Hello! My name is Megan Osterhout and I am a Junior in the University of Oregon’s Social Media Marketing class. Throughout this class we have been learning about social media and how it can both help and hurt you when applying for jobs. Today’s lecture included a presentation by our instructor, Jessyca Lewis about the consequences of uncensored social media activity. It is clearly evident that our online profiles are becoming virtual pre-screenings for employers trying to weed out unfit candidates for the highly competitive labor force that we live in today. Instead of letting these tools hurt you, it is important to not only keep a professional public image, but also learn a basic understanding of what each social media platforms have to offer in order to help you.
If I were looking for a job today and wanted to use social media to help me, I would start out with LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. I choose these three sources because they have a lot of active users and outstanding opportunity for networking (possibly with people you might even already know!)
The first place to start is LinkedIn. On May 9th, we had an extremely informative presentation on this site by Melissa Barker that really proved the importance of this site when it comes to job searching. LinkedIn is the leading professional social media site and many employers use it for job searches and networking. It is a great place to really present yourself as a person, and not just a resume. It allows fellow colleagues and employers to get to know not just what you’ve done, but what you would like to do in the future as well. A few key notes that stuck out to me when it comes to LinkedIn:
1) Get active! Don’t become a lurker. Start building connections with recommendations and recommendation requests. Committing 15 minutes a day is a great way to make sure you are putting yourself out there and reaching out.
2) Participate in groups, especially private ones. These can be great places to enter circles of people that share your same career interests.
3)Expand your profile-make it more than just resume. LinkedIn is a place to let people know who you are, what are your goals, and what you are looking to offer. It’s a great place to expand on what your roles were in your past accomplishments and previous work/academic experiences.
4) Claim your URL name! Under Account settings there is a place to edit you URL from the given, cluttered group of characters that your are originally assigned. Attempt to claim you first and last name, but if those are gone, add in your middle initial.
Here’s an example of my URL:
5) Use the company searches to find people in the places that you ideally would like to work. Here you can find people that you would want to connect with or attempt to network with.
6) Attach your other sites including blog links, or Twitter links in your profile. This allows people to connect to your other information with ease.
The second site that I would use would be Twitter. Twitter is a great site because it is being updated constantly, and it is easiest way to get in contact with legitimate people; even celebrities. This is a primary site for basic networking. Some tips that go along with Twitter are:
1) Look up people that you would want to get involved with and start being active with them on the site. It is your goal for them to follow you. Being active includes good dialogue with their posts and also a good usage of re-tweets and favorites.
2) Make sure to attach your LinkedIn URL to your bio section. This can give people a clear way to see your professional attributes.
3) Use hashtags to look up career opportunities. You could search for key phrases such as: #jobhuntchat #PRjobs #careerchat
Lastly, I would turn to Facebook in order to look for a job. The reason I would turn to Facebook is because most likely this is the place where you have already established the most connections. Facebook is tricky because it is often seen and treated as a personal social media site rather than a professional one. However, it can be a great place to find a job because it has a lot of active users and it is easy to reach a lot of different users through conversation. The most important tip when it comes to Facebook is monitoring the privacy settings. Most Facebook settings are public by default, so it your responsibility to change that and censor your image.
1) You can edit your settings to a professional audience by: Going to “Account” –>”Friends”–>”Create New List”–> then customize this privacy setting for your “Professional” friends to see. When you post you can select wether you want that group to be able to see what you are saying or not.
2) Since Facebook is still seen as a personal page, it is fine to leave them out of your Twitter and LinkedIn bios. However, if you believe it is something you want included are feel free to add it in.
Overall, these are great ways to use social media to your advantage. Everyone should start using these tips rather than later because employers are starting to use these sites more and more every day. These tips can help you network and reach new opportunities you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Follow me on:
Jessyca Lewis, Twitter: @JessycaLewis
Melissa Barker, Twitter: @Melissa_Barker