As a college student, most of us were fed the idea that we would graduate and then immediately be tackled by firms fighting to pay us huge salaries.  The truth is that the key to finding a great gig is networking prior to graduation.  Current students are very fortunate to have a tool that I did not have- social media!  There are many ways that college students can network with hiring managers and department leads via social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

One of my awesome Facebook friends, Nasser Zrien, asked me to cover this topic.  Well, here you go Nasser!

  1. Make sure that you look “hireable” on all of your social media profiles. Ensure that pictures, wall posts, pages you’ve liked, etc. all reflect someone who is desirable in the workplace.  Additionally, ensure that your contact information and past experience is included on your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.
  2. Create a blog to build yourself as an expert. Blog on industry topics, being sure to mention the companies that you would like to work for, as positive examples in your blog.  Then, set up interviews with managers who would like to talk more about their companies in your blog.  Also, post links to your blog posts on Twitter, being sure to “tag” the companies and managers mentioned.
  3. Follow the company profile of desirable employers on LinkedIn. This will allow you to receive updates on new job opening and new company developments.
  4. Use the new Profile Sections Designed for Students. Most college students will not have a long industry work history.  However, you can communicate what you are currently doing, in school.  The new sections allow you to insert Honors & Awards, Projects, Organizations, Test Scores and Courses.
  5. Do a search on Twitter for hiring managers at your desired company. Follow them and interact.
  6. Used advanced search functions on LinkedIn to find the specific hiring managers for your potential employers.

-If you’re in need of a job now, get an introduction from a mutual connection.  While you can request an introduction via Linkedin, I suggest calling the mutual contact and requesting an email introduction.

-If you’re in need of a job now, but you have no mutual connection, send an InMail message.
-If you are networking prior to needing a job, locate the person’s Twitter information on their profile.  If they are on Twitter, start to follow them and tweet with them regularly. This may include asking their opinion on a blog you’ve written, reposting their tweets, etc.  Remember to keep it light.  You are building a relationship.