I’m writing this during National Careers Week. In Greater Manchester we have been running digital newsrooms with a focus on careers. So far we have twitter interviewed a communications manager, a film maker, a TV presenter, PR director, a building surveyor, logistics manager to name but a few, all without leaving the school. We have made videos on you tube channels and written blogs on a variety of subjects. Its all been about the students seeing social media in a different light rather than the way that they might be currently using it. We have also been teaching the students about how to responsible for their own personal brands as this can have an affect on their future.
I met my business partners on Twitter back in 2011 and I would say that this particular social network has enriched my life in many ways purely by the people that I have met through it and the information and knowledge that I have gained from it.
While it pays to have a degree and qualifications it turns out that when it comes to getting a job experience matters too. You can use social media to engage with potential employers and find people who will give that valuable work experience or volunteering that does make a difference when it come to getting a job. If you know what field you want to work in use social media to gain knowledge and the field and find out who employs people. A lot of jobs are not advertised and if you make an impact on a potential employer you may have a chance to get a foot in the door. Sometimes a traditional CV doesn’t cut the mustard and thinking of different ways to show your experience or knowledge can get you that opportunity. Use social media to listen first – just like traditional face to face networking engage, show interest and ask questions – don’t just broadcast and talk about yourself. You can meet the right people online and if appropriate follow it up offline. When it comes to interviews use social media to do your research on the business and people who work there.
Tattoo’s, Spies and One Direction
Some tips on how students should think about how they use social media:
Tattoo’s: What ever you put online is permanent and leaves a digital footprint, even if its deleted (if people share and you delete its still out there!). This before you post a picture, video or message. Think about the impact that you can have on your own personal brand if you post something bad, negative, slanderous or racist. Quite frankly putting up something bad just ain’t nice!
Spies: People can find out a lot about you via social media. Be aware that your password settings are set correctly. Don’t accept any Tom, Dick or Harry as a friend on Facebook. On the other hand you can use social media to research jobs, businesses and people who you would like to work with.
One Direction: Be in control of your own personal brand. Be aware of what your being tagged into and what people are saying. Be careful not to land yourself in hot water and control what is being said about you.
Social Media is fantastic if used properly. You are now able to speak to people who were once out of reach. The world is really a small place and its what you make it. Social media isn’t going anywhere fast and its a great way of communicating but don’t forget there is a time and a place and don’t hide behind it. Social Media is called social so use it to engage.