It’s official – Valentine’s Day is over this year. Some of you may be disappointed that you no longer have a romantic night with bae to look forward to, and some of you (like me) are just excited for all the chocolate on clearance at Wal-Mart. Either way, love is still in the air, and you should use it to love yourself. Especially your digital self, since we’re all glued to our phones anyway. (We might as well be productive on there.)
1. Make a LinkedIn Account.
Photo courtesy of Google Images: http://platformcommunications.com.au/linkedin-business/
Until this year, I never bothered making a LinkedIn account, but I wish I had! LinkedIn is like Facebook and your resume had a baby and is a great tool to find companies you’d be interested in working for. Sometimes companies will even reach out to you in return! There are also groups you can join to network with others in your field of interest, and there are lots of interesting and helpful articles, posted by professionals, to help you be successful. Plus, it’s FREE.
2. Create an online portfolio to showcase your work.
Photo courtesy of Google Images: http://fuelthemes.net/beautiful-wordpress-portfolio-themes/
Especially if you’re pursuing a job that involves visuals or lots of writing, it’s hard to tell if you’re any good at what you do if no one can see any examples of your work. Online portfolios are a great way to showcase projects from class or independent work of your own, all in one place. Plus, by picking out the visual aspects of your portfolio, you get to show off your personality, and that may help you stand out! Wix and Weebly are both free services that can help you get started, even if you’ve never made your own website before.
3. Clean up your social media to avoid discouraging potential employers.
Photo courtesy of Google Images: http://truebluecommunications.com/spring-clean-your-social-media/
I’d like to think that most people have a BLAST in college, but that doesn’t mean that your future boss wants to see pictures of you drinking wine out of a bag or passed out on the floor after a night of adventures. Before sending out any job applications, now is a good time to take any “incriminating” photos down, clean up your language, or at least set your profile to private. Keep it classy!
4. Learn the ins-and-outs of different social media platforms to get the most out of them.
Photo courtesy of Google Images: https://businesstoday.co.ke/top-social-media-influencers-kenya/
I’ll be honest – I still don’t have a Twitter. I guess I justify it by being too addicted to the other apps on my phone. But being able to manage a social media account efficiently is a really valuable skill to employers, especially among our age group. If you can figure out how to create quality content that also has high engagement, that may just get your foot in the door.
5. Take some time away from the screen, too.
Photo courtesy of Google Images: https://trucosdestardollporanaaba.blogspot.com/2015/01/beach-tumblr.html
The Internet is an amazing tool that has made the unimaginable possible. But what’s really going to help you in the long run are the experiences you gain offline. So, go out there and make something incredible or spend some quality time with the people you love. I mean, otherwise, you wouldn’t have anything to post about anyway.
Looking for help with your professional online presence? JMU has just the place for you! Digital Communication Consulting (or DigiComm, for short) in the Student Success Center is the place to go for help with personal branding, online portfolios, and making your work samples shine. You can work one-on-one with a peer consultant who can help you get started or give you feedback and advice wherever you are in the process. I can’t recommend them enough. Visit their page at jmu.edu/digicomm/ for more information.