Today’s guest post is by Leland Strott, NEW ’08
I first got into social media thanks to classes I took my senior year at Syracuse – Web Journalism and New Media Business. I signed up for them thinking they would supplement my Magazine Journalism career. Now, hardly a year later, social media is my passion and my main career interest! I work in Baltimore, Maryland, and two of my current jobs – an internship at an advertising firm and a part time social media position at a local sports network – were set up because of online interactions. My obsession with Twitter and social media have really paid off for me!
Even if you don’t want to tweet professionally, social media can connect you to a job in your chosen career field. I’m a firm believer that sites like Twitter and LinkedIn are a tremendous benefit to the job hunt by building a professional community. Beyond that, blogs and other networking sites can help you establish a presence in your field. Here are a few tips for doing so:
– Build a professional network. Follow experts and companies in your chosen field, especially those in the locations you want to work in. It’s beneficial to read articles they post, and catch up on any news they mention to see what issues are important to them, which means they should also be important to you. But don’t just follow their tweets – make your presence known by joining in conversations with them. Regular engagement is the key to establishing a more meaningful relationship, the kind of relationship that will get you a job!
– Go to Tweetups – it’s a good way to make a real connection with professionals around you. Once you’ve established an online connection with local professionals, networking events like Tweetups are a great opportunity to cement those relationships.
– Set up a blog to write about your career field and professional topics, to showcase your ideas, or provide examples of work you’ve done before. This is equivalent to a portfolio, and it can show potential employers how knowledgeable (and therefore valuable!) you are. Use a blog to fully develop ideas you may discuss on Twitter, for example, and you can send the link to show off your thoughts.
– On sites like LinkedIn and Brazen Careerist, join groups related to your career field and interests. Chime in on discussion boards and start conversations. It’s a common theme, but getting your name and ideas out there will help you get noticed.
– Don’t be afraid to request connections with people whose careers you admire – take initiative and send them a message to see how they got where they are. The worst they can do is ignore you, and at best, they could become a valuable career connection.
Last but not least:
– Make it known that you’re looking for employment. If you’ve taken the time establish yourself as a valuable member of your field, there’s a greater chance that people you have connections with will think of you first when there’s an opening in their companies. If you make a good impression online, don’t be surprised to see job offers even if you’re not looking!
Leland Strott, a native of Baltimore, MD, graduated from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in 2008 with a degree in Magazine Journalism. She is currently back in her hometown, interning and working part time while she completes a Master’s degree in social media from Birmingham City University. She hopes to turn her passion for social media into a full-time job in advertising or marketing.