Students and social media: how to get a job online
In times of high use of social media and ever increasing personal visibility on the internet, it’s never too early for students to start thinking about connecting with those who may be able to give them a head start into the career which they’ve chosen.
Tutors, teachers and lecturers have an important part to play in supporting students with career planning and employability, as well as their academic skills. Social media can open doors for students: this blog post explains how.
In this post, I’ll be looking at the three online platforms students can raise their profile and stand out from the rest when it comes to making connections for their career; Twitter, LinkedIn and of course blogging. It is vital that through an online persona professionalism is maintained at every step, but taken that as a given, let’s look at what services are available.
Here are some tips and advice that teachers and lecturers can use or forward on to help students make the most of the professional opportunities that social media offer.
Many students already use Twitter daily for sharing content with friends and connecting to celebrities, but by setting up a professional account for career boosting purposes you can use a social medium professionally by following a few simple rules and engaging with a good Twitter strategy:
- Be selective about who you follow. Follow those in your field, check and see who they follow. Soon you’ll have a good wide ranging network of potential employers.
- Introduce yourself to those that you do follow. Don’t be shy, people love to engage on Twitter and if they find out you’re studying in their subject area they’ll be more than happy to help if and when they have the time.
- Use #hashtags so keep up to date with what’s going on in your chosen field and be made aware of any opportunities. Save your #hashtag searches so you can browse at least once a day. Ask questions and #hashtag your chosen field, others in your area will find you if you haven’t found them already.
- Retweet tweets that you find interesting in your field. Engaging with others via a simple RT will bring attention your way for all the right reasons. Retweets are a virtual high five, showing you respect someone’s opinions will build your relationship with them.
With over 300 million users, it’s no wonder that LinkedIn is one of the top sites for recruitment globally. It may seem a little daunting for those in full time further/higher education to start putting their professional profile together and thinking about their Linked In strategy but showing a potential employer, or peer in their chosen sector, what you’re looking for, what skills you have and what your working interests are, could really open doors.
LinkedIn is keen for students (even as young as high school) to create their profile and start using the site before they step into the workplace for the first time. Why? Because now more than ever students should be focussing on building their professional brand, networking and turning possible business relationships into opportunities, and with some basic Linked In training it is easy to get started.
In some ways blogging is where you truly get to put your personal stamp on your experiences of the sector you wish to make your break into. Blogging is a great platform for getting your voice heard, for learning about others experiences and for making connection sand in time this could lead to guest blogging on other well-known blogs in your area. More and more people are looking to the internet to find reviews and information about different sectors.
From Here to Ecology is a great example of a student blog for professional purposes. Student blogger Tim set it up during a placement year of a sandwich course degree, as a way of logging his activities and skill development. The blog has helped him to build connections and raise his professional visibility. It also helped Tim secure a guest blog on the UK’s leading botany website and a feature in the online industry magazine, Herbology Manchester. By showing his passion and commitment to his chosen career through his blog, Tim puts himself in a much better position for finding work when he graduates.
With all of this information in mind, where is a good place to start?
You may remember my review of Victoria Tomlinson’s ebook, From Student to Salary with Social Media. It’s jam packed with helpful and handy tips.
Or if you think you’d like more interactive face-to-face social media training and advice for you or your students, do get in touch. I can tailor a social media masterclass to your requirements.