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When you’re in college, it’s tempting to think of social media as just another way to keep up with your friends and acquaintances. Sharing videos, updating your status and sending out brief tweets can add an important dimension to your offline relationships. However, social media can also be used to help land you a job after college. Here’s a brief three-step strategy for making that a reality.
Step 1: Update your social media profiles
If you don’t already have a profile on LinkedIn, create one. Include information about any college internships you may have had, as well as any positions of leadership you might have held (e.g. president of the debate club, captain of the lacrosse team).
And re-think your social media profiles on platforms like Facebook – your goal should be to present a more professional image to recruiters and hiring managers. You don’t have to post a profile photo of yourself in suit and tie, but you do need to clean things up a bit. Keep it classy. You really don’t want recruiters to see photos of the year-end keg party that your fraternity hosted.
Step 2: Start following people within your chosen industry
If you’re thinking of a career in marketing after college graduation, then start following people and brands who make sense for your career choice. Simply following people won’t land you a job, of course. But you’ll see what the influencers and thought leaders are talking about, and what types of trends matter to them. This will help you immensely in your job interviews. Inevitably, an interviewer is going to ask a question like, “So, what do you see as the greatest problem facing our company today?” You want to be ready.
Step 3: Check out company Twitter feeds and Facebook pages for openings
You can still find job openings on all the big job boards, as well as on a company’s website. But if you want the freshest, most up-to-date openings, you’ll want to check out social media. Even better, the people posting these job openings are not just from “corporate HR” – they are the actual line managers with hiring authority. Thus, you might be able to establish a back-door connection that helps you avoid the black hole that much of the online recruiting business can become (i.e. you submit a resume online to a company and never hear back from them at all).
Step 4: Become an active contributor online
There are plenty of ways to get in front of companies and hiring managers using social media. For example, tweet out relevant news stories or links to your latest blog post and include a hashtag so that your dream company of choice can find it on Twitter. If you attend industry-themed events, provide updates so that hiring managers can see that you’re serious about joining their company.
All of these steps can help you to land a new job after college graduation. Just remember – the more you invest in building a robust social media profile, the more you’ll get back in terms of new job connections and new interview opportunities.