But did you also know that as a college student, you have valuable access to networking and job seeking opportunities through social media?
How much can you find out about a company in 140 characters or less (if they’ve got a Twitter account, that is)? Likely more than you think!
Many companies, organizations and universities are now connected to social media. Whether you are on the hunt for an internship, job, or exploring graduate school opportunities, following the social media accounts of places you’re interested in can tell you a lot about their mission, values, and community. This can first give you some insight into whether or not the place would be a good fit for you. Some companies and organizations might even use their social media accounts to advertise employment opportunities.
If you are preparing for an internship or job interview, the information you gather from social media can then be used to show that you’ve done your research and have a working knowledge of the company or organization’s practices and current ventures.
Having a LinkedIn account is a great way to connect with professionals working in the field you are interested in. Using LinkedIn, you can message professionals to set up informational interviews (i.e. - to learn about how they entered into the field or to learn more about their job). You could also use a site like LinkedIn to join interest groups and participate in online discussions related to your field of interest.
Twitter can also be a great networking tool, especially if you are headed to a conference or large event. Nowadays, conferences and events often have their own unique hashtag that participants can incorporate into their Twitter statuses. Not only does this enable you to see what other attendees are saying about the event, but it can also serve as a tool for scheduling meet-ups while the event is taking place.
Now, if you’re going to leverage social media in this way, you want to make sure that your own online presence reflects who you are in a positive light. How can you do this?
1. If you’re going to join, participate!
Social Media done right is all about active participation. Don’t join only to sit back and passively scroll through other peoples’ posts. Add your voice and ideas to the mix!
2. Brand Yourself
Tell people who you are and what you are about. Streamline your usernames to make it easier to search for you. Keep your bios concise, but make a point about your intentions. Make connections and post things that relate to who you say you are.
3. Keep it Clean
Now a timeless rule in social media, make sure to conduct yourself professionally online. Think before you post- is this something you want your mom, professor, or future employer to see?
4. Don’t Make it All About You
Go easy on the “selfies” and posts that only focus on you. Share a thought-provoking article. Advertise for an upcoming event in your local community. Re-post items from those you follow.
45 Things to do on Social Media to Find Jobs by Erin Greenawald
Study: Over 68% of Students Use Social Media in Internship Search by Michael Schramm
How to Brand Yourself on Social Media by Jasmine Sandler
Check out and follow these UMBC Social Media Accounts!
Have you used social media in your search for a job or internship?