A young professional’s insight and perspective of the millennial thought process behind social media presence in today’s social age.
As a 21-year-old millennial, I grew up in the age of digital communication and social platforms. These capabilities were once seen as a way to interact with colleagues or catch up with long-lost friends. I remember sitting in my business class in high school (2010) learning about how companies were creating Facebook pages and other social profiles alike. It was a radical thought to me – why were companies creating free profiles on a social site? Isn't that cheapening their brand? Little did I know that internet reputation management on these social platforms would not only revolutionize the marketplace, but more importantly, the workplace.
I've had the privilege of attending social media expert Alan Katzman’s session on social recruiting where all of my previous notions about social media flew out the window. He changed my view by teaching amazing social media skills. Since I have learned and implemented the elements Alan presented, I have seen a dramatic difference in my social media presence and online reputation management.
SOCIAL MEDIA: FRIEND OR FOE
When on the job hunt, social media is showing employability skills, it is not the enemy: that was a foreign concept to me. As Millennials and young professionals, the only advice we receive about our social profiles is to make them private and keep them appropriate; red solo cups in pictures are now a faux pas and a risk employers aren't willing to take. If you are using your social platforms purely for interacting with friends and sharing cat memes, you're wasting your time.
GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO LOOK AT
How long will a recruiter look at your resume? A few seconds. How long will a recruiter look at your LinkedIn and find your other social profiles? Closer to 15-20 minutes. If we as Millennials give them something to look at, we take full advantage of the most helpful tool our generation will ever know.
HOW I DID IT
When I first heard Alan’s talk, I was surprised at how simple it is to achieve results, and here’s what I learned. First, and arguably most important, I filled my LinkedIn profile with the items I wanted to show off, especially since I don't have to limit my content to one page like a resume. I have a summary, work experience, leadership experience, certifications, and recommendations. Tip: If you want to gain credibility in your position, ask your employer to write you a recommendation. Next, I took a good look at my Facebook profile. I got rid of pictures and content that didn’t contribute to my image or overall goal, and started posting about things that matter to me. First, I posted about a leadership conference I went to, and that received a lot of positive replies.
Twitter is another important tool when it comes to building yourself as a professional in the workforce. Although this is a work in progress, I have been able to follow certain companies and accounts that I admire and engage with their content.
As a result of my social media efforts, I have been contacted by numerous recruiters, followed by social media accounts that coincide with the content I'm publishing, and I'm continuing to gain credibility in a field I have just newly entered.
Therese Clancy is a marketing major, communications minor at John Carroll University. As she finishes up her senior year in college, she looks forward to her career in marketing and advertising. Inquiries can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.linkedin.com/in/theresecla.
Another perspective from a millenial: College and Employability Skills in a Social Age