If you’re a Generation X-er or older, you likely use social media to cut it in the real world. You may also use social networks for personal reasons, but it’s always with the understanding that you’re a professional.
But newer generations of college graduates began their social media experience as a very personal one. And the shift to using social media for career development may seem optional. But it’s a necessary evil at the very least, and can actually be quite beneficial to your future at the very best.
Here are a few things students should consider when starting to use social media professionally.
1. It’s Not the Same
Most teens and young adults have used social media to connect directly to friends and share personal experiences casual conversations with their networks. Yet interacting on social networks with an eye toward your career is different than doing so for purely personal reasons.
Using social media for professional purposes doesn’t mean you have to give that up. In fact, oftentimes it makes a person come across as more genuine and more approachable. But refining your language, highlighting content and information that’s more career-focused, and connecting and conversing with more people outside your immediate group of friends signifies that you’re interested in more than just the personal.
2. Power in Connections
Social networks offer endless ways to connect with a wide-range of people with little effort and to organize those connections — through lists, circles or groups — so you can use them more effectively.
Build each network to create relationships that can be nurtured through interaction and conversation. Bycultivating and organizing the network you create, you’ll be more effectively able to act upon professional opportunities.