I was recently asked to guest post on Greek For Me’s blog and to cover any topic pertinent to the college student. Given that I’m a big social media enthusiast, I opted to write about using social media to your advantage and increasing your visibility when finding employment, whether it be a job or an internship.
Look out for my next contribution to Greek For Me, which will discuss the benefits in studying abroad!
Social Media: Using it to Your Advantage in Job/Internship Hunting, by Phreshly Squeezed
Barbara Leung is the wonderfully talented face behind Phreshly-Squeezed.net, an online fashion blog that we, and college students the world over, just can’t get enough of. She also posts on her personal blog at BarbaraLeung.com, where she shares her insights and daily life as a bright and quirky NYU student. She’s here on the GreekForMe blog today to post on successfully using social media for job and internship hunting, a topic she’s quite experienced on!
With the boom of social media and the development of a multitude of applications hoping to improve your engagement with others, the distinction that was once made between personal and work has pretty much dissolved. Employers today often find themselves “Googling” their candidates so as to dig up any “dirt” that may be lurking around the Internet. With that said, social media can be the thing to bring you down or the thing to push you to the forefront of front-running candidates. The key here is to increase your visibility with following avenues of social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the blog.
Facebook provides countless reams of information in terms of what you enjoy, with whom you spend your time, and how you spend your evenings – but only if you allow for it. Privacy settings are made available to you as a means of controlling what can be index by search engines, and seen by friends of friends, and by those completely out of your network. Many already advise to place limitations on what can be seen because of the possibilities of “scandalous” photos, but I advise you to do so because one may miscontrue certain bits of information without their proper context.
However, be sure to make available links to other aspects of yourself through the seemingly unlimited space for websites. What you may want to include here are your Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog URLs. After all, if you are going to propose limits on what can be seen, make sure that you provide other avenues of how an employer can get to know you.
Twitter is a tricky social media application to use; tricky in the sense that to make good use of it is difficult, but to make it into nothing more than farce is quite simple. Remind yourself of the following when engaging on Twitter – the average demographic using Twitter uses it for updates on events and interesting news, and are often averaging 34 years of age. With that said, get to building your reputation by “following” your interests, as well as engage yourself with others with your own opinions. Your own fleet of followers will come to you; do not make use of the link that promise you hundreds of followers as it may lead to the wrong crowd of people following you.
In spite of the fact that LinkedIn has been around for half a decade, it has only been booming now with the growth in online communication. Serving as your online resume, you may opt to share details of previous employments. However, if you are feeling wary, be sure to at least post who you’ve worked for, and try to garner the recommendations of your former employers by having them post about your performance, which can only help you greatly.
The reason as to why so many are opting for the big three above is the fact that they are so quickly indexed within search engine, that your visibility is already increased within the week from nothing to something. Garnering an internship, or having someone take notice of you, with social media extends beyond Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You have to be able to prove yourself to be an exception; and while blogs are not unique given that anyone can own one, it can make you to be perceived as the worthwhile catch provided that you have interesting content and have made solid attempts at optimizing your webpage for hits.
Some will tell you that getting a blog is easy in the sense that you just sign up on Blogger or WordPress; however, do note that signing up under these websites will give you a URL that ties to them. If you are a web novice, sign up with them, but also be sure to register a domain with your own name so as to improve your web visibility.
Remember that social media promotes the idea of transparency (of course, there are always ways to tweak your presentation of self) and visibility, so be sure post accordingly (i.e. don’t be controversial or make remarks that might get you in trouble).