With the majority of employers using social networking sites to screen job applicants, it is becoming more important than ever to educate college students on this critical topic. Social media sites, like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook have been known to help and hurt an applicant's chances. CSB/SJU Career Services offers some things to consider about social media and how it can affect your son/daughter's search:
LinkedIn is a professional social networking site with over 60 million users worldwide, and it averages 14 new members every minute. It was created to target professional adults and provide them with the means to build and maintain professional networks. Recruiters for companies and grad schools are turning more to their networks for trusted referrals of good candidates and people who know someone that would do well in a new position or opportunity. It is important for students to have a professional LinkedIn profile, with updated information on past experiences, involvement, volunteer activities and education. Once a profile is created, a student can connect with people, research company directories, and join groups that will have job postings and discussions of interest. Encourage your son/daughter to start a LinkedIn profile and join the CSB/SJU Career Connections group. This group includes students, employers and alumnae/i willing to share information, advice and openings.
Twitter is a social media site that lets you stay up to date on real-time information of interest to you. Members will "tweet" with updates that are no more than 140 characters. There are currently over 175 million users, and 95 million tweets are written per day. Some members tweet multiple times a day, and others simply follow members to stay updated. Job seekers often use Twitter to post updates on their job search, or let people know what they are looking for. We have even learned of companies that use Twitter in their job search process, asking applicants to be creative and enter a certain amount of tweets as part of the selection process. If your son/daughter is using Twitter, encourage him/her to use this in a professional way.
Facebook has over 500 million active users, and 50 percent of users log in to Facebook on any given day. It is a popular way to stay in touch with friends, family, past acquaintances and others. Facebook is more of a personal social media site, so it's important for students to remember that employers may see things they have posted. Students should use caution when choosing their profile picture, and what pictures are displayed within their account. Facebook can benefit a job search through status updates and making people aware of what a member is searching for.
For more information on this topic, please encourage your son/daughter to meet with a counselor in Career Services. To visit our website, go to www.csbsju.edu/career.