Once upon a time, college students attended career fairs and poured over their local newspaper’s classifieds when on the hunt for a job. Today, not so much. Chances are, if you are looking for post-graduation employment or an internship these days, you will not even have to get off your couch – until the interview, that is (unless, of course, your interview is conducted via phone or Skype!).
Nowadays, most college students find jobs online through websites like ed2010.com, mediabistro.com and internqueen.com, which post listings for jobs and internships in different fields (for example, ed2010.com exclusively posts listings in magazine journalism). And, according to USA Today, as many as 28 percent of college graduates use social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – a social networking website aimed at businesses and professionals – to snatch a job in the real world.
“I’m looking for an internship this summer, so I reached out to a friend who has contacts via Twitter,” says Megan Morat, a student at Towson University. “Social media makes networking infinitely easier these days.”
According to resumetarget.com, Jill Gaynor, a recruiter from New York City, agrees, saying that LinkedIn allows job recruiters to find the exact candidates that they want.
In order to successfully job hunt via social media, College Magazine has a few tips for you to keep in mind:
Your online image is important. If you plan on networking for jobs online, you must keep your social media profiles a hundred percent professional. If you cannot do that, it is time to make privatize that Facebook and lock those Tweets.
Show your personality. Just because you have to be professional, that does not mean that you have to act like you have no personality. If you are interested in fashion, Tweet some links to your favorite clothes. If you like comedy, Tweet a link to a funny (but appropriate!) YouTube video. Employers want to know what makes you you.
Follow companies you are interested in on Twitter. And Tweet them! Do not Tweet them asking for a job, but rather, about things about them that you like or that interest you. You would be surprised to see how responsive they can be to your interests. Also, companies often post job opportunities on Twitter and Facebook, so that is something to keep in mind.
Network with your peers. According to ED2010, it is a good idea to network with those who are on the same job level as you, whether on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. If you are an intern, network with fellow interns. After all, they might be the ones that can help you out in the future. If you immediately try to network with the CEO, he or she will see right through you and feel like you are trying to take advantage of him or her.
Join groups on LinkedIn. Join as many groups that interest you as possible. The more groups you join, the more potential contacts you will have.