Join Lida Citroën for an in-depth discussion in this video Social networking online, part of Translating Your Military Skills to Civilian Workplace.
- So let's talk about another aspect of networking and that's Social Networking. Some of you might be pulling back now, going, I don't want to get into the world of online, but it's a reality of where we are. It's a reality of how we are competing for positions. And the reality is that hiring mangers, and recruiters and employers are looking through Social Networking to find the candidates they want to hire. So, by not participating in a strategic, intentional way you're missing out on the opportunity to connect with hiring managers and recruiters who might be looking for someone just like you.
Your goals when building a strategy to build a Social Network are to be findable. You want to make sure that your profiles represent you in the most positive light. But also represent you consistent with who you are today. For instance, if you have a profile on LinkedIn that shows you in military uniform and that was five years ago, that might not show a hiring manager that you're ready to go to work in the position they're hiring for today. We're going to follow similar principals in Social Networking that we have in in-person networking, where you're going to make sure that you're engaging with people.
You're having conversation. The social space is rich with conversation where we celebrate success. We inform people, and we make them aware of what we do and what we stand for. Your goal in any social media strategy is to be consistent. If I see you on LinkedIn, and Facebook, and Twitter, and Instagram, I want to know that I'm seeing the same person. So, you're going to start your stragtegy by making a conscious choice of how you want to be perceived. How do you want people to judge you or perceive you when they see your profiles? Do you want to be seen as someone who's a thought leader and innovative? Do you want to be seen as someone who's approachable and welcoming, and friendly? You get to design that.
Then, it's important to understand that not all platforms in Social Networking are the same. Some are more business and serious, like LinkedIn, and some are more social and casual, like Facebook. We're going to talk a little bit about those specific platforms in just a moment. But I want to drill home one really important point. Anything you type into a tablet, a cell phone, a computer, or any electronic device is public. If you are posting in a chat room or you are posting in a private message, or putting it on you wall, you are making that public.
And, anyone can see that. Privacy settings aside, it is too big of a risk to think that you're going to keep some information private if you're posting it online. So, let's talk about what some of the opportunities are in social media. One of my favorites is LinkedIn. When LinkedIn started in 2003, it was the place you went to look for a job. So, if your boss found you on LinkedIn, maybe not a great thing. But today, anyone who's in business has a presence on LinkedIn. My dry cleaners and my gardener have LinkedIn profiles. Many of the veterans that I work with are building robust and vibrant LinkedIn profiles. It starts with your profile picture.
Think about the image you want to send. Again, are you going to be dressed in a suit? Are you smiling to show that you're friendly and professional? Are you going into a career where maybe wearing a suit might look a little standoffish? So you're going to wear a polo shirt and maybe be photographed outside. All of those touch points come from your strategy. Think about the summary section. The summary section is the often most looked at part of your LinkedIn profile by recruiters. They want to know what you believe in.
What are you passionate about? What do you want to do? Don't hide that information down farther. Talk about the results. Talk about keywords that illustrate what you're really good at. And why they should take a harder look at the rest of your background. And, if you're thinking about a LinkedIn profile where you don't self-identify as a veteran, understand that a lot of recruiters are looking through LinkedIn profiles to hire former military. They recognize that the skills, and the qualities, and the character that you were trained with in the military are exactly the type of person that they're looking for.
So, if you don't self-identify or bring forward the fact that you have military experience in your summary or in the experience listings on LinkedIn you could be missing an opportunity. I would strongly encourage, on LinkedIn in particular that you tone down the military jargon. For a civilian who's looking at that it can get overwhelming, and it can actually make us feel like we're outside of the conversation because we don't understand it. So, bridge between military expertise and civilian language to make sure that your profile is relevant and compelling.
Next up, let's talk about Facebook. Facebook is the social side, right? It's where we get to show pictures of our family, and what we did on vacation. And who we are and what kind of things we're passionate about. But, also be careful, because it's easy to let your hair down, or your guard down too far. This is still a professional tool. And a lot of employers are looking at Facebook to see what you might post or comment on off-camera so to speak. Be careful of the connections that you make the information that you share, and the way that you're contributing.
Make sure it always represents you in the best light. Finally, I want to touch on YouTube. Because a lot of you out there are learning these tools that I'm talking about here, for the first time, and there is so much content on YouTube that's really consumable and easy. You can go to Ted Talks for instance, and get thought-moving content that maybe you want to bring up in an interview to show that you're progressive and you're thinking forward. Maybe you want to learn how to tie a Windsor knot, or what kind of an outfit would you wear to go interview in the Midwest.
Someone has done a YouTube video on that and it's a really consumable way of getting that information. If you build a YouTube channel, that could be a great way of letting an employer see what you look like, and sound like and interact like, because it's more than just on paper. Use these tools to build your presence. Think about where your target audience is, what they're using, and how you can best come across to create a perception of the person that you want them to see before they pick up the phone and call you.