Can You ‘Like’ Your Way to a Dream Job?
Facebook isn't just for poking anymore: A recent study conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reveals that the graduating class of 2013 used social media as their main source for job hunting and research.
“Students are using social media to seek out salary information, job descriptions and information about possible employee development programs,” said Marilyn Mackes, executive director of NACE.
But stalking goes both ways: Jobvite’s annual Social Recruiting Survey found an increase in overall use of social media by employers, with 92 percent using “social recruiting” in the hiring process.
College career centers are taking their advising cues from prospective employers. “We’ve modified our career advisement strategy over the past four years to address the benefits of using social media for job searches, as well as educating students on the many pitfalls,” said Heather Catalino, marketing and multimedia coordinator at the University Of Delaware’s Career Services.
“Employers may look to your social media presence when making that final decision in hiring,” noted Sue Gordon, director of career development at American University. “Your social media profile should be a compelling, professional online snapshot. Always demonstrate what you've accomplished, your strengths and what you can possibly offer to an employer,” Gordon said.
Both University of Delaware and American University now include social media seminars and web tutorials to guide students on the path to finding a job. American University’s career center offers students online courses and resources to build infographic resumes that are visually appealing, as well as helpful guides to build their own websites as portfolios.
Career advisers also are quick to warn students that when making the shift from college to career, your online brand should shift too.
"We try to educate students on the many pitfalls to social media. Modifying what users are able to see is a good substitute to deleting your profile altogether," Catalino said. Limiting the amount of information a given user sees to just your education and past work experience, or allowing only friends and family to see photos, will help as more companies start digging into your online presence.
NACE also found that unlike students four years ago in the early age of social media, today’s students are using sites like LinkedIn and Facebook to communicate with hiring departments and interact with alumni.
“Starting our own LinkedIn group exclusively for students and alumni creates an open forum that fosters mentoring relationships during the initial job hunt," Catalino said.
The lesson? Start thinking of social media as a research tool and a way to reach out, not just a place to post awesome study abroad photos.
Emily Roseman a reporter for Campus Progress.
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