Using Social Media to Gain a Competitive Edge in The Job Market!

Leah is currently a freshmen at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, GA where she is completing an Individually Planned Major (IPM) of Global Marketing Communications. This fall semester she is a Social Media Intern at Dalton Agency. She is quick-thinking student who aspires to make a difference in communities, around the world, through using Marketing and Advertising. In her free-time Leah enjoys writing, reading, listening to music and going to concerts, and also watching TV with her roommates.

Every student around the country loves using social media to connect with their friends and family. Many students though are missing another connection they can make on social media, though, which is connecting with potential employers and companies. With the job market becoming extremely competitive for students when they graduate, it is a must for students to make themselves known, for good things, beyond in the real world but also on social media. Here are some simple tips to think about when using social media, to help you get further ahead in the job market.

1. Follow & Interact with Companies on Social Media
Companies enjoy engaging with customers on social media, and with most companies running their social media accounts in house, they take notice of who is engaging with them. Many students have landed internships from following and communicating with companies they are interested in working for. Whether you simply retweet, like, comment, or reply to a post the company will take notice of your engagement with them, as it shows your interest in the company before they have showed interest in you.

Companies also tend to post openings on their Twitter and Facebook accounts, which can save you the time of having to look on various websites for these openings. Being able to see these on your timeline, most likely before others, gives you the chance to also show interest by liking, retweeting, or replying to their post; again showing interest before they show interest in you. Usually whoever is the recruiting person, or is the one who will be over the intern, will be taking note of who responded on social media and so forth. While it may seem scary at first, this gives the employer an opportunity to get to know you and your skills, and it may be able to lead to you receiving and interview you may not have gotten by just applying.

Also if those who work for the company, or in the department you want to work in, have personal Twitter accounts (and their profiles are public) it is a great opportunity to make a connection within the company. Having connections at the company you want to work for can also make the difference between getting an interview or even potentially the position you want. If they are creating content you find interesting, retweet it! It will again show that you have interest in them, and they can take notice of you.

2. Create a Professional Username/Handle
Many people, in the professional world, have a personal and professional Twitter or Instagram account. If you feel like you must post unprofessional pictures, or tweets, that are not appropriate for potential employers, then you need to make two separate accounts. If you are comfortable with having one account that focuses on both your professional and personal self, make sure you are willing to have a filter and have the account in a good light of yourself.

If possible try to get your name, first and last, preferably as your username/handle. If this is not possible, try to use a name you want to be known as, but not something silly or inappropriate. For example, I enjoy typography, and I couldn’t get my first and last name, so I decided to go by “Leahelvetica” on Twitter and Instagram. But to make sure people can find you by your real name on social media, put your real name in the “Name” section of the account, so you can at least be found that way also. Having a memorable name on social media will make it easier for people to find you, when they meet you, but also to give them a lasting impression of you.

3. Join LinkedIn!
Lastly, joining the social network Linkedin is not only an amazing way to build contacts and to keep in touch, it is an amazing resource to get in contact with companies and see listings available for jobs and internships. Regardless of fields of study, with more emphasis on some other fields, it is becoming a norm in the workplace to be considered professional because you have a LinkedIn account. It is also a great place to have your resume live online for the world to see, and you never know who will come across your profile and reach out to you.

So hopefully from now on, you will be able to look at social media as not only a way to connect with friends but to connect also with various employers/companies you have interest in! Don’t let these opportunities slip out of your reach, because as the job market becomes more competitive with each graduating class, you have to find new ways to get your foot in the door.

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