Introduction to Social Media
This is the first of the “23 Things” which will be covered in this blog regarding Social Media in the months to come.
First of all let me welcome you to this blog for people who are curious about engineering and how social media can help us to develop our technical careers.
To begin with, let me introduce myself. I am a mechanical engineer with an MSc in Advanced Lightweight Structures and Impact and I am currently doing an EngD at University of Surrey. My background includes projects with Rolls-Royce and Williams F1, where I had the opportunity to work on projects regarding improvements to make their structures safer. It was during my academic formation when I became extremely interested in structural behaviour and its applications to vehicle crashworthiness. In these terms, over the years I have been able to acquire knowledge and experience in the field of Finite Element Analysis (FEA), which is one of the keys for designing and producing vehicles in a more efficient way. Anyway, we will talk more about this topic in the next few months.
With regards to my current situation, the EngD, which stands for Engineering Doctorate, is a 4-years postgraduate programme which allows engineers to develop their research skills within an environment which combines both industrial experience and further training in material sciences and management. After the completion of the programme, the Research Engineer (RE) is awarded a doctorate and a certification provided by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).
Apart from all of that, during the following months, I will be covering some topics related to Social Media as part of a public engagement activity called “23 Things”. This publications will contain information about how online tools can help researchers to improve not only their research skills as part of their professional development, but also their employability. Because of my technical background, I will focus on how this tools can be used in order to stand out from the rest of the people within an engineering and scientific environment.
“Those companies which showed their interest on me included General Motors and Ferrari, so let me tell you that LinkedIn is a very powerful tool”
For this first week, I am going to talk about my recent experience with LinkedIn, one of the most popular online networks for finding jobs and making connections within a professional environment. As usual with this kind of things, at the beginning it can be quite boring or even frustrating when a new user has to start from zero (writing about his background, experiences, CV…). What is more, some people may find this quite difficult as some kind of structure is desired in order to make your profile clear. My advice here is to be patient, look for LinkedIn workshops (yes, they exist and some of them are free and extremely useful) and in addition you can also look at other users’ profiles so you can get ideas of things you like and others you don’t. From my experience, it is worth doing this seriously, as depending on how you do it, some companies and recruiters can contact you. Furthermore, you have to consider trying to contact people from the sectors in which you would love to work. For instance, I have been able to connect with people from motorsport and automotive companies and they were always very helpful when they were asked for advice.
Despite the fact that I know that there are a lot of sceptical people about those rumours of others getting jobs via LinkedIn, I have to tell you that those rumours are totally true. As a matter of fact, during the past few months, I have been contacted by several recruiters and some companies have even made me offers just by looking at my profile and asking directly for my CV. Those companies which showed their interest on me included General Motors and Ferrari, so let me tell you again that LinkedIn is a very powerful tool if you are willing to get a job that represents your real passion.
I hope you managed to get to the end before getting too bored, and for those people who are interested, I will be posting more things about LinkedIn tips in the weeks to come.