Using Social Media to Get Yourself Out There

by Diana La Femina, Head Editor, INALJ South Carolina

Using Social Media to Get Yourself Out There

diana la feminaI have a project I’m setting for myself during the next two months: I want to finally get my online portfolio together. I’ve been planning it out for a while but just haven’t had the time to get the content together, or to even make a detailed plan. My goal is to have it ready for my next blog post.

Now, why do I want to put get my online portfolio together? Because it’s increasingly important to get yourself out there. I rarely hear about anyone, in any profession, getting a job nowadays just by applying to a posting. It’s about who you know, or perhaps who knows you.

It’s also no surprise that as technologies evolve librarians have to be at the forefront. We have to understand new advancements, how to use them, what they do. What better way to show off your knowledge than to use said advancements?

Here are a few tips to do just that, mainly using social media. Social media is fantastic for showing off your personality in ways you can’t in a cover letter or resume. I suggest you use several, and each one should highlight different aspects of yourself. I’m not saying you have to plan this out so much as you have to work with the nature of each account. Altogether this should form a cohesive picture to employers of just who you are, both as a person and a professional.

1. Facebook – Everyone has a Facebook account. I have two. Why? Because while I can control what I say and post I can’t control what others say or post. My personal account uses super-secret-ninja security, lacks my real name, and has no accessible pictures of me. Yes, an employer could find this account but I believe I’ve put as much effort as I can into separating my personal and professional lives as I can. I’m also still careful about what I post, just in case. My second Facebook account is what I consider my professional account. It’s also horribly neglected at this point. This is something else I need to get updated. Facebook is fantastic for posting updates about your accomplishments and really giving employers a glimpse into your personality.

2. Twitter – Twitter is amazing for connecting with other professionals and networking. Seriously, networking! You can follow people, tag them in tweets, and comment on things they’ve tweeted. It’s an amazing place where you can and should engage with others, no matter how unconnected you are. You can stay on top of library trends and articles, and in turn show others how knowledgeable you are. Go forth, tweet good articles and blog posts that you’ve read, and engage with others in a Twitersation (that’s probably not a word, so I’m coining it now). My Twitter account is also horribly neglected at this point (sensing a trend?).

3. Pinterest – Yes, the site that drains much of my free time is also fantastic for professionals. Similar to Twitter, you can share articles and follow others. But Pinterest helps you show off your interests as well with different boards. My plans for a professional account include boards for library articles, INALJ, and pins that link directly to my other social media accounts and my online portfolio. I’ll also get some boards in there for quotes about libraries and books, pictures of libraries, an entire board for my geek-out interests (*cough*Doctor Who*cough*), and an entire board devoted to tea. (The latter is necessary to life; I swear, I should just buy stock in Barry’s.)

So there you have it, my Big Three. There are others out there, but I feel these three are the most accessible and widely used. Now I expect all five of you who actually read my blog articles to go forth and put me to shame with the speed at which you get your accounts together. Oh, and keep me updated so I can follow you! As soon as I get my act together I list links in my bio at the bottom of the South Carolina page.

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