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Why students should embrace Google+

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February is Career and Technical Education Month. In honor of CTE, this blog post offers tips for using technology to create a professional online profile.

The development of an online professional persona has become a critical component in pursuing employment, continuing a successful career and being engaged in the field of your choice.

We recommend students take control of their online identity through social networking. Establishing a professional persona allows students to present themselves in the context of who they want to be and how they want to be seen by professionals.

Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. Most students have heard of these social networks, many of them may be active on them for both personal and professional purposes. However, there is a new kid on the block that cannot be ignored. Not because it is a social network, but because it is Google.

Google+ allows individuals to create a profile that is searchable on the web. The profile becomes the basis for the public persona.Users are able to control their identity with their profile.

Google+ provides the mothership for all of the other social networks. A Google+ profile, is the home planet. Students’ Circles, YouTube channels, blogs, and websites are all different social networks that can be associated with a single professional persona on Google +.

Establishing a Google + profile, linking other social networks to it, and then being active on Google + will accelerate the process of establishing a professional persona and the ability for employees and other professionals to find the next generation of workers.

Larry Domine (@dominele) is a full-time instructor at Milwaukee Area Technical College in Wisconsin. He was a pioneer in early network design and developed one of the first document transmission networks for a major corporation.

Tony Stanislawski (@tonyatmatc) is an information technology and social media strategy instructor at the Milwaukee Area Technical College in Wisconsin, where he has taught at since 2000. Stanislawski describes himself as a social-media evangelist, and “all around Renaissance geek.”