Many new college grads are realizing is that their college degree is lacking an important proficiency: a social media presence.  A friend of mine recently graduate with his BS degree in Finance.  He had a great lead on a job at a high tech company and things felt promising.  But the feedback he received was, “Spend some time developing your social network profile and then our recruiters will consider you.”  That’s not something he learned in college.  But, arguably, it should have been.

Why?  Because in a participatory culture, what others say about you is more important than what you say about yourself.  Step up, folks. It’s time to join in. 

If you’re on the social media sidelines, here are three simple steps to join in:

1. Define your niche.  Everything starts with your niche.  If you imagined yourself on a stage, what are you speaking/singing/dancing about?  Why would people want to be in your audience?  Who are those people?  These are the people you want to connect with.  These are the people who want to learn from you.

2. Start your LinkedIn profile, build your connections — and, perhaps most importantly, get recommendations from your connections. 

3. Create a Twitter account, start following interesting people who have something smart to say or share. 

4. Give back.  Social media is a two-way street. 

  • Create a blog and share what you know.  This includes ideas, reflections, tips, strategies (in all formats — writing, videos, PDFs, you name it!). 
  • Tweet relevant, thought provoking ideas and resources (in the form of links).

5.  Worried about privacy?  Then don’t share private information.

Go. Do it today.  Your future may depend on it.

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