Calling All College Students: What is Social Networking to You?
JasonKim 270005N6MX Visits (924)
What does it mean to create a LinkedIn profile, update different sections and write down meticulously screened details to your professional experience? What about Jobster, a social platform used for networking with businesses that are offering job opportunities to qualified individuals? Facebook, with now almost 1 billion active users, now has its own marketplace that lists and catalogues job openings with other people and companies in your network. All of these social media platforms are transforming the hiring process, and companies have taken note of its recruiting capabilities. So what does all of this mean for the aspiring college student looking for that perfect internship or full time job offer? It means you now have various new online avenues to discover a massive amount of job opportunities throughout the world, and it is only a few clicks away.
Social networking has now become one of the leading tools for individuals looking for a job and companies who are hiring to professionally connect with each other in hopes of finding a job and discovering top talent, respectively. It is all about how you project yourself, and the web allows anyone to do so in a professional demeanor. With the right professional projection of yourself on these social networking platforms, you can experience the recruiting process before you even step into your company of choice’s office.
Just the other day, I was perusing my LinkedIn profile, updating areas that needed it, and accepting new connections. When checking my inbox, I notice that I received an email from one of my newest connections, who had written me a personal email regarding a potential job interview for the company he worked for. If anything, I was flattered by the extension, but this incident wasn’t my first. I had received two other job opportunities this past year, based solely on the credentials I wrote in my LinkedIn profile. The message I am giving to you is that companies do care and do spend time looking through potential candidates to any opportunities that exist in their organization.
As proven, these social networking platforms give college students an extremely valuable opportunity to find the job of their dreams, learn about various industries, and become recognized by firms who are looking for your talent. But like everything else in this world, there is a caveat: just as you are able to inspect various job opportunities online, companies can do the same to you. For instance, many companies have been known to use Facebook to find and scrutinize details about a potential recruit before even meeting them. A personal friend of mine informed me that his company even goes to the length of checking someone’s Facebook profile minutes before a job interview. And if that isn’t enough to convince you, Career Builder, the largest online employment website in the country, performed a study that concluded, “45% of companies are checking out potential employees’ social pages” (The link to this article is posted at the end of the entry). Therefore, when you are going through the recruitment process, you are no exception to potential employers’ discretion to look for you on these social networking platforms. So, be careful about how you portray yourself on these platforms, because they can hurt you as much as they can help you.
Here are a few tips to always keep in mind when handling your social network:
1. Use various platforms like Facebook Marketplace and LinkedIn to find job opportunities that interest you.
2. Build a strong, professional profile that outlines your strengths and related professional experiences.
3. During the recruiting process, keep your profiles private and professional. Refrain from disclosing too much information about your social life that may push employers away from you.
4. Build your social network; link with as many connections as you can to create your personal brand image.
5. Regularly update your credentials on these platforms. Think of them as your online resume.
Through the pros and cons of social networking, the overarching message is to encourage you to build your personal online brand image. As much as you are worried about obtaining a job, employers want to equally make sure that they are hiring the right people. Social networking platforms are simply an easy tool for employers to explore their talent pool and pick the cream of the crop. Having a strong professional online brand image will make you stand out amongst the tens of thousands of other students looking at the same job posting as you are, and you should expect to see the fruits of your intensive (online) labor. And if you haven’t already, I strongly urge you to go make a LinkedIn profile, upload your resume to Jobster, and tweet interesting business news on a regular basis! Follow the tips I have provided above, and you’ll be on the road to starting and conquering the recruitment process. Make professionals fight over each other to hire you, and start making the right connections early on so that you can kick off your professional career with a whole lot of bang.