Social media important in today’s job search
Published: Thursday, May 3, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 4, 2012 14:05
In the same year that Facebook is expected to cross the 1-billion- member threshold, Loyola’s career development center decided to host the lecture, “Using Social Media in the Job/Internship Search” on Tuesday, April 17.
The lecture was designed to arm students with advice on how to use social media to navigate an increasingly changing job market. Students graduating this May will meet a job market in which 89 percent of companies recruit at least some of their employees online.
“There’re a lot of ways an employer can follow you. They have the ability to learn much more about you because of the internet,” Mass Communications professor David Zemmels said.
According to onlineeducation.net, an online education database, about 96 percent of college students use Facebook.
Loyola’s career development center held the lecture to keep Loyola students from running into trouble with social media due to the growing amount of employers who use online resources to select job interviewees.
During the lecture, Loyola students were told to “clean up all your social media sites,” to delete pictures or posts referencing excessive partying, and to “avoid discussing or hosting discussions about hot-button topics.”
Jill Boatright, assistant director of the career development center, contends that social media can also be helpful to recent graduates looking to make professional connections.
In her lecture, Boatright advised students to join LinkedIn, a social media site that refers to itself as “the world’s largest professional network.”
On LinkedIn, a user creates a professional profile, complete with a headshot and resume, and follows or “links” with everyone they know as well as companies in their chosen field.
According to Boatright joining is becoming less than optional for college students who are serious about starting careers after graduation.
“You need to have a LinkedIn account. Employers will question why you don’t have one if you don’t.” Boatright said.
This shift comes at a time when 87 percent of employers who recruit online use LinkedIn as a source.
According to Zemmels, a social media presence is now a vital part of the life of a college student. “Millennials have integrated social media into every day life.”
The key to navigating this new world of social media is to establish a positive web presence, Zemmels said.
“Privacy isn’t so much about hiding information, it’s about controlling it,” Zemmels said.
The career development center believes that students should simply eliminate any online depictions that are unflattering and urges students to “review [their] privacy settings.”
Zemmels says that students cannot stop someone from posting unflattering information about them on the internet. “The only way to counterbalance that is by posting more stuff that you want people to see.”
Emily Reynolds physics sophomore said, “I think we’re coming into a world where you have to put yourself out there to be in with everything.”
Nia Toombs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org