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Create a Winning Social Media Profile


Social media can be a very valuable career resource when skillfully managed. It can be an important tool to showcase professional talents and advertise an individual’s personal brand. It is also one of the most effective vehicles for networking. Whatever the site used (and there are a number of them), how you post, tweet or blog speaks volumes about who you are as an individual and professional and can ultimately define your reputation. 

Social media savvy and etiquette involves keen attention to detail and content. It takes careful planning and thoughtful measurement of posts, opinions, and blogs. The following are some considerations when designing your professional profile:

Network Navigation.  Know your audience and carefully decide what tool works best for your professional needs.  Facebook is still the number one social network on the web and has the benefit of reaching a wide user base (both personally and professionally).  Twitter continues to expand in popularity and is versatile for mobile web users.  LinkedIn allows users to maintain contact with their key stakeholders and associates, look for jobs, and gain professional endorsements and visibility.  As you are making your decision on what social tools work best, make sure you take into consideration what you are trying to showcase in terms of your professional talents, aspirations and connections. 

Perfect Profile.  One of the best ways to perfect your profile is to ensure that you have a complete profile.  Remember to highlight achievements in both your career and education and ask your mentor for input.   A good mentor can help you to create a winning profile and assist you with the current buzzwords of the trade. In addition, be sure that your profile photo depicts you as a professional.  

Daily Maintenance.  The impact and importance of content cannot be overstated. Whatever you blog, post or tweet is out there forever. Make sure that your personal image and brand is consistent with your professional one.  Be sure to post meaningful thoughts and ideas and reply to posts or blogs of interest to you. Make it a habit to check in at least once daily. The more you post and blog, the more you will get noticed. 

Positive Engagement.  Social networking on the professional level is no different from social networking on a more casual level.  The more you connect to the site and other professionals, the more you learn more about industry trends and future opportunities.  As social networking should never replace interpersonal relationships, it is important to be an active participant on these sites. One of the best ways to do this is to join groups that align with your interest and career development goals. Be sure to promote your honors and awards as well.

Gracious Gratitude. As with any social networking site, what you post, tweet, or comment on can become your legacy – both good and bad.  Positive praises and sentiments of gratitude are always winning images.  Also, when you acknowledge the accomplishments of others and offer assistance and recommendations, you are actually building yourself as a confident and generous professional.  


ASK A MENTOR

Social networking on a professional level can be starkly different from sharing photos, commenting on the day’s events, or sending out birthday wishes. Your mentor can be a great resource when creating or updating your professional social media profile. The next time you meet your mentor, plan to investigate the best strategies for maintaining a winning profile. Consider the following:

Is your profile and summary complete and up-to-date? 
Is it a personal reflection of you and your aspirations?
Is it descriptive and engaging?
Does your profile capture past employment and professional experiences?

Does the summary incorporate key phrases and buzz words specific to your industry?  

Has a current and professional photo been updated?

Is your page personalized? 
Is it a good reflection of your brand?

Are you connecting and posting regularly?
Daily?  

Are you getting endorsements? These are very important to a profile.
Are you giving endorsements?

Are you researching industry trends?

Are you writing or sharing post?

Are you making most of the Apps on various social media sites?