At its foundation, social media is a set of technologies and channels targeted at forming and enabling a potentially massive community of participants to productively collaborate. IT tools supporting collaboration have existed for decades. Yet, social-media technologies, such as social networking, wikis and blogs, enable collaboration on a much grander scale and support tapping the power of the collective in ways previously unachievable.
Six core principles underlie the value of social-media solutions and serve as defining characteristics setting social media apart from other forms of communication and collaboration. Principles include:
Social media can include text, audio, video, images, podcasts, and other multimedia communications. Ultimately, it can be an effective tool to help with your job search. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn enhance and expedite your hunt for a new job.
For Generation X/Y, social media networking serves as the most potent catalyst to forming the vital partnerships, visibility, and opportunities needed to penetrate the job market for the first time.
Consider the following sample sites and exercises for working your networking muscles:
Thinking about applying for an internship? Wondering what kind of experience you’re going to get out of that internship? Internships are the most important thing students can do to prepare for their career, especially if you choose the ones which will grant you the important transferable skills needed for your future career. Internship Ratings offers you reviews from students that have already been through internships and know how valuable they are.
Log on and create a free account with www.internshiprating.com.Complete a quick and easy survey to rate different aspects of your current and previous internships, including the level of “real life” experience, compensation, and networking opportunities you have garnered so far in your education and early career. Then, add a comment to describe a specific experience from your internship in more detail.
Ultimately, this site is a quintessential way to weed out the internships that will be a waste of your time and shall catapult you into the ones that will actually benefit you personally and professionally.
2) Create a Blog
Blog about whatever interests you – music, books, politics, sports, food, whatever it may be. In the perspective of social media networking for your career search, the content is not as important as revealing that you are opinionated and confident enough in your writing to share it with a community of online readers. You definitely garner bonus points too if you’re able to create a blog that has a substantial following, as this demonstrates an entrepreneurial side that most employers love.
Write a list of ideas, topics, and issues you feel passionate about. Our of your lists of interests, passions, and even obsessions, choose one you can confidentially write about on a weekly (or even daily) basis. Then, set up a blog in just a few key strokes by utilizing services such as WordPress or Blogger. You shall definitely get bonus points if you’re able to create a blog that has a substantial following, since this shows an entrepreneurial side most employers appreciate.
3) Create a LinkedIn Profile
For those of you that don’t know. LinkedIn is essentially a Facebook for professionals. You’re able to provide a skeleton version of your resume and you can also connect to any professional or work-related relationships you have developed throughout the years. Employers are able to see this version of your resume, interests you have, and also the people that you’re connected with. By creating this profile, employers are able to see how you interact and communicate with other professionals like yourself.
Launch your own LinkedIn profile! Even if you feel you have miniscule professional/corporate experience as a recent graduate, take inventory of your achievements in internships, volunteer work, and classroom projects producing quantifiable results. Having a profile will demonstrate a level of professionalism, ambition, and sophistication over and above typical college graduates.
4) Create a Twitter account
Twitter is an excellent way to get yourself involved in the community, show your thought process, and your opinions on many different subjects. Yes, you can tweet that you’re going to eat a sandwich or that you’re dressed in a red boa for Gay Pride, but we would recommend tweeting more on your thoughts, opinions, revelations, and discoveries on the job search quest. Employers will thus see that you’re an intelligent individual and that you’re able to communicate effectively, even if it’s only in the form of 140 characters.
Create your own Twitter account and resist the temptation to tweet about trivial, everyday life experiences. Push yourself to a new level and tweet only about your career interests and job search. Demonstrating such discipline and restraint will set you apart from the crowd and reveal a higher level of sophistication than others your age.
Fine-tune your list of potential network contacts and set a goal to contact a certain number each week or month. Arrange to meet with as many contacts as possible, and always ask each one for more referrals. Send thank you notes, and update your contacts regularly on your progress.
Ultimately, job seekers should aspire to take advantage of any extra edge that they can get. Capitalizing social media is an excellent way to get your name out there, to brand yourself, and also to potentially network with future employers or references. By taking the fullest advantage of social media, the world shall be your oyster.
Guest author, Victoria Andrew, CPRW and Owner/Director of Words Prevail, LLC www.wordsprevail.com
Victoria Andrew offers resume writing solutions and will be happy to help position new grads for career campaign success with her diverse portfolio of services.
Kavaliro Employment Agency has offices in Tampa, Fla., Charlotte, N.C., Orlando, Fla. and Washington, D.C. and can make sure you find the right people for this important role. We are ready and waiting to help you anytime and look forward to hearing from you.