Monday, February 28, 2011

Tips On Becoming A Social Media Savvy Post Grad

Being a post grad these days is tough. We are all excited to graduate with big degrees. After all the excitement is over, we realize we have to find jobs and that we have no money. Many of us have to move back home and spend days after days searching for jobs, realizing most of them are "unpaid internships". My name is Lauren and I'm a recent post grad who graduated in December 2010 from Oakland University with a degree in Journalism. I currently have two part-time internships (luckily paid!). Let's begin with one of my favorite topics, the social media world and how it relates to the job hunt...

Social media, such as Facebook and Twitter are great for catching up with old friends and wasting time. But did you know they're also great for job hunting (as long as you keep things professional)? Here are some tips on how to use social media websites to your benefit when job searching:

1. I'm sure you've already got a Facebook and a Twitter account, but what about Linkedin? Linkedin is the king of professional social media. You can add your resume, network with people you already know or want to meet, ask for recommendations, connect your blog or website to your profile, join groups, search companies and employers, and even search for jobs. It is the number one tool you'll need if you want to use the Internet to your advantage when looking for a job.

2. Facebook and Twitter can help you too! Connect with the pages from your major at college. Most of them offer a page you can follow from not only your University, but your specific program. I connected with Oakland University Journalism and they often post jobs that are available in the area, tips on finding a job in journalism, and help with everything from the interview to your portfolio. Check Twitter too for a page, where they will post similar links to jobs or retweet when someone else posts an available job.

3. The number one rule if you're going to stay on social media while job hunting: keep it classy and professional! You may have your profiles private, but potential employers can often learn ways to see your pictures or even look at your profile. So just make sure your profile picture and recent photos aren't inappropriate in any way or will make you look immature. Keep in mind the things you're posting. Don't bash the job you have now (even if it is a terrible waitressing gig) because your potential employer might think you'll do the same with them. Don't post a ton of immature videos or photos either. You want to come across as mature and responsible as possible.

4. While this is not necessarily considered social media, start a blog if you haven't already. Remember the same rules as above: keep it professional and clean. No swearing or inappropriate language, photos, or videos. One of the best compliments I got from an interview was that I had a nice blog that made her want to talk to me. She said that some people don't even make it to the interview because their blog is messy, unprofessional, or riddled with errors. When I post anything on my blog, I always think "Would I want my mom, a potential employer, my neighbors, my friends, and strangers reading this?" If the answer is no to one of them, I have to change something. A blog is great if you want to get noticed in a different way, especially if you want to showcase your writing abilities. Even if you're not going into a writing field, a blog is still a great way to show that you have opinions and that you're passionate about something. A great blog is always a plus.

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