A Twenty-Something’s Guide to Social Media: Part One

Whether you’re currently unemployed, working part time, roughing the 9-5, or work a million hours over time, as a twenty-something, you probably haven’t landed that dream job just yet. If you have, congratulations! And I say that with the utmost jealousy sincerity. The harsh truth of the matter is that it’s unbelievable how many qualified, recent college graduates (not to mention the thousands of dollars in debt that they’re in) are jobless. And trust me, I know that it’s not for lack of trying. There are a lot of grads out there quickly filling the few jobs that are available. You’ve probably heard your mother, grandmother, professor, Dean, and supervisor tell you that you need to “stand out” and “stay one step ahead.” But let’s face it, Grandma, searching for jobs is a whole new ball game in the 21st Century.

Consider this Part One – and yes – there will be a part two. This guide was designed to help twenty-somethings make the most out of their social media platforms. The older we get, the younger it seems the average Facebook, Twitter, blogger, and LinkedIn user becomes. Well, guess what? You’re not 18-years-old. Having a Facebook profile full of your latest party pics just isn’t going to cut it anymore.

Yes, as twenty-somethings, we are BUSY. Busy enough that it’s rare to actually see someone reading a newspaper these days (as my Journalism professors cringe…) But it’s true. Some of us are so out of touch with the world around us that it’s scary. So how can you stay in the loop with local, national, and world news on top of your already hectic schedule? How can you quickly search new job postings, stay connected and up-to-date with companies that you’re interested in working for?

By creating a Twitter account.

Yes, some people (and I’m guilty of it, too) use Twitter to share constant (not always exciting) daily updates. But that’s not ALL that Twitter is good for! Twitter is actually a really great way of staying on top of news stories, finding out about job opportunities, showing just how “with it” you are, and creating a personal platform. I mean, you only have 140 characters, right? That takes some skill. Looking for a job? Want to move out soon? Social media can help you. In fact, I’d say it will make you stand out… Make you impressive. How? Well, here are just a few reasons why twenty-somethings should be on Twitter:

Reading the newspaper or watching the news just got a whole lot easier. You can skim “headlines” of local, national, and world news centers. Find out what’s going on in the world and BE INFORMED. It doesn’t take long to scroll through your timeline, and if you want to know more, most of these tweets will contain links that re-direct you to their website, anyways.

It’s one of the BEST job-searching tools that I’ve come across thus far. You don’t even have to have your own account to search #entryleveljobs, #jobs, or #hiring on Twitter. Look for companies that you want to work for and see if their HR departments are tweeting. Follow job boards, leading professionals, agencies, companies, Vice-Presidents, and Directors in the industry that you’re interested in working in.

Communicate. Although you can just “look,” a more effective (and noticeable) account is communicating. The only way that you’re going to gain followers is by having conversations with people, showing interest, and standing out. Tweet directly to people – who knows – maybe you’ll even get a reply or a retweet! Brittni’s guide to proper hashtagging is not just for the entertainment world. If hashtagging properly, you’ll connect with other people who are also interested in what you’re tweeting about.

Remember that Twitter becomes your personal brand. Sure, you can delete your tweets, but somehow and in some way, that awful #drunktweet might just come back to haunt you one day. In this case, I’ve noticed that it’s becoming more and more popular to have two different Twitter pages. A public one for professional tweets – news, resume stuff, things pertaining to your industry, etc. with your real, full name. The other? A private account for friends and accepted followers only (and you might want to consider using a nickname).

And the list goes on. Twitter is not just for social media junkies, like us! It can actually be very beneficial to you as you begin jump starting your career. Do you have any Twitter-related success stories? Let us know! We’d be more than happy to share the good news with all of our TwentyTweeters πŸ™‚

***Stay Tuned: Part Two of this guide will feature another social media network that EVERY twenty-something had better join. And I’ll give you hint… It’s not Facebook…!

~E

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One Response to A Twenty-Something’s Guide to Social Media: Part One

  1. Always and I repeat ALWAYS (especially if you’re trying to succeed in anything that has to do with social media) make your account public. It may sound like a death wish, but no one can see what you’re saying (even if you mention them) if they are not following you. So it pretty much defeats the purpose, right?? Erika is proud example of a private turned public…and I’m sure she has many more followers/interactions to prove it! (Jenna…soon enough) πŸ˜‰

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