Archive for December, 2012

In today’s evolving job market, social media has become an essential tool to finding employment after college.

College students use at least one social media site daily, ranging from networking to sharing their work to giving updates on their lives. However, the main reason is to show skills, experience and judgment needed for a real-world job.

C.J. Matson, a recent University of Kansas graduate and current newspaper copy-editor in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., has gone through the whole process and says self-promoting is a key.

“I think it’s important because when you’re job searching, you need to sell yourself, and sharing work samples such as articles and podcasts is a great way to sell yourself,” Matson said. “Sharing your work through social media such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn gives your work great exposure to both the public and to prospective employers.”

In the past couple of years, Twitter has experienced a huge spike in popularity. Before that, Facebook hit its peak.

Many students make bad decisions on social media. University of Kansas director of human resources Ola Faucher says it can be costly if you don’t monitor your activity.

“If you don’t use mature judgment in presenting yourself in social media, it’s available for the world to see and many employers are not as cautious as the university might be in considering social media in the hiring process.” Faucher said. “So you are demonstrating your level of responsibility to a potential employer by how you communicate who you are through social media.”

Faucher believes that once you get a job, it’s possible to either move up or lose your job due to effective or detrimental social media use.

“Certainly if using social media is part of one’s job responsibility and you do a good job at that and are successful, then that can contribute to your career development, career enhancement and maybe pay increases,” Faucher said. “It would need to be part of your job and the department that hires you would recognize that as an ability.”

Unfortunately, there’s a downside.

“You always have to be cautious as an employee in how you use social media because even if it’s not a firing offense, it can certainly cause disruptive working relationships within the department,” Faucher said.

People in charge of hiring for companies have vast experience on this topic. Most companies use social media as a way to reference-check when interviewing job candidates.

Human Resources manager for the City of Lawrence, Lori Carnahan, says there will be consequences if one shows a lack of judgment on social media.

“What one chooses to put out to the world is a statement of whether they are thinking about whether they will have to live by those statements tomorrow, next week, two years from now or five years from now,” Carnahan said. “With the internet as it is, it never really goes away, so statements I made five years ago are still available for people to review today.”

Faucher also advises to do research about the employer in order to find out what ways they can be persuaded in the realm of how they use social media.

Matson, who has begun his adult life on the right track by landing a job within a couple months of graduation, suggests being mindful of what you share on your personal pages and that creating a LinkedIn account as a professional page is a must.

The way things are today, people can post their opinions to social media at any time, even when not at a computer. A number of students now have smartphones with Twitter applications, so it’s available at the touch of a button.

Current students, like University of Kansas junior Alex Gold, are taking steps to make sure their reputation is protected through their social media profiles.

Gold, who has more than 1,000 Twitter followers, says there was a time when he realized he was having people follow him that he didn’t necessarily know, and it forced him to be more conscious as to what he tweets and retweets.

He also mentioned that he got an internship through Twitter and that it’s important to be noticed, in a good way of course, on social media.

“Generally when you’re talking about Twitter and employers, they are going to look to see what kind of stuff you have on there, whether it’s drunken photos or tweets that involve a lot of cussing or anything like that,” Gold said. “I wouldn’t say you’re going to necessarily get a job because someone saw something you tweeted, but it definitely makes them more familiar with you.”

Gold agrees with Matson that it’s important to brand yourself.

“Anytime I’m doing something in the field that I want to eventually work in, here with the student campus media, I think it’s huge to be able to promote myself,” Gold said. “If you don’t promote yourself, who’s going to promote you?”

So, students, be smart with what you post, promote your work, and don’t post anything on social media that will hurt your chances of being hired. It’s a big world out there.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

ANDREW CURTIS: Social media is important in finding a job after college and impacts students every day. University of Kansas senior Alex Gold is popular on Twitter and is leery of employers.

ALEX GOLD: I think it depends on what field you’re in, but in terms of in broadcasting or media, I definitely think they at least will google you. I know that if you google myself right now, Twitter is the 2nd or 3rd thing that comes up, so obviously you want to be aware of what’s on there. I don’t think necessarily every field really is relevant, so they probably don’t check social media, but in terms of in journalism and the media, marketing, absolutely I think they do.

CURTIS: I went to the office of KU Human Resources director Ola Faucher to get her take on what students should do to market themselves for jobs after graduation.

OLA FAUCHER: I think it’s definitely important if you’re using social media as a methodology to sell yourself for employment. You really need to take a look at that, and decide what the things are that will sell you as a candidate for a professional job.

CURTIS: I also visited city hall to find out what tips the Human Resources manager for the city of Lawrence has for college students in the search for employment.

LORI CARNAHAN: As far as advice on what a college student should do as they leave college, I think it’s important to know that anything that you have in a public realm such as social media, Facebook or Twitter, could be reviewed and helps develop the opinion of potential employers of you and your character.

CURTIS: For socially web savvy, I’m Andrew Curtis.

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While surfing the web this morning, I found an interesting take on social media that looks into the idea that social media has the potential to be a tool that promotes healthy behavior. This probably hasn’t been explored much in the past and I’m sure none of my readers have seen this idea. Also, television has become an American tradition. Combine that with social media and you have yourself having a partnership match made in heaven, writes the Huffington Post. Meanwhile, social media presents such a saturated business market that it serves as a jungle for advertisers.