Spring Cleaning for Your Social Media

This post was authored by Ria Kalinowski

Spring is finally here! Flowers are blooming, students are graduating, and it’s time to dust off your social media accounts. Presenting your best self while job searching is extremely important. You need to make sure your social media presence is helping you do that. Here are some tips for cleaning up and improving your LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook profiles.Ria 1

LinkedIn

  • Update your photo! Make sure your picture is recent and professional.
  • Boost your Search Engine Optimization! Add industry specific keywords to your headline and summary. Adding relevant words increases the chance that your profile comes up when employers and recruiters search for potential employees.
  • Grow your network by joining groups! You can learn about what people in your industry are talking about and contribute to the discussion. You can also send direct messages to people who are members of the groups you are a part of.

Twitter

  • Improve your bio by including hashtags and keywords. You only have 160 characters!ria 2
  • Pin a tweet! You can select one of your tweets to stay at the top of your twitter updates. Choose a professional tweet that relates to your industry.
  • Update your list of people and companies to follow. Use your target list of companies and this article to focus the content you see on your twitter timeline.

Facebook

  • Weed through and delete or untag yourself from any unprofessional photos. You don’t want to lose a job opportunity because of inappropriate pictures on your profile!
  • Clean out your contacts: remove any friends that you are no longer in contact with or assign them to groups such as Acquaintances to limit their access to your profile.
  • Take control of your privacy! Go to your Privacy Settings and limit the sections of your profile that are public. In the Timeline & Tagging Settings you can also limit who can post to your timeline and be able to review any posts before they appear on your timeline!ria 3

Think Critically About Job Applications

Applying to jobs doesn’t mean finding a cool company name and just sending in your resume. That might be a good way to get your foot in the door, but actually reading the job description, listening to the full offer, and really getting into the interview can determine if the job is right for you.

Reading a job description sounds so simple. I’ve read hundreds of job descriptions on my current co-op search the past month or so. But reading them critically and focusing on what you will be doing is super important. Having had a few jobs previously, I find that I know what I want (and what I don’t want) when applying to jobs. Furthermore, if the job description is unclear, and you have an interview, ask at the interview! Just explain that you’d like to know more about the day-to-day activities of your potential job. This is what you might be doing for quite some time, so take that into thought! Use an interview to analyze the employer, the job, and the interviewer. As much as you are being interviewed, you are also interviewing the employer. Ask yourself: “Is this right for me?” and carry that thought throughout the interview.

When you receive a job offer, consider all aspects of it. From the benefits to the hours to the pay to the time commitment, all of it is 100% relevant. Honestly, I’ve turned down a job offer because it wasn’t what I wanted or needed that time. And I’ve accepted a job offer because of the benefits that came along with it (and of course, the job itself!). If you aren’t sure what something means, write it down and do some research. You aren’t the only one with these questions and delving into that offer is important.

5 Ways to Manage Job Search Stress

This post was written by Sabrina Woods.

You’ve been working towards this moment for a long time.

There were days you thought it would never come.  Now it’s almost here.  Graduation Day!

The mere idea of graduation brings up a wild combination of emotions. You are thrilled with the idea of no more papers, exams, or leading a 7-person group project. Your joy, however, might get interrupted as you think about exactly what type of job you want after graduation and the process of getting it.

For the tactical part of your job search you’ve got fantastic resources at hand ranging from the Northeaster Career Center to your own network that has come from co-op and classes.job search stress

Now let’s talk about how you can master or tame your job search stress levels as you juggle capstone projects with job interview prep. Here are 5 tips:

  1. Give yourself some breathing room

This phrase usually means to give yourself space in between activities, but at this time of year that might be impossible. So instead, give yourself a moment to actually breathe. Right now try taking 3 deep breaths, AND after you inhale, hold your breath for 5 to 10 seconds, before then exhaling slowly. The extra pause seems to deepen the effect and make you feel calmer. If you want to take it a bit further, consider downloading a meditation app or read How Meditation Changes the Brain and Body from the New York Times.

  1. Crank up the cardio

When we are feeling under stress, a good cardio workout can make a world of difference.  Check out the Mayo Clinic’s article, Get Moving to Manage Stress. You’ll learn how hitting the gym releases endorphins which are your brain’s feel good neurotransmitters. Exercise can also be “meditation in motion” pulling your thoughts away from your stressors and to what is happening in the here and now whether that be at the tennis court, pool or weight room.

  1. Small but committed

Set up and commit yourself to small goals either each day or each week. Think of your job search as a project for class. Break it into manageable pieces and celebrate small wins, such as that first customized cover letter for the consulting job. Get some additional inspiration about setting job search goals here.

  1. Check your “worry” level

Worry or anxiety at a low level can be good. It helps propel you into action. It can act as a motivator or catalyst. Worry at a heightened level, however, robs you of your energy. For more on how to tame those anxieties when they are getting the best of you, check out Face Your Fear, Free Your Energy.

  1. Positive affirmations

It might sound like a silly recommendation, but some people have really benefited (myself included) from developing these positive, future oriented statements. The idea here is to say things in a positive way, as if they have already happened. An example of a positive affirmation is “I have landed a job with a great team,” or it could be oriented towards some part of the job search process, “During interviews I am calm and deliver exceptional answers while building strong rapport”. From Psychology Today, you can also review, “5 Steps to Make Affirmations Work for You.”

While it’s true that the job search can be stressful, anytime we are facing the unknown this can be the case.  However, you’ve got a team of career counselors at Northeastern that are here to help. And it doesn’t take much to add in an extra workout, break the search into smaller bits and take a few deep breaths.

Want to learn more? Join us for this workshop:

Holistic Approaches to Your Job or Co-op Search

Thurs., March 17, 12:00-1:00pm, 12 Stearns

Details and Registration: here  Questions, contact Sabrina Woods, s.woods@neu.edu

Sabrina Woods is an Associate Director at Northeastern Career Development and also has a private practice as a Holistic Career / Life Coach & Linkedin Trainer.  She has been in this field for 15 years and is a Husky (BA in Business) plus has a Masters in Holistic Counseling from Salve Regina University in sunny Newport, RI.  When not working at NU, teaching Linkedin or talking about mindfulness practices, Sabrina loves to hike, bike and kayak.  For more about Sabrina, go to www.sabrina-woods.com.