By Richard H. Miller, Academic Outreach & Innovation
PULLMAN, Wash. – People under 25 sometimes delete social media posts to prepare for employer scrutiny. Older job-seekers may worry less about deletion and more about addition, such as of posts that show professional accomplishments and capabilities.
Rebecca Cooney, a Washington State University professor of strategic communication, will help both categories of job-seekers in two upcoming webinars, #BrandYou 1.0 at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, and #BrandYou 2.0 at 5:30 p.m. April 20. The webinars are free to the public and part of WSU’s Global Connections program, which brings WSU resources online for Global Campus students. Please register at http://connections.wsu.edu.
“I’ll talk about how to develop your personal brand, take it into the digital space and frame it from a job-search standpoint,” she said. “No matter your age, employers expect you to have a social media presence that looks good and is consistent.”
Younger students, she said, aren’t expected to have much experience. Their challenge is to emphasize what makes them different while minimizing posts and images that indicate immaturity.
“I ask them not how they want to talk about themselves,” she said, “but how they want to be talked about. They then need to apply that brand identity to their main channels – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.”
Older students – the average age of a Global Campus student is 31 – also struggle with branding themselves, but in different ways. Some may have been out of the workforce for years. Others may have jobs that don’t reflect their aspirations.
“They want to reclaim who they are and how they want to be defined,” Cooney said.
Areas for them to emphasize include leadership, management, volunteering and adaptability, she said: “I’ll talk about how they can capitalize on the benefit and value of life experience.”
Cooney has worked in communications for 21 years. She spent 17 years in the communications industry and the past four years teaching. She leads the online master’s degree in strategic communication program (https://online.wsu.edu/grad/StratComm.aspx) at WSU.