Social Networking for College Students
By Angelita Williams
Social networking is both fun and rewarding, especially for college students. You can connect with old friends, make new ones, stay up to date with what’s going on and keep everyone in the loop about the latest in your life. It’s also an excellent tool for building your online reputation and establishing yourself as a resource for future employers. We’ll take a look at some of the tips, cautions, and uses you should consider when using social networking.
Be an active participant. Work to create positive content and brand yourself by showing interest in your field. Post links to stories, join conversations, and make connections with those that are useful to your career. Be sure to take the time to give back and be a part of the content that others are creating as well. Social media is a two way street, and you should always focus on achieving a good balance of give and take.
Be aware of what you’re sharing. College may be a time for crazy parties, but be careful what you let end up on your Facebook page. Drunk Tweets, embarassing photos, and questionable status updates may feel ephemeral, but professors, employers, and family members can easily find embarassing information if they look. It’s best to keep your escapades to yourself. Even if you have a private profile, always ask yourself who you would not like to have see what you’re sharing.
Check yourself out on Google. Learn about the current status of your brand by doing a quick Google. Consider how you can use the search engine results to your advantage, and what information you can put out there for the search engines to share about you.
Don’t let social networking interfere with productivity. Although social media is a great tool, it’s important to not let it take over. Be sure that it’s not keeping you from having a real social life or completing the work you need to do. Enable alerts so that you’ll find out if anything important happens and, give yourself time limits for browsing social networks so that you won’t get sucked in.
Social networking can be an incredibly useful tool for college students. Take advantage of its positive uses for branding, job searching, and getting connected, while still being cautious of social media’s pitfalls. You’ll find that social networking can be very rewarding.