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Social Media Tips for New Grads by The Creative Group

If you’re a recent graduate hoping to land a PR job, you have some more homework to do! In addition to developing a strong resume and crafting customized cover letters, make time to polish your social media presence. Following are tips on using networking sites to help you in your job hunt:

  • Clean up digital debris. When you apply for a position, assume that hiring managers are going to search online for information about you. Google yourself, check privacy settings in your social media accounts and delete any questionable content. The same snarky comments or embarrassing photos that amused classmates could lead prospective employers to question your professionalism.
  • Link in. You’ve been on Facebook and Twitter for years. You have a WordPress blog. You joined Google+ and Pinterest before they were household names. But if you’re not on LinkedIn, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. It’s the world’s largest professional networking portal with more than 187 million members in over 200 countries and territories (as of September 30, 2012).
  • Fill in the blanks. Professional networking sites like LinkedIn provide space where you can summarize who you are and your specific career goals. An incomplete profile is a missed opportunity. Craft a clear and concise bio that highlights your relevant work experience, internships, education and objectives. Help employers and recruiters find you by using keywords common to the PR industry (like media monitoring and crisis management) when describing your skills and interests.
  • Showcase your expertise. It’s fine – and expected – that a portion of what you share online will be of a personal nature. But keep the “what-I-had-for-lunch” updates in check. From a job-seeking standpoint, you’re far better off writing about industry trends or sharing links to noteworthy articles.
  • Use discretion when connecting. Networking sites make it easy to reach out for job leads, introductions and general career assistance. But proceed with caution. You won’t get far if you inundate contacts with requests but rarely return the favor. Be gracious when asking for help, offer prompt appreciation and look for ways to reciprocate. As the saying goes, give and you shall receive.
  • Build your brand. PR professionals help companies build brand awareness. But is your personal brand imaging consistent and cohesive? For instance, have you secured the same (or a similar) user name or vanity URL for all of your social media accounts. If you’ve committed to using social media primarily for professional purposes, you might also sync your Twitter feed with your LinkedIn or Facebook accounts.

One final tip: proofread. No matter how witty or insightful your posts, you won’t be taken seriously if they’re full of typos. Mistakes are magnified, for instance, when you only have 140 characters to work with. Slow down and proofread your status updates and tweets. While the Web is a more relaxed medium, the basic rules of writing still apply.

The Creative Group is a specialized staffing service placing interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals with a variety of firms. More information, including online job-hunting services, candidate portfolios and TCG’s award-winning career magazine, can be found at group