We live in a digital age, people— social media accounts are inevitable. You have them, your employers have them and everyone looks for yours. Yes– future employers look for your social media accounts, especially if you are applying to work in a field that has anything to do with social media. For example, if you’re a communications major, journalism major, marketing major, public relations major or anything of that sort, you will be checked out. Even if you aren’t a part of any of these industries, social media should still be important to you.
Like I said, we are in the digital age. You can find almost anything on social media. News is being broken on social media. We are constantly using social media to share messages. Fame can even be gained through social media. Social media has become a main method of communication, as it allows you to connect with people, companies and brands across the world with just a few words through cyberspace.
So how will social media help you find a job or internship? Here’s how:
Companies use social media to hire and scout.
Hashtags are more than long words strung together. Hashtags can be tracked, searched and used for so many different purposes. For example, #internship #DC #marketing will bring up tweets from companies or site postings about a marketing internship in Washington, D.C. It’s really that simple.
If you’re interested in the Occupy movement and want to get involved with an organization or movement similar to that, your voice and passion for a cause can likely be heard by utilizing hashtags and even attract the attention from others who feel the same way.
There are an infinite amount of resources to be discovered.
Social media platforms act like Google–search and you shall find. Experts in their field are on social media constantly giving advice and spreading their knowledge. For example, there are so many different Twitter chats featuring experts answering questions. Search for #InternChat or #MilennialChat; there are even specific Twitter chats for different industries. You never know who you will talk to and you could even end up finding a mentor.
You can practice your own social media skills.
Like most skills, you learn and improve with practice. Your social media accounts reflect who you are. Even if you aren’t in the communications field, your online presence will still be searched. Show off your social media skills and savviness. Learn what works for you, try new practices and figure out what your strengths are.
While establishing an online presence is very important and can help your career, it is just as easy to damage your image online. How could you hurt your chances of getting a job or internship? Pay close attention.
Your voice and image is carried through your social media accounts— both good and bad.
Aside from the obvious underage drinking, extreme language and anything that makes you look unprofessional, your words are a very powerful description of your personality as well. You can tell a lot about a person by what they say and how they say it on social media. Let’s compare it to the 90-second resumé test. Any potential employer is likely to scan your profile picture, bio and posts to get a first impression of you just as they do with any resume. Therefore, the way you present yourself online is critical when it comes to establishing your repertoire.
Social media is a huge part of the digital age and is a tremendous power to be reckoned with. Its power will only grow as it develops further, making it a huge factor in your future. While it isn’t necessary to erase every inch of your digital footprint, do be cautious and take time to censor what may be inappropriate. Social media isn’t just a marketing platform; it’s also a way to express yourself. As you go on to tweet and tag, be sure to have fun, be yourself, and establish a positive and professional presence.