Your online presence can tell a future employer a lot about you and can be an excellent resource in your job search. It can also hinder your chances of getting a job if you don't manage it properly.
Be aware that the image you are projecting on your social accounts may be seen by a recruiter. Google yourself to see what a potential employer will find if they search for you and update your accounts accordingly. Your online presence, including social media accounts, is part of your personal brand.
- Project the right image. Profile photos don't need to be professionally taken, but they should be professional in appearance. Avoid using photos with others in them or of things other than yourself. Be mindful of what is in the background of your photos.
- Be thoughtful. Use appropriate usernames and account handles. Think about the content and photos that you are posting and things that you are tagged in. Remove all negative, inappropriate, or controversial content, and be aware of the people and things that you follow or are connected to.
- Be consistent. Make sure that your information is consistent across all of your social media platforms and that it's kept up-to-date. Consider matching your formatting and color schemes, as well. This will help employers to recognize your brand.
- Show your interests. Wherever possible, highlight the things you are passionate about, your unique skills, and experiences that you are proud of. What makes you, you?
- Manage your privacy. Be sure that you update your privacy filters, wherever appropriate. Consider what you are allowing people to access when you connect with them or follow a page. Be familiar with each platform's privacy policies, as they change often.
With more than 500 million members, LinkedIn is a great resource for you to build and engage with your professional network. You can manage your professional identity, access thousands of job and internship opportunities, and foster relationships that will help drive career success.
Tips for Successfully Using LinkedIn
- Connect with Penn State and IST alumni. Request an informational interview to gain more insight into the job that they do and learn more about your potential career choices. Use LinkedIn's Alumni tool to identify alumni in your targeted area of interest or geographic location.
- Research companies by following accounts of employers that you are interested in. See who you may be connected to in that network. Review the job descriptions that are advertised in LinkedIn.
- Search for open positions using LinkedIn's Job Board, which is an excellent resource to identify relevant job and internship opportunities.
Review these resources from LinkedIn on how to build your profile, search for jobs, connect with alumni, and more.
Connect with IST
When you add the College of IST to your education profile, you’ll instantly be connected with other students and alumni of the college who share your educational pursuits and career goals.
Follow these steps to connect with the College of IST and its professional network:
- Log in to LinkedIn.
- Click on the “Me” dropdown in the top navigation.
- Click “View profile.”
- Click on the pencil icon to edit your bio.
- Under the Education section, click “Add new education”.
- Type “Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology” in the “School” field, and fill out any additional information you wish to share about your time at IST.
- Click “Save.”
One of the great benefits of earning your degree at Penn State is getting access to one of the largest living alumni associations in the world. Connecting with alumni provides you the opportunity to learn from individuals who have graduated from Penn State who can be resources for career and industry research. Often, they are eager to connect with current students to answer questions and provide mentorship as students learn valuable career skills. They can also be a source of immediate connection and community as you arrive on that first day in a new position.
LionLink is a resource provided and managed by the Penn State Alumni Association to allow current students to connect with Penn State alumni. These alumni have signed up on this platform specifically to be a resource for current students and recent graduates. It is similar to LinkedIn, but is only open to Penn State students and alumni.
You can also use the alumni tab within LinkedIn to build your network with alumni and to do research on organizations that you might want to apply to. Here is a great LinkedIn Learning resource that will help you to use this networking tool.