Rebecca Schlowsky received a master’s degree in teaching from Simmons College, but never expected that she would end up back there a decade later after making the transition from teaching to administrative work. Social media was key for her landing a job as an executive assistant.
When I updated my LinkedIn profile, I didn’t expect such a big response from recruiters. I was contacted three to four times within a three-week time span by recruiters looking for executive assistants. I ended up turning it off, because I had a job that I liked.
But a few months later, I decided to put my LinkedIn profile back up. And this summer, I received an e-mail out of the blue for a job as assistant to the president at Simmons College. Simmons is my alma mater, and supporting the president was my dream job, so I couldn’t say no to this opportunity.
I had experience in higher education, was familiar with the college, and of course had lots of experience in handling administrative functions. I had to do several rounds of interviews, and I always made sure I showed up in a suit and looked very professional because that shows that you really care and that you’re interested in the position.
I wrote thank you notes to everyone I talked with, from the receptionist to the president herself.
I have been working at Simmons for a few months now. My advice would be to make sure job- seekers’ LinkedIn profiles are robust and searchable, as well as accurate. People tend to want to buff up their resume or online information, but it’s important to be accurate, because job titles and other facts will be checked.
And even though LinkedIn is an online format, I made sure it was visually appealing with bullet points and descriptions, even though it meant a lot of cutting and pasting.
We live in a world of social media now and people need to be careful about what they post, especially when it’s related to your work and reputation. It’s not just about your LinkedIn profile, but also your thoughts in e-mail, tweets, texts, blog posts, and comments that can end up ricocheting all over the Internet.
It can work toward your good, as it did with me, but also to your detriment, if you’re not careful.Cindy Atoji-Keene can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.