Join in on discussions and group conversations when possible!

“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!” Start branding yourself today! Start even with the smallest step of networking with new people. Every little bit of exposure will count and can only benefit you when done in a positive way.

***REMEMBER: Anything you say or post on social media cannot be taken back. Social media is intended to be a fun and exciting experience. Get to networking; you never know who you might meet!

Read Anna’s other posts

New Pinterest Boards

We recently completed a revamp of our Pinterest boards. They more organized and easier to navigate. Our Pinterest boards hold links to great career-related material from around the interwebs. We highly recommend that you check the boards out, repin content, like pins, and follow us.

Here are our brand new boards:

Revamped boards:

Boards that have been around for awhile and are still awesome:

We’ve been on Spring Break all week, so we’ll be back in action next week with all new posts!

Forget the Resume???

By: Hayley

I recently came across article, “Forget the Resume! Why a Focus on Social Media Footprint Wins” by Hannah Morgan on The Savvy Intern blog and it has some really useful information that you could use in your job search. The article discusses the importance of maintaining your social networking sites and how this can benefit you when you are applying for jobs. In the article the author really downplays the importance of your resume. According to the author many employers believe that resumes are misleading. They often make you look better or worse then you actually are and for this reason many employers don’t pay as much attention to your resume. They may use it to determine whether you possess the experience that is necessary for the job, but other than that they may not pay attention to what else is on your resume. While this may be true, it is still important that you have a resume that is polished and represents you in a good way. It is one of the first things that the employer sees and if your resume is below par they may pass on you entirely.

Despite the resume bashing, this article does make an excellent point though; more and more employers are looking at social media to evaluate their candidates. They want to know what kind of a person you are, how you spend your time, and what you think about. Your social media accounts offer a great insight into you, but if your sites are not professional or have pictures or posts that are not flattering it could prevent you from being offered an interview. My best advice for this is pay attention to everything that you put on your sites and anything you are tagged in and take down anything that portrays you in a negative way. It’s great to have pictures of yourself having fun with your friends and it’s better to keep the pictures that you are not so proud of off your sites. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is excellent and build your network as much as you can. Also, maintain a Twitter account by following a variety of people if your preferred industry and contribute to the conversation. The more active you are on your social networking sites the more the employer can learn about you. You want to be remembered, for good reasons, and if there is nothing on the social sites except your profile they can’t tell much about you. All of these social sites are fun and easy to set up so use them to your advantage.

Related articles of interest

Read Hayley’s other posts

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 that 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 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.

Here are a few other resources to help you:

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!

Read other posts by Taylor