Social Media Career Advice For Graduating Seniors

Are you a Millennial graduating with the Class of 2014? Or, are you a parent who is hoping for a return on college investment from your Class of 2014 Millennial?

I am the father of two Millennials, a hiring manager of a few more and a connector to many. To help this Class of 2014 I have liberally borrowed (or highjacked) from Max Ehrmann’s famous Desiderata commencement poem to help this year’s graduates (and many other Millennials) to successfully use social media to start and build their careers.

Social Media Mistakes | | Gerry Moran

The following advice is a requirement, a need, a prerequisite, an essential and necessary set of things to do – starting today. In other words, a social media desiderata.

Social Media Desiderata For The Class of 2014

  • Go placidly amid the noise of social media, texting and intrusive content and let go of your college habits. Use social media as a tool for your career in a much different way than connecting with your university friends. Remember, there is peace and career success in the silence of listening – social listening. So, listen first before you start using social media to look for a job, or to network in your current one. This listen-before-you-leap suggestion will help you to interact more relevantly and smartly and will lead to good things.

45% said they (employers) chose not to hire someone because of evidence of drinking and/or drug use on his or her social profiles.

  • As much as possible be on good terms with all persons in your social network since they can make or break your career. Cleary tweet, post and share your knowledge and point of view so others understand what you are saying in as little as 140 characters. Don’t be arrogant. And, listen and share others’ content to forge authentic relationships. You may need their assistance in the years to come.

89% of job seekers that use social networking sites. Source:

  • If you compare yourself with others’ social media followers or credentials, avoid becoming vain and bitter. Your social-media and personal-brand currency will increase in value as the years progress. Join forces with others and contribute to the social media community inside or outside of your organization. Don’t be a lone wolf. There will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself in your career. Figure out how to collaborate with them using social media by following, learning and sharing their content. You will be amazed at the impact this engagement strategy will have.

49% of LinkedIn users have over  500 connections. Source: LinkedIn

  • Avoid loud and aggressive persons, but learn how to network with key individuals, companies and communities using social media. Follow others. Join LinkedIn Groups. Read key blogs. Network with those who are influential, can teach you and can connect you with others. This action will help take your career in the best and highest direction. Leave poor college-aged social-media habits behind. Learn how to expertly connect with the right person, on the right channel, with the right message at the right time to make the best impression. This new social media nuance will help connect you with those that can help you.

80% of all positions are filled without employer advertising. US Department of Labor.

  • Keep interested in your own career however humble, however, learn how to build your reputation with social media channels and great content. Your reputation does not ‘just happen.’ It’s hard work and many non-Millennials excel at this career behavior. Use LinkedIn to build value in your personal-brand currency so you can spend it to expand your reputation. Take a good picture, summarize what you can do for your new company and keep on connecting with everyone you meet. Always have a point of view and opinion. A bigger network is always better, trust me.

49.5% of LinkedIn users have an incomplete profile and don’t show up in recruiters’ searches. Source: LinkedIn

  • Be yourself, but build your brand to increase your career options. Remember, you can be yourself everywhere, but there will be consequences. If your potential employer, boss or customer can see you private life on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, then only you are to blame. If you cannot embrace an always-on professional and business persona, then turn on your privacy settings and use two sets of social media accounts – personal and business. You won’t be sorry.

37% of employers use social networks to screen potential job candidates. Source:

  • Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. The days of sexting and boasting about your partying using your social channels are in the past. So bury that behavior, or your career may be dead before you start it. Keep the spirit. Lose the self-incriminating pictures and language!

46% of students reported sending a sext with a photo attached. Source: University of Indiana Study

  • Own your career, no matter how many times it changes. You will need to learn how to talk the talk on every current and future social media network and platform (and non-social network for that matter) to improve your personal brand and earn the right to move forward.

51% of employers use social media to check if the candidate is a good fit for the company culture. Source:

  • Be cheerful. Strive to be happy. And post your smiling professional-photographed face on your LinkedIn, Twitter, SlideShare, Tumblr and your other social media profiles!

Do you have advice to lend this new Class of 2014, their careers and using social media? If so, please share below. Or reach out to me directly at, on LinkedIn, on Google+ or Twitter.

Today’s graduates might be worried about tripping on stage while they are accepting their diploma. However, they can fall flat on their career face if they don’t pay attention to the impact that social media can have on their career. You won’t hear this advice at any commencement ceremony this year. So, pass this post along to you can help everyone get a good start in their career!

PS. Do you or a Class of 2014 graduate need 1-1 help to improve and prepare your social brand and social media profiles for a job hunt? I’m happy to explain how my Social Media Reputation Services work. Email me today at for an overview of the services.


  1. Chrissie DIAngelus

    Very smart advice. I’m often shaking my head not at how much Millenials share but what they share. As a GenXer, I am used to lots of pictures of kids and updates about work and family…then I see what many of these early 20 yr olds post. I’ve learned a lot just by watching and observing their updates as well as what I hear on the news and I’ve drawn lines as to the kind of intern or person I want to hire for my agency.
    Thanks, Chrissie (a fellow Hawk).

  2. Pingback: Social Media Career Advice For The Class of 2014

  3. Gerry Moran (Post author)

    Thanks, Chrissie! You make some great points, too, about filtering how you are hiring for your agency. Go Hawks!


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