Q. I heard you speak recently and you said most Millennials aren’t effectively engaging in social media. I try everything digital, but frankly find doing so is overwhelming and not necessarily helpful in advancing my future job prospects. Isn’t it a better idea to focus on my classes and see where this all shakes out once I get a job somewhere? -SB
A. Don’t give up on social media. When I discuss social media with students and young professionals, invariably someone shares your viewpoint that keeping up with the plethora of digital channels is daunting and ultimately becomes a time suck. But as I’ve said in several previous posts, you absolutely must engage in social media in order to enhance digital skills that increasingly are expected of both job applicants and employees.
Easy Solution: Narrow your focus to the top three social media platforms — Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. These are the three top global social media sites with the most credibility in the business world. Build and perfect your presence with these key platforms and you’ll have a solid digital base that impresses employers.
Few will argue that LinkedIn is the most important digital tool to help advance your career. I recently told students they could ignore their resumes and just focus on fine tuning their LinkedIn profiles. Most recruiters and prospective employers now rely on LinkedIn as the best way of locating talent. So, it is important for you to update your LinkedIn profile and expand your network. Set a goal of 500+ contacts, which puts you in the coveted “well connected” league of individuals on LinkedIn. Also, be sure to follow organizations that demonstrate your career interests. (Yes, you still need a resume. But the LinkedIn profile process helps you organize and write a more effective resume).
Let Twitter and Facebook demonstrate your career interests. Since goal setting drives actions and delivers results, shoot for at least 1,000 Twitter followers and 500 Facebook friends. Set new goals after you reach those milestones. If you own you own your own business or plan to do so eventually, create a Facebook page which allows you to more effectively separate career-related posts versus personal content. Once you build out your “Big Three” digital network, consider tapping some of the social media management tools that can increase your efficiency. Continue to experiment with other platforms, but stay engaged in those that employers consider most important. Right now, those are Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.