The fine folks from Social Assurity are back this summer with some important tips on social media prep and strategy.
NYU students should set aside some time this summer to begin prepping and optimizing their social media profiles across social networks. By creating a content rich social media presence reflecting your skills, activities, interests and accomplishments, you will be enhancing your ability to secure choice career and internship opportunities later on. Here are 5 reasons why:
Reason #1: Employers Are Looking at Your Social Media
According to a recent JobVite survey, just about every employer will eventually take a look at your social media activities as part of the recruiting/hiring process. The ultimate hiring decision has always been a subjective one and most often comes down to personal characteristics and soft skills. Social media now provides employers with a fast, easy, efficient and inexpensive way to assess your character, maturity, genuineness, credibility, overall “likeability” and cultural fit. Therefore, making that inspection easier and less time consuming for employers by being transparent and directing employers to your social media profile links will not only be appreciated by the potential employer but will likely be advantageous to you as well. Rather than dwelling on the potential negatives, you should be working to unlock the positive powers of social media by building a well-rounded, robust and easy to find online presence accurately depicting your talents, activities and accomplishments.
Reason #2: Since Employers Are Looking Then Give Them Something to See
Recruiters have neither the time nor the interest to search social media simply to find reasons to reject you. When recruiters look, logic dictates they look because they want to learn more about you, opening up a door of opportunity to set yourself apart from other qualified applicants. An overload of photos depicting social activities is not nearly as detrimental to your professional interests as not being found online at all. If this is a concern, you can use the summer to counterbalance your social activities with more professional, career oriented content. The key point is to leverage your social media by making sure you can be found rather than deactivating social media accounts or creating aliases to remain hidden.
Reason #3: The Best Offense is a Good Defense
Every company that is searching for employees online likely has a significant marketing and/or corporate presence on social media. Do your research and then follow your list of targeted companies. For each company you follow, you will be engaging with an important mix of employees, vendors and customers who will all be discussing real-life issues in real-time. As you start engaging by commenting and sharing newsfeeds, you will begin to identify real people behind a company’s curtain and they will begin to recognize you. Remember that social media is not a passive activity so keep researching, keep connecting, keep building and you will be found.
Interacting with industry experts, companies and executives is recommended if, and only if, your social media is in proper order. Remember that whenever you send a message using a social network’s messaging system or otherwise post, you are also necessarily transmitting a digital dossier containing your entire profile and activity specific to that social network. This includes all past posts, photos, friends and followers. By having your social media optimized for inspection, you can then use social media to freely and safely interact with businesses and industry leaders and will start building a strong network as a result.
Reason #4: Many Businesses Are Using Social Media to Proactively Recruit Employees
This is all so much more than simply creating a LinkedIn account. Many companies are searching for talent on Facebook and Twitter as well. Therefore, this is also about learning how to leverage the capabilities of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to your full potential by going beyond the basic post and like functions. Surveys continue to show that a surprisingly large number of recruiters are using Facebook to find qualified candidates, especially when looking for candidates who may not be on LinkedIn because they are not actively looking for jobs.
The ultimate goal is to be found when a company taps into social media’s big data search function by understanding your personal search metrics and the proper keywords needed to describe your unique set of skills, talents and qualities.
Reason #5: Proactively Managing Social Media is an Essential Life Skill
Social media is here to stay and will continue to influence character assessments made by grad schools, scholarship committees, internship selection committees, employers, landlords and future significant others. It is time to learn how your social media can work for you rather than against you by accurately reflecting your persona, skills and attributes for people to see and view.