Networking, Branding and Social Media

Networking can be intimidating. Many individuals believe they cannot network because they don't "know" the right people. Everyone has a network, but you must learn to use it effectively. Start with faculty and family. Do they know the industry in which you want to work? Next, talk with friends on campus to see if they have friends or family who would be willing to speak with you. Don’t be afraid of rejection; you may have to reach out to several individuals before you receive a response.

Build your brand online and network with professionals in your field using social media that reflects your career or professional goals. Remember that many employers will search for your social media accounts, so make sure you adjust privacy settings accordingly. You may also want to create separate personal and professional social media pages.

But what do I say?

Write to the individual to see if they would be willing to speak on the phone or meet in person. This is often considered an Informational Interview. Make the conversation about the other person. Ask them to share their story and experience. How did they end up in this role? Next, ask for their insights. What suggestions would they have for someone looking to work in this field? Would they be willing to give you feedback on your resume?

Always make sure to send a Thank You to networking contacts.

Social Media

LinkedIn

  • Use Linkedin to make professional connections. Be sure to join the Miami University Alumni Association an other related groups to increase your connections
  • Drop in your professional photo and maintain professional content and contacts. 
  • Customize your headline with keywords and phrases that are related to your desired industry or profession. 
  • Request a connection with professionals you’ve worked with at internships or met through networking channels. Be sure to “personalize” your request by offering some information on why you would like to connect.

LinkedIn University (Alumni Tool)

  • Linkedin University offers great tips and updates for how to "Build a great profile," "Connecting with alumni" and more.
  • Search the university you wish to make alumni connections using the alumni tool.
  • Customize categories (location, company, etc.) to achieve desired industry or profession results.
  • Request a connection with alumni professionals who are involved in the industry/position you wish to learn more about. Be sure to “personalize” your request by offering some information on why you would like to connect.
  • Conduct an information interview.

Twitter

  • Use a professional profile photo. Your cover photo can indicate your interests.
  • Choose a Twitter handle that will be recognizable as you.
  • Tell your story in your bio: university, class year, major and keywords describing your career interests.
  • Follow people in your industry, whether recruiters, companies, or industry experts.
  • Add a link to your LinkedIn profile, your personal website, blog and/or online portfolio.

Pinterest

  • Drop your professional-looking picture on your main page.
  • Select a username that is consistent with your other social media platforms.
  • Create a bio that reflects your goals and brand. Who are you? Why are you using Pinterest? What are your professional aspirations?
  • Create boards using images and content to share your interests and experiences in your field.
  • Mark boards “secret,” if they are going to contain content you would prefer to keep private.

Facebook

  • Use a professional-looking picture—you can use the same picture on all of your social media pages.
  • Add the following to the “about” section: internship and other educational experience, a short bio and links to other professional social media.
  • Follow organizations you’re interested in to discover internship and full-time job opportunities, announcements about the company and potential contacts in the organization.
  • Adjust your privacy settings if you are going to engage with employers via Facebook.