What We’ve Been Reading

Summer is a great time to work on reading articles and checking out websites that could help you with your career development. By career development, I mean: choosing a major, changing a major, researching internship or job sites, preparing for applying to internships, jobs, or grad school, or thriving out in the real world in a big kid job. Here are some of the articles we’ve been sharing recently over on Twitter and Pinterest. Follow us @umdcareers (on Twitter & Pinterest) for great daily pieces of information from around the web.

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


Twitter – “140 characters of awesome” – Eric Stoller


Developing Your Online Presence

By: Megan

We all have a presence online. Whether you made an account to comment on an article one time or you are constantly posting on every site you have, you’re visible. Employers know that, so the problem then becomes what they see. Having an active online presence can help or hurt you in so many ways. Here are a couple of tricks for 3 of the sites that tend to trip people up.

Developing Online Presence


Privacy settings are always changing, so it’s important to check back in. They occasionally send out emails to let you know: read those. You’re probably already censoring what you put on Facebook for your family, but remember that what your friends post can be seen too. Set it so you have to approve tags, that way pictures that may be interpreted the wrong way don’t get to see the light of day-at least attached to your name. Your privacy settings should enable you to block an employer from seeing what’s here, but remember: this is still public.


Twitter is a quick way to connect with people. Say what you want, and be done with it. But in being short and sweet, you have to remember that gets lost quickly. With Twitter, you have to be constantly updating, replying, retweeting, and commenting. Set your accounts on news sites to tweet when you comment (and then make sure you comment what you want seen).

On Twitter, you can get quick updates on anything. This is an awesome place to make your voice heard. You can talk about your causes or what really makes you you. Connect with people in your field, or from your school. This is a great way to get some superficial connections to role models. Once you’ve gotten there, you can find them on another site.


This is like the professional Facebook. You get to write everything you wanted to about every position you’ve ever held, and people can look through it at their leisure. The groups are a good place to talk to people about topics you’d like to know more about, or just to expand your ideas. Remember, employers can definitely see this. This is a place to put your best foot foreword. If Facebook is a day out with friends, LinkedIn is a suit and tie. We’ve written quite a bit about LinkedIn, go take a look! You can also stop in to our LinkedIn Drop-ins Thursdays from 2-4pm to get some help.

Final tips for being online:

  • Know your audience (and your privacy settings).
  • Be active! Don’t let your account go dormant forever. That’ll undo all your work.
  • Remember: this is print. It doesn’t go away.

Of Possible Interest:

Read Megan’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 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!

Of Possible Interest: 

Read other posts by Taylor