Tip No. 1: Develop a professional social media presence. Remove all traces of alcohol, drugs and references to general fun from the last eight years of your Facebook timeline, ignoring the fact that most networking occurs when one or more of these things are present. Delete, block and report anyone you have ever heard even mention these topics. Be wary of people who post pictures in which they look happier than you generally feel; they are most likely inebriated. Removing them from your Facebook newsfeed, as well as from your life overall, will make you a more attractive job applicant.
Don’t stop there. Once you succeed at developing your own online presence, you should not hesitate to help others. Nitpicking your professors’ LinkedIns, like Cory ’19 did, will let people know that when it comes to catapulting yourself into the upper echelons of the capitalist workforce, you’re willing to spare a few moments on something other than self-promotion:
I was recently on my professor’s LinkedIn when I noticed that her profile picture looked a little more on the serious side. It felt completely necessary and appropriate to immediately send her a quick message on LinkedIn, “Hey Prof, I just wanted to tell you that, as a man, it would make me more comfortable if you would smile a little in your LinkedIn photo. Also, someone may have already told you this, but a bit of eyeshadow and lipstick could go a long way in boosting your number of connections.”
Tip No. 2: Learn how to write emails. We’re going to be frank with you: just as writing the perfect email can lead to lifetime employment, writing the wrong email can result in a lifetime of unemployment and societal excommunication. This is really all we wanted to say on this topic.
Tip No. 3: Always follow up. In the professional world, it’s best to remind people of your existence at least several times a day. Email is an integral part of this (see tip No. 2). Send emails to anyone and everyone who might be useful to your professional network. For example, “Hi, I enjoyed making brief eye contact with you at the networking event yesterday. I would like this to be the beginning of a strong professional relationship. Thanks! Brad.” Always reply to job acceptances or denials promptly with messages like: “Great! I appreciate you taking the time to reject me.” In addition, show that you’re grateful for all the opportunities out there: Browse VCLink at least once a day for new job offerings and respond to every post with a personal thank you note. Leela (yours truly) recently saw a posting from Reynolds & Reynolds advertising their Entry Level Outside Sales Trainee position. In response, Leela wrote, “Reynolds & Reynolds, I really appreciate you putting this job out there and inviting qualified people like me to apply. Unfortunately, I am not looking for a job in marketing at this time as I have been invited to serve as President of Vassar College.” With this kind of “follow-up,” you don’t need to wait for employers to contact you or waste time working on applications. And you’ll definitely make an unforgettable impression in the professional world!
Senior Snippet: It’s time to address that dreaded topic: LinkedIn bios. To illustrate the dire importance of this feature, we must give credit where credit is due: Thanks to our LinkedIn bios, we have received thousands of dollars over the past four years in the forms of fellowships and grants. It is, of course, too late for you to achieve this level of success in life this late in the game, but by including a LinkedIn bio, you can still hope to raise your profile traffic by a maximum of six percent before the end of the semester. The key to a winning LinkedIn bio is to be humble about your achievements–don’t brag too much about things like administrative positions you’ve been offered or awards you’ve received. This can be off-putting to potential employers. Instead, highlight your strengths in demure, coded language that will leave job recruiters wanting more. In place of VSA VP for Finance, for example, consider putting U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.