Irene Gottgens is a good friend of ours and acknowledged as a very active student in SIFE, an international student association that brings together Social Entrepreneurs. She linked us through to the organizers of the alumni event for SIFE-NL working on their new alumni strategy offering workshops – and asked us to give a workshop during their first alumni event that just took place in Amsterdam.
Letting your LinkedIn profile work for you
The alumni wanted some tips on how to use social media to expand their online presence and mainly how to look for jobs. One of the challenges that the alumni seem to be facing is finding a job after they have graduated. Although SIFE has very good partners (businesses) the gap between the SIFE Alumni and their partners is still too big in order to create a good platform for communication. This also means that the possibility of latent (job) opportunities cannot be so readily done. We tried fixing the gap by having people make their LinkedIn profile more attractive and how to be attentive towards your existing relationships.
Breaking the ice
We started the session by breaking the ice with what the current usage was and as expected: Facebook widely and actively used, LinkedIn not as actively but everyone has an account and Twitter there were a couple that had an account and even less that actually actively tweet. Obviously, Irene does:
— Irene Gottgens (@irenegottgens) april 4, 2012
What’s your “Why – how -what”?
Inspired by Simon Sinek, we let our participants start by answering the question “Why?”. Why do you what you do, why are you passionate about what you do? Or another enticing question “what do you tell people about yourself at a birthday party?”. This helps break open the mindset that social media isn’t so much about “what” you do, but more about “why” you do it. As another model shows, people tend to get to know what you share, then decide whether or not they like what you share and how you interact, and thereafter decide to follow you. This depends much upon what you share, and it’s important to start with “why” you believe in what you believe”.
We ‘pimped’ one participant’s profile live
The rest of the session we broke down the big picture of social media, and zoomed in on the platform Linkedin. Taking one participant’s account, analyzing it, sharing best practices and “pimped it up”. We did this with the participants of our workshop, so that they, while behind their own laptops could do the same for their own profiles. While working on the tweaks, we also explained how the networks theories work in social media: either it be 6 degrees of separation, or the strength of weak ties, we do this to show the integration of anthropology, psychology and new media and translating that to a platform such as Linkedin. We wish the Alumni of SIFE all the best in their future career path and hoping they were able to take some tips and tricks from our short session.