In today’s day and age, social media has become extremely popular among college students. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. offer us a chance to post pictures and stay in touch with friends even miles away. Social media can be much more useful than sharing updates and feelings. Universities and colleges also use Facebook, twitter etc. to connect with students. The students can use these connections and networks to enhance their profile for future employment opportunities. Even though interacting on these sites is very simple and common, care must be taken as the internet can be used incorrectly and these mistakes can lead to detrimental results.
Studies have shown that approximately 40 percent prospective employers use the online profiles to monitor potential candidates. You need to realize that everything you post online is up for scrutiny by others, even if you have changed your profile settings to private. There are a couple of steps that you can take to ensure that you do make full use of Facebook to your own advantage.
- Make it a point to post beneficial content: You can use your Facebook profile to post videos and articles of the field you are interested to work in. Be sure to be involved in debates and conversations. You can also use Facebook to connect with the recruiters, coordinators and to join alumni networks. If you are an undergraduate student, you can use it to stay in touch with your seniors and alumni.
- Refrain from posting inappropriate pictures of yourself: If you are on a job hunt, whether it’s full time or part time, give a thought to the pictures of yourself online. Employers sometimes have interns or their own employees go through the online profile and they use any means necessary to get the information. It doesn’t matter if the privacy settings are on. Scrutinize your own pictures before posting them online.
- Search yourself online: Google yourself! This is what the employers will see when they search you. There’s a way for you to make a good impression at this point. If you blog or have a website, make sure it is easily accessible.
- Always post positive updates: It’s not easy to do this as life is difficult at times. You are not always feeling your best self. But try not let it show in your Facebook posts. Above all, do not badmouth your teachers, co-workers, bosses, and do not complain about your job. The employers will develop an unfavorable opinion of you if they happen to read it.
- Do not be vain: Try not to post updates about what you had for lunch or dinner. Do not post updates asking people for jobs, it shows you are desperate! You can show your interest in a particular field by posting articles, videos, etc. pertaining to the subject matter. You can also show it by commenting on posts.
Facebook can be very good for networking and keeping in touch with recruiters. If you just take care about what you share online and make sure you interact with the right people, you will have a very good online profile. If you cannot, there’s always an option of creating two separate accounts one for personal use and the other for professional use. Take care that the personal one is under your nickname though!
Stephanie Colaco is a freelance writer, editor and former HR professional. An Honors college graduate, she spends her free time helping students/professionals achieve their academic goals by publishing articles that answer their many questions on business degrees and more. Connect with her on Google+.