Traditional or online programs for graduate school are intense. It will change your lifestyle in many ways. Some of these changes are positive like meeting new people going through the same graduate school experience or delving into a field that interests you. Some changes can be difficult, such as juggling your personal life, work and studies as well as figuring out your financial aid eligibility. Many times, the graduate school experience can be very isolating. The key is to figure out a way to balance your personal life with the new contacts and demands of grad school. With social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, graduate school students can now sort out their social life, research and careers.
As a grad student, social media and networking sites can provide new opportunities to source information, collaborate, and share their research. And for graduates, blogs and social networks can be used for careers research, job seeking and marketing to future employers.
Many of us already use sites like Twitter and Facebook for social reasons. And those of us looking to connect with more professional-minded contacts use LinkedIn. But are there other ways to use these social platforms to help launch your new graduate career? And are there other professional minded social networking sites you can use? Here is a list of 7 social networking sites that could boost your graduate school career:
Take advantage of Google Plus Profile, Pages and Authorship. With Google Plus, you can create and join organization circles such as universities. As a student, you can participate in an online community that facilitates information sharing within your field of study. Also, you can easily link to graduate school notifications, events and other items of interest to graduate students. Also, by using Google Authorship, you can reach a larger audience for your writing by linking your Google Plus Profile to your blog posts, online articles and publications.
With over 90 million members worldwide, LinkedIn allows you to be introduced to and collaborate with other professionals from different employment industries. There are groups for different regions and institutions such as universities. Your LinkedIn page should promote you effectively by mentioning your career goals and showcasing your on-line CV.
Relax! You don’t have to tweet, you can just follow companies, people or subjects that interest you. Get insight into current issues and concerns from what others tweet. You can even follow graduate recruiters giving out information about organizations and job vacancies. If you do tweet, you can show your interest in a particular subject or career.
Do you present better in person than on paper? Tell people about yourself and what you can offer on a “video CV” like this one at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12194581.
Beyond sharing friends and photos, Facebook can grow your professional network by participating in Facebook Groups. Facebook Groups allows Facebook users to connect, discuss and network with each other within the context of a common interest or topic. Just find the right group for your professional goal or topics that interest you, click ‘join’ and start networking. As you build your professional network on Facebook you’ll be able to use those contacts for information gathering, job hunting, professional development, and more.
Writing your own blog can demonstrate your writing skills, your knowledge of a particular subject, and your opinions to a wider audience. Many graduate recruiters read applicant blogs so be sure you are presenting the right image. A good place to start your own blog is WordPress, Tumblr or Typepad.
Ready to bring your online presence offline? Professional Networking Meetup Groups help groups of people with shared interests plan meetings and form offline clubs in local communities.