Professionalizing Your Social Media, Part 2

OK, JOUR 444 job hunters, now that you’ve completed a social media audit and analyzed your social media footprint, it’s time to select the top social media channels you want to invest your effort and energy on.

You do not have to be active on every social media channel . Chances are, if you’re trying to be active on too many channels you’re probably not doing a great job at most of them given how much time and energy it takes to do it well for each channel. When deciding how many social media channels you want to use professionally, keep in mind how much time you have to dedicate to producing great content each week. Go for quality, not quantity.

Which Channels?

So, which channels MUST you be active on? This depends on the type of entry-level PR job you seek and what industry you’re going for; start your secondary research there. Here are some very general guidelines:

  • LinkedIn: all job seekers should have stellar profiles. We’ll go into this soon in class. There’s a lot of online content for those who want to get a running start.
  • Account Coordinators/Assistant Account Executives: these entry-level positions at PR agencies will typically involve a range of tasks including news media relations, B2B or B2C communications, and some aspects of social media.
    • Twitter is important for many PR agencies because journalists use it. Having a presence here could be very helpful.
    • If you’re aiming for lifestyle PR, you might consider Instagram or Pinterest.
  • Social Media Coordinators: these jobs will expect to see great content on a wider variety of channels. Again, do your research. Some companies may value Reddit where others value Yelp. These jobs will also expect you’re using social media management tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer, and that you understand social media analytics tools like those used in JOUR 342.

Prepping Your Channels

Once you’ve selected the few social media channels you want to focus on, you need to start building your professional personal profiles. This includes:

  • Name: make sure that the name you’re using on social channels is very close to the name that is on your resume and LinkedIn accounts. You want employers to find your social content easily. However, also be aware if you have a really common name, like mine, you might include your middle initial or some other approach. I use DebraJChico for most of my social channels given how common my name is. Consistency and linking to your resume/LinkedIn is key.
  • Photo: have a professional looking head shot on each channel. Again, do your research. What’s professional in the lifestyle industry may not be the same thing for the consumer tech industry. Look at the photos used by employees at the companies you most want to work for. Then, make yours slightly more professional.
  • Write an effective bio for the channel. See the resources below.
  • Keep it open: The professional social media channels you select need to be open for others to find and explore. If it’s all locked down, companies are not going to see your great content.

Now is a good time to talk to your in-person and digital friends. You want to make sure they know you are job hunting and that you’re focused on using these channels for professional purposes. Keep the weekend party photos to your strictly personal accounts that you have locked down (and, remember, they really aren’t that locked down so be cautious what you or your friends put online).

In Friday’s post, we’ll get started on building your social media content.


20+ Social Media Do’s and Don’ts Every College Grad Should Know from Top Resume.

How to Upgrade Your Social Media Presence for Your Post-College Job Hunt from Fast Company

6 of the Best Professional Bio Examples We’ve Ever Seen from Hubspot

If you have resources to add to this discussion, please put them in them in the comments.



Image credit:

About debrajchico

I teach public relations for Chico State's Department of Journalism & Public Relations. Over the 20+ years of my career I've worked in high-tech agency, governmental and nonprofit PR. I teach courses in entrepreneurial journalism, writing and publication design, PR strategy, advise our student-managed PR agency, and oversee our internship program.

Posted on February 7, 2018, in J444 PR Job Hunt. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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