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Third in our Personal Branding Series, this workshop focuses on a minor part from the last workshop: Social Media. We look here at how to effectively utilize social media and turn networking websites into tools to meet new people and develop professionally.
We examine five platforms: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Behance and Sparked; with the emphasis on LinkedIn and Twitter.
From a professional perspective, we look at why one should not overload their networks with friends and acquaintances, especially if they are people who one has never talked to or interacted with.
Diving into LinkedIn, we look at the quick ways to build up a profile - If you have not worked for a company (as a student), get a recommendation from someone who you have worked with in class. Build up your skills section with things you have learned in class: everything from project management to public speaking counts! Employers search through skills and if you have your skills section filled up, people will find you more easily. Join groups and interact with people; as Carnegie Mellon and Northwestern students you have the potential to impress people and land collaboration opportunities.
We looked at two tools: LinkedIn Cardmunch (for iPhone, Android and Blackberry), a new (still a bit buggy) app that allows you to take pictures of business cards and get LinkedIn profile matches with the ability to connect. We also looked at LinkedIn InMaps, a great way to visualize connections on LinkedIn.
Moving the conversation to Twitter, we looked at what Twitter was originally meant to be: A place where users could tweet what they are doing so people who cared (mothers, sisters, etc.) could see. We noted that obviously that's not what it seems to stand for anymore, but how we can leverage Twitter to 'follow our passion' and learn more about the things we care about (e.g. I follow tweets about web design). Carrying forward from this, we can tweet about things we care and have people follow us and develop meaningful relationships with these new people, which could possibly lead to some sort of collaboration with them someday.
Facebook was mentioned, mainly because apart from the usual 'keeping the profile clean', we noticed that many companies are actually putting up job postings/applications on their Facebook pages.
Behance was introduced as a tool for people to showcase their work in a portfolio format, more aimed towards designers.
Sparked was introduced as a tool that would give attendees real-world project experience with short and manageable tasks that could be then added to their portfolios.
These five platforms were discussed because of their relevance in Professional Development and because we feel that not many people knew about the features/tools we discussed.