Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Social Media Dos and Don’ts of Great Profile Pictures

With every tweet, wall post, YouTube video, LinkedIn discussion and Facebook check-in, our online appearances are worth more than we might think. And with how valuable social media is with networking and job searching, it’s important to have the best online impression possible!

CBS did a segment about “putting your best foot forward inthe social media world” with some Do’s and Don’ts about profile pictures. It’s about a five-minute long discussion about what most of us already know. I agree with the advice, like “don’t have inappropriate or nude photos,” no cartoons, and avoid keg-stand poses – duh, that’s pretty obvious.   

So future bosses, co-workers, friends, family and even potential lovers, are going to be looking at your social media pages – but that doesn’t mean you have to hide yourself. Your profile still needs to represent the real you! So, how can you keep your profile pictures on a professional level while still letting your personality shine?  

After some research, casual googling and personal experience, here are my dos and don’ts of great profile pictures.  

Do sparkle and shine. Smile! Social cues 101: you never walk into a job interview, date or party without a smile. Same thing applies to your profile picture. A smile lets people want to click on you and learn more.

Some facial expressions you want to avoid are: kissy lips, throwing up the gangsta deuces and the serious-I’m-trying-to-be-sexy face. Unless you’re a Victoria’s Secret angel or auditioning to be a Vegas show girl, it’s best to stick to smiles.      

Do show your interests and activities. A picture is worth a thousand words, so why not show off your favorite hobbies and unique interests. You love to travel around the world? Great, show it off with the picture of you at the top of Mount Everest or skiing in the Alps. OK, we haven’t all been to Everest, but you know what I mean. Your picture should make people excited to get to know you. Show what you love – and remember to keep smiling. 

But don’t show every interest. Let’s be honest, our profile picture isn’t the place for showing that you know how to get down and do “the wobble” every Friday night or have a butterfly tattooed on your hip. Those are things I’d keep on the down-low.    
Be real. So you do like to wobble? Well don’t hide your fun, goofy side. Have pictures laughing with your friends, dancing at the beach, playing with your dog, running a marathon, cheering at a football game – show yourself. Just remember to keep it PG and smile.  

And be creative. Adobe Photoshop, Picnik, or even Instagram are great ways to edit photos and add your own flavor to them. For more creative ideas and incorporating Facebook’s new cover image,  check out these 10 FacebookTimelines That Will Blow You Away.

So, is your social media profile picture the best it can be?  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Who makes the top of your Most Inspirational People list?

I'm a picky person sometimes. Like with food, I might die if I find an olive in my salad or if my salsa isn’t spicy enough. Everyone has their preferences right? Being picky identifies you – the food you eat, the car you drive, the clothes your wear or the places you go.   

I’m especially picky when it comes to the people I let in my life. Still wrapping my head around the fact that I’m 22 years old, I’ve realized the people you surround yourself with should inspire you to be the best person you can be. Fact.

PerezHilton.com recently presented a list of the World’s Most Inspirational People. We need to find people that make our own list of Most Inspirational People. It’s so important to have those special people in your life that support and encourage you no matter what! Here are three beautiful individuals in my life that inspire me every day and I can’t imagine who I’d be without them.

Smile. People in your life should put a smile across your face, even when you think it’s impossible. Now some may not classify my sweet yellow lab, Dakota, as an inspirational person, but she sure is in my book. From the moment I wake up to all the walks on the beartrail, playing around Baylor Campus and cuddling after classes, she inspires me every second I’m with her. She reminds me to smile. In the midst of all the chaos and daily routines, life is beautiful and you need people in your life to remind you of that!  

Dance. Life should also be fun. It’s about having fort parties, water balloon fights, birthday limos, jazzercising, Pinterest parties and dancing everywhere you go. One of my best friends, Nicole, is by far the most inspirationally fun person I’ve ever known. She has a beautifully “goofy” personality. Being around her, you will, without a doubt, laugh and have fun. Everyone needs a Nicole in their life.       

Believe. The most inspirational people in your life are the ones that tell you the truth, even when you don’t want to hear it. They are the people to tell you when you have boogers hanging out of your nose and bring you your favorite Starbucks after a bad day. They’re always encouraging and supportive, even when you don’t understand why. And I’m thankful enough to have an amazing sister, Buzzy, to do just that. Being an older sister, I try to be the role model, but really, she is the one that inspires me. She believes in me more than I believe in myself. Maybe she’s seen me cry too many times, but she’s always inspiring confidence – and it’s working!  

I truly can’t imagine what my life would be like without these beautiful people in my life.

Who makes the top of your Most Inspirational People list?

Monday, February 13, 2012

3 Websites College Seniors Should Follow

Graduating soon? Believe it or not, senior year is flying by and the pressure is on.

If you’re anything like me, between all the upper-level courses, group projects, presentations, internships and job applications, you may have a new understanding of the word anxiety. The years of sitting through one-hour classes, working out at the Student Life Center and studying for finals are about to be over. What is this “real world” people talk about? Well, we are about to find out.

Since May 2011, I’ve had the opportunity to intern with an amazing marketing team at Profiles International and have a sneak peek into the business world. As a public relations intern, I’ve been involved with social media and blogging. The Profiles blog offers great workplace advice for people of all ages and experience levels. From that, I researched and discovered some more insightful business blogs – ones that will especially benefit us, the younger recent college graduates. You don’t want to miss these three great sites, check them out:

·        Under30CEO. One of my favorites, you can tell from the title, Under30CEO is aimed for young entrepreneurs and recent college grads. It’s a leading media site featuring news, advice, trends and events for young men and women entering the business world. Whether you want to start-up your own business, become a CEO, network or just learn more about the corporate world, this site is perfect.  They offer great articles on topics like leadership, balancing work-life, personal branding, marketing strategies and more. After celebrating my birthday, I loved reading “8 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 22” and check out their most popular posts too. We’ll be ready for the real world in no time!

·       Forbes. OK, I’m sure you’ve heard of Forbes, the leading business news magazine, especially popular for its list of billionaires. Well I’m not suggesting this site solely because of its information on America’s single, most eligible millionaires. If you love slideshows and top-ten lists, Forbes has them! As we are graduating and deciding where and what to do with the rest of our lives, Forbes offers interesting slideshows on things like: “The Best Places For Business and Careers” and “America’s Most Promising Companies.” These are definitely things you want to keep on your radar.

·       Harvard Business Review. Now I know what you’re thinking, but no – you don’t have to be from an Ivy League school to appreciate the Harvard Business Review and you don’t have to subscribe to the magazine to enjoy its articles. Its online posts are all about being successful in the business world! Want advice on being a great leader, a better communicator or more productive? Well look no further, Harvard Business is sharing all their Ivy League ideas here.

Follow these sites and you’ll be ready for the business world in no time!

P.S. If you don’t have a Twitter already, get one! It’s a great way to connect with news, business, job searches and whatever else it is you’re interested in. And now you have three more sites to follow @Under30CEO @Forbes @HarvardBiz