• Amber Welch

Social Media Guide For Young Professionals

out of all the courses that your university offered, "online presence in adulthood" was not one of them

After a four-year stint in university, a hoard of new roles and responsibility have been thrust upon you leaving nothing but confusion and stress in its wake. From navigating a new city or making your own doctor’s appointments, to understanding that “entry-level” does not always mean entry-level, the transition to adulthood is sprinkled with bits of failure and success. Although many young professionals are on similar paths to becoming an adult, the one foundation we share is our online presence with social media.

Social media gives us all a platform to relieve stress and find others who love Queer Eye as much as you do. Yet, the platform does much more than provide great memes and iconic gifs. It is no secret that social media can be important to career development. Various platforms can provide young professionals with an outlet to promote themselves in a professional context while ensuring that they are in touch with news and changes in their industry.

find your medium

LinkedIn is arguably the best social media platform for young professionals looking to make connections in their industry. However, instead of focusing on only one site or balancing several social media platforms, find a few that you like and that keep you updated on the latest industry news.

update your profile

As a young professional looking to make their mark on their industry, having an up-to-date profile and biography is a must. Your profile is a window into your experience and tells managers or recruiters where you are in your career and where you want to go. Sites like LinkedIn will tailor their results to find positions and connections that align with what they see from your profile. LinkedIn’s Easy Apply feature even makes applying to positions as simple as two clicks, as long as your profile effectively highlights your qualifications. Plus, connections often get notifications when you make a change to your page, so doing so can ensure that you are at the top of their minds—which can lead to job offers or recommendations, or even just an invite to grab coffee and chat.

join a professional network

If you are looking to expand your network and develop skills that will make your resume and application more competitive, joining a professional network is your ticket to enhancing your career. If you have ever experienced a mentorship, networking event or conference, you know that professional networks are your VIP pass to meeting industry professionals and rising stars.

To find a professional network or organization in your industry, visit Career One Stop’s Professional Association Finder and simply type in key phrases that align with your professional aspirations. From there, Career One Stop provides several links that feature professional networks and organization available to join.

Alternatively, LinkedIn features LinkedIn Groups which allows users with comparable career characteristics to interact with one another within a professional context. Looking for a free young professional network to join? Take the first step with the part two’s own Young Professionals Network on LinkedIn.

join the conversation

Social networking sites such as Twitter are not only key platforms for social interactions and funny commentary, but also places where intellectual conversations about your industry are being held. Not only do industry professionals start and engage in these discussions, but they are also willing to share advice with those that follow them. Use these mediums to share your own thoughts and introduce yourself to other professionals that are eager to see a new perspective on current industry challenges.

unplug from social media

Sometimes the best way to use social media is to not use it at all. Social media can be our escape from reality but at times, it can also misconstrue our ideas about ourselves and our path to adulthood. Your transition to becoming a well-rounded adult is not validated by the number of likes and comments you have, but by the way you feel about and interpret your journey. By taking a break and reevaluating your social media usage, and maybe even establishing boundaries or other rules, you can develop a fresh perspective on how you present yourself online.

Adulthood may take a while to master but social media can become your outlet to igniting the next phase of your professional career. By becoming more familiar with how your industry utilizes social media, you will have the keys to securing your next internship or full-time position.