When I was a college undergraduate, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter were still in their infancy. (MySpace actually ruled the day!) At that time, I had no idea what it meant to promote myself online—and trying to get a handle on it was difficult.

I wasn’t much better at promoting myself in person, either. I didn’t attend any networking events until I was on the verge of graduating from college. And that in itself was later than usual because I had already decided to attend graduate school in Oklahoma.

Nowadays, things are much different. Setting up a personal website, creating social media accounts, and networking are no longer foreign languages—they’re necessary for your career. That doesn’t make them any less daunting, though. Fortunately, I’ve learned a lot since college about how to do all three.

Social Media

Unlike when I was an undergraduate student, having social media profiles is now a must—especially if you want to promote yourself. But, the tricky part is promoting the appropriate parts of yourself.

Within your social media accounts, make sure to separate your professional life from your private life. On my business-related pages, I upload professional pictures of myself and the work I do—not my personal adventures.

You need to be careful what you post on your social media accounts. Make sure you clean up posts and pictures that you wouldn’t want to negatively impact your image.

Face-To-Face Networking

Nothing is more important to your career than networking. As an introvert, I am not a big fan—but it’s a must to stay connected, reach potential employers, and get the face-to-face time you need to make an impression on people.

A few years ago, when I was living in Oklahoma City, I attended a chamber of commerce networking event. One of my friends introduced me to one his friends there, and that individual was actually looking for a person to join their organization. If I hadn’t met face-to-face with that individual, I wouldn’t have gotten an interview—and eventually landed the job.

Personal Website

I am not a professional website developer, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a professional-looking website. Today, it’s easy to find website apps and platforms where it’s simple and cheap to design-it-yourself.

Created a professional website for yourself offers many benefits. For me, I wanted to own the rights to my name, establish credibility, and showcase my experiences and products I created.

You don’t have to be a web developer or a social media expert to create professional profiles. All you need is time and patience, and you’ll give the right message to not only employers but also the world.

Want to learn more about how your online presence can affect your job prospects? Salt members can check out this video to avoid getting noticed for the wrong reasons. Not a member? Join now—it's free!