1. Be Respectful
It’s hardly fair for you to lose your temper around you connections – you’ll find that they rarely lose their temper around you. Even if you feel that you’ve been asked the same question multiple times, answer it with the same amount of cordiality and kindness. Treat others the way you would want them to treat you. And treat every encounter with a connection like you would an interview with a potential employer. This is where it counts. You can’t afford to slip up and lose your composure.
This also means that you need to be respectful in what you share and post. If something is inherently offensive to others, don’t share it on your wall or your feed. Don’t like anything that could make you seem prejudice or judgmental. Use your brain. If you had a PR director, what would they tell you to do? That’s what you should keep in mind when you work with connections – through social media and in-person.
2. Be Professional
LinkedIn is the best resource for employees when it comes to looking for a job and making connections. It’s a very professional website that lends itself to the business world. However, you need to maintain that level of professionalism on your other social media feeds, as well. If you want a job in a field that requires you to be neutral in the realm of politics, don’t post anything that shares your political views. If you want a job in an industry that requires you to avoid the subject of religion, don’t post anything that makes your religious views apparent.
You don’t need to completely ignore your feelings, emotions, or opinions – but you need be cautious about how they come across to others. So, we suggest that you maintain a PG rating at all times. At most, you might extend to PG-13. You can also give yourself a G rating. But you need to avoid anything that might cross into an R rating, and anything that might get you into trouble.
Don’t let your networking experience alienate you from job opportunities. After all, the point is for your social media feeds to help your chances, not harm them.
3. Be Intellectual
Share studies, psychological reports, and interesting articles. Encourage your followers to think, feel, and explore. Instead of sharing photos that don’t really mean anything in the long run, share information that lends itself to thought and originality. When your connections see this, they’ll be even more interested in what you have to say.
If you’ve ever watched a TED Talk, you know the feeling of being mentally nourished. It’s akin to the feeling of eating a satisfying meal. That hunger for information and creativity and thought is fulfilled. You want to be that source for your social network. You want to be the person who makes your followers think and engage with text, photos, graphs, and charts.
Maybe it isn’t necessary to be intellectual for every industry, but it certainly doesn’t hurt – and it makes you a more interesting candidate with a strong connection base.
4. Be Outgoing
As anyone who has ever applied for a job knows, it’s scary to put yourself out there for the first time. And, to be honest, it doesn’t get much easier. But it’s important for employees to understand the power of being outgoing. By giving connections the change to get to know you, you’re opening yourself up to dozens of opportunities. Don’t worry about what they’re thinking or saying when you aren’t around. That isn’t important. Don’t worry at all. Just interact. Be yourself. And be smart.
If you’re an introvert, this will be a new experience for you. Maybe that makes you nervous, but it shouldn’t. You’re going to launch yourself into an entire industry of connections and people. That alone should excite you. And, if it doesn’t now, it will soon. So, use the occasional exclamation point, get excited once in a while, and be open. We promise – it’ll help you along the way.
Jennifer is Career Coach, Motivator and Resume Writer, author of Get the Job of Your Dream book