For many students the opportunity of taking a year out of university to work in industry, or graduating and finally being able to work in the real world, sounds like a dream come true. However, what many students don’t realise is just how hard it is to secure a placement or that perfect job!
Using Social Media for #Job Search
As a current second year student at Oxford Brookes University I have spent over four months applying to a variety of placement positions at different companies. After continuingly tweaking my CV and re-writing my cover letter, I decided to adopt a slightly different approach to my job search – using social media to maximise my chances of securing a job.
As human beings we have the need to communicate with others and social media facilitates this. As well as connecting with friends, we are now also able to communicate with companies and potential employers online, making it easier for us to find out information about a company and its staff before we even apply or attend an interview.
Different Social Networks for Job Search
LinkedIn is a social media site that allows users to connect and network with colleagues and business acquaintances in a formal manner.LinkedIn allow you not only to showcase your job history online, just like your CV, but who currently works for the company you want to apply to. Connect with professionals working in your dream company on LinkedIn and ask them a few questions about the company and why they enjoy working there. This information will be very valuable in a job interview, as it shows you have researched the company in more depth than the other candidates applying for the job, helping you to stand out.
Nearly all students own a Facebook account and the majority of them don’t even realise that their profile is visible to anyone who cares to view it. If your Facebook profile is full of pictures of you after a few too may drinks on a night out, or status updates that are rude and offensive, then the perfect image that recruiters have of you after an interview can be shattered in a matter of seconds. Recruiters Will look you up and a five-minute stalk on your Facebook profile could be all it takes to lose that perfect job you’ve been applying for, so set your profile to private, or be careful about your posts.
Twitter is another social media platform that many students use on a daily basis. This ‘micro-blogging’ site allows users to send out statuses of up to 140 characters to their followers. As well as being followed by other users, you can also choose to follow whomever you want from friends, celebrities and companies, so that you can stay up to date on their activities. Many large companies, such as Virgin have Twitter accounts dedicated to careers, and as a result they will tweet every time a new job becomes available, allowing you to be one of the first to know about new job opportunities without having to constantly check different careers websites. Companies are also becomig more innovative when selecting potential employees for interviews, with some even inviting students to assessment centres through Twitter. I was in fact selected to go to an assessment day with Rate My Placement, after the company ran a ‘Wild Card’ Twitter competition that allowed one lucky student the opportunity to attend their assessment day without even applying for the job. I had to tweet in 140 characters why I would make the perfect placement student and I subsequently got offered a job working for the company. This proves just how effective social media is for securing jobs and how it is becoming an increasingly popular way of selecting students for interviews.
Blog Your Way To a Job
Blogging is another social platform that many students underestimate the power of. Not only does it allow you to showcase your talents and sharpen your professional skills by staying informed about a particular topic, but it can also help you to stand out after the interview if you inform a recruiter about your blog, as they will most likely spend some time reading it after your interview.
Social Media in Job Search Is Recommended
To summarise, in order to increase your chances of securing a job, it is very important to integrate social media into your job search in order to stand out from the crowd in this highly competitive job market. You should use LinkedIn to connect with employees of companies that interest you; set your Facebook profile to private, so that potential recruiters can’t see inappropriate pictures of you; follow companies on Twitter to stay updated with new job opportunities; and blog to show employees just how talented you are. These few extra steps can be the difference between staying unemployment or getting hired, and that is why it is imperative to integrate social media into your job search.
About Author: Rebecca Anne Hunter is a Business and Marketing Management student at Oxford Brookes University. Rebecca is passionate about Marketing, Social Media and Entrepreneurship. She is the former Vice-President and Marketing Director for Brookes Entrepreneurs, a society at Oxford Brookes which Promotes Entrepreneurship. Connect with Rebecca on Twitter – @RebeccaAnneHunt