The job market in the 21st century has evolved to become a very competitive field. It requires that all graduates become very aggressive so as to land the lucrative job that they so desire. This requires one to network. This network has to include a wide variety of individuals from friends to family to acquaintances. The advent of social media has led to the evolution of job hunting for most graduates and other unemployed individuals through new and innovative means. Through social media, it is possible to land a lucrative job in a prestigious or even upcoming company. This post will highlight important tips that may help one utilize social media to search for a job.
1. Develop a Professional Presence
According to HR managers at SolidEssay.com, which is a college paper writing service, in order for one to look for a job online using social media, it is important that they create a professional outlook. This is vital towards influencing the kind of impression that a prospective employer has. This can be achieved by googling one’s name. The results will depict one’s outlook to a prospective employer. Depending on the results, one can alter the undesired parts and create a professional profile online. One can then go ahead to set up a profile on all the major social media sites such as LinkedIn. Furthermore, one can enhance the information that is available to the public on Facebook, Twitter ad Google+. All these are essential in putting forth a professional persona.
This is currently the largest social media site that is dedicated to the creation of a professional profile for career minded individuals. Irrespective of one’s career choice, LinkedIn is the most potent social media site where one can create a useful and effective network that will serve their career needs. Most, if not all, CEOs, Corporate Managers and recruitment agencies have a profile on LinkedIn. This serves as a good place to start for the creation of a good network.
3. Online Communities
There exist numerous online communities that are predominantly geared towards connecting employees to prospective employers. By joining these online communities, one can increase their chances of coming across a lucrative job opening in one of the hiring companies. These online communities can be in the form of Facebook fan pages for non-profit organisations, LinkedIn Groups for one’s university or a listserv for an industry’s association. Even though most choose to ignore these online communities, one can find a lucrative job opening by simply commenting on the discussions within these communities.
Twitter is undoubtedly the most used social media site in the world. It has become an important tool for most recruiting departments owing to the fact that it is cheap and readily accepted by the market. As such, most recruiting departments tweet about their job openings. In order for one to be strategically placed to find these job openings, they ought to follow these corporate organisations on Twitter so as to keep updated on the latest opportunities in that area available within the companies. However, this is not sufficient. It is important that one is actively involved in responding or tweeting to some of the discussions that they post on Twitter. This helps one build a rapport with the company as an active follower of their work.
Blogs are also an effective way to utilize social media. One can create a blog about one’s career interests, progress, educational background and even their general life philosophy. This link can then be posted on each of their social media profiles, such as on Facebook and LinkedIn. This blog will allow for any potential employer to gain a general outlook on what one is all about. It is essential that this blog be kept purely professional.
In conclusion, social media can be a very effective tool in a job hunt. It creates one’s profile online, exposing all the critical information to all the prospective employers. In order for one to effectively use social media, they need to develop a professional presence online, join LinkedIn and Twitter, create and effectively use a blog. If a graduate seeking employment utilizes the five listed strategies, then they will not only increase their chances of coming across a job listing, but they will also improve their marketability in a very competitive and relentless job market that requires one to be aggressive.
Ben is a freelance writer and blogger featuring new trends and sharing tips related to education and careers. In one of his recent articles he shares helpful tips on how to write a personal statement for graduate school.
I have not always been a Twitter aficionado (read: I hated the idea of it all for the first 5 years). However, in 2011 I was somehow convinced to create an account and my friends came up with my handle. A few saucy Packers tweets later and I wasn’t too impressed with its purpose. I didn't get what a hashtag was and thought the idea of only using 140 characters to be to akin to the textspeak I loathed. Yet, a year later I started to dig in to the Twittersphere again. I can't remember exactly what forced me to, but my hunch would be that it was to promote some Melibee Global workshops. Almost 2,500 tweets later and you can say I’m hooked. I’m now known to many as only my handle, @MidwestAsh.
How and why did this change?
The big change came in playing around with what Twitter could be used for. Still not really getting the point, I learned by experimenting with it. Maybe some folks watch how-to videos or take a class (is that possible?) but I wasn’t ready to make that kind of com-twitt-ment. I started by finding a few people I wanted to follow and seeing what they were saying. At first it was friends and celebrities, the typical Twitter stereotype. Were people really posting what they were eating or where they were going every 5 minutes? Not exactly. I began to realize what I was really interested in seeing was what those in my field (International Education) were talking about. So I started searching.
What did it take?
I Googled different hashtags to find out what they meant, and if I’m recalling correctly, I searched for tweets about #intled or #studyabroad. This is where the gates opened. I was able to READ the direct thoughts and issues that prominent international educators were sharing. It was like an insight into their life. Once I figured out how to reply and dialogue with them the possibilities were endless. I was making connections with some big wigs in the field and was keeping up with all the key topics being discussed. Eventually, I began generating my own content, sharing articles, and creating dialogue. This in turn attracted people to follow me.
Lessons from the experience?
I didn’t understand many of Twitters functions at first. In fact, I think my first few weeks consisted of just retweeting and favoriting everyone else. I had no idea that “DM me” meant direct message, or how to manage my time following the endless stream of tweets. Slowly, mainly by making mistakes, I figured it out. It wasn’t as intimidating or overwhelming as I had made it out to be. Thanks to sites like HootSuite and Tweetdeck managing Twitter or many social media platforms is a lot less cumbersome. I no longer spend hours a day trying to catch up on every tweet I’ve missed. However, when a big event happens I can stay alert as things unfold.
Having a consistent presence on social media has transformed my personal and professional network, opened up new career opportunities, and broadened my knowledge of events. It’s allowed me to stay up to date by the minute on breaking news before it’s shown on most other media. I’ve been contacted to guest blog on several sites, been offered jobs, and even made some really great friends. Most recently, I had the chance to connect with a huge group of my followers and people I was following during the Tweet-Up at the annual NAFSA Conference in St. Louis. Meeting my virtual tweeties IRL (in real life) was exciting and gave me a chance to finally put a real face and personality to the handles I had been following for so long.
The moral: Don’t be afraid to get on Twitter. It’s not just people sharing what they had for dinner or where they’re going this weekend. Twitter (and social media in general) can do wonders for your career, your students, and your office if used the right way. The possibilities are up to you!
Ashley Houston is a graduate student of Intercultural Relations at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. She loves yoga, social media, and a good bar of milk chocolate. While in school full-time, she juggles several part time commitments, including serving as an RA at a Japanese Language Institute, Innovation Associate with Melibee Global, Managing Editor with Yoga Travel Tree, and Educator at lululemon athletica.
You can follow her on Twitter @MidwestAsh
The past few weeks I have been thinking about and talking about why I got into social media and I thought I would write a post about why I got into social media and also give other people a chance to tell their story.
I think my story is a little unique since I fell into completely by accident. I had no desire really to do anything with it for international education and was actually taking a teaching with technology course; however, I wasn't teaching at the time but, I had plenty of study abroad students I could put to good use. I started with blogs and they were so successful that this progressed to Facebook and Twitter and it has literally exploded from there.
This wasn't even something I was planning on making a side business out of to be quite honest but as I keep trying out more and more things (I am more of a hands-on type of person) the more people came to me with questions. That has resulted in what is now Mandy's Mashups.
Now, what is your story as it relates to how you came to social media? Did you come into completely by accident? Or did you start off for personal reasons and then decide or feel pressured to try it out for more professional purposes? I would love for you to comment below and let me in and why you got involved with social media. No reason is too big or too small!!
More posts coming soon. I have a whole series of exciting guest posts coming your way!! Stay Tuned!!
NAFSA 2013 has just finished and hopefully all of us have fully recuperated and our feet have returned to normal size after all that walking and standing. I thought after all the events of this extremely busy week I would take the time to recap some of my favorite activities and events.
First of all, I want to thank everyone who came out to the Tweet Ups and to the first ever #TweetIEs. They both were a huge success. We had over 40 people attend the first Tweet Up and about 30 attend the second Tweet Up on Friday. We were averaging about 50 tweets an hour using the #TweetIEs hashtag during conference hours which is way more than I expected. Everyone who participated definitely helped make this new event a huge success and this was much appreciated. I hope we can continue this in the future. If you have any comments or suggestions feel free to leave them here or tweet me!
As always, I enjoyed all the networking opportunities that NAFSA offered as well as the chance to catch up with all my colleagues, friends, and acquaintances that I only get to see once a year at this monster event. My favorite reception had to be the Rainbow SIG's bash at Hamburger Mary's which was a drag show. That was the highlight of the week and it seemed that everyone was there. That Rainbow SIG definitely knows how to throw a reception. Way to celebrate 20 years! Of course NAFSA is not all about the receptions. :) I was able to meet with numerous partners as well as potential partners. I even presented a few times to packed rooms and received some positive feedback from my presentations. All in all even though I exhausted myself thoroughly, I made the most of my time in St. Louis and made as many connections as I could. I am just sad that I couldn't attend more sessions since there seemed to be many great sessions listed on the schedule this year.
As many of you know I am on NAFSA National and Regional leadership at the moment in additional to presenting and doing my "little" day job duties. This basically means my time is not my own at the Annual Conference. However, this doesn't mean I couldn't fit in a little fun (outside the receptions) while in St. Louis. I was able to try the extremely sinful Gooey Butter Cake and I rode the tram to the top of the Arch. The tram is definitely not for those that are claustrophobic in the least. Think little round ball riding up the arch. The view was worth it though and it is something I can check off my least.
What was your favorite part of the NAFSA 2013 Annual Conference? It can be a session, reception, site you visited, or a food you ate. Let me know! Talk to you soon.
Here is another post in our guest blog series. In this post a colleague, Kayla Patterson, talks about how she came to work in social media and the opportunities social media has afforded her.
How did you build a career in social media?
I often get asked how I came to work in social media, which is a valid question considering I never could have dreamt of being a social media manager as a kid! It all started during my junior year at Colorado State University when I was tasked with creating a marketing plan for my future. Inspired by the growing social media niche, I created a plan that included social media as the central aspect of my career. Little did I know, that marketing plan would actually serve as the foundation for where I am today. I began integrating social media in all my marketing projects, and started managing social media channels for friends and family. Concurrently, I landed an awesome internship with GoAbroad.com as the social media intern, where I had the fortune of helping grow GoAbroad's social media presence. That internship evolved into helping conceive GoSocial, a social media management and consulting service, in which I became a community manager for several international education organizations. I consider myself very lucky to have been given the opportunity to get real world experience in social media while I finished up my degree in marketing. Upon graduation, I accepted the position of GoMedia Coordinator, where I primarily oversee GoSocial, and our team of community managers.
What opportunities has social media brought you?
Because I just couldn't get enough, I also completed my senior honors thesis by creating a website and blog that was focused on social media. The goal of the site was/is to provide a resource for students to learn how to use social media to help promote themselves or a business. After being dormant for a period of time, I have recently revived SocialMediaForStudents.com with a new look, new content, and more consistent guest posts from other social media students and professionals. As a result of working on the site, as well as my own personal social media presence, I have added more opportunities to my resume, including acting as a mentor to HootSuite's Campus Ambassador program, and guest posting on blogs like Mandy's Mashups! And because I am a true social media nerd, I can't wait to get involved with whatever else social media has to offer.
How do you manage it all?
In terms of social media, management tools are my best friend! At work I'm overseeing and managing over a dozen social media presences, and at home I'm coordinating everything I do for SocialMediaForStudents.com, HootSuite, as well as the other brands I manage for family friends, all of which I wouldn't be able to manage without some handy dandy social media tools. At the top of my list is HootSuite, which is an invaluable social media dashboard, scheduler, team management tool, and report generator, among other things. I also use several tools to help curate content, including but not limited to Google Alerts, Pulse, and StumbleUpon. Beyond that, I find that keeping myself organized is the best way to stay efficient and consistent, so I actually have different browsers and calendars set up for each area of my work. For example, Chrome is all work and GoAbroad related, complete with relevant bookmarks, my Google Calendars, and saved passwords (life-saver!), whereas Safari is home to my personal email, my WordPress CMS for SocialMediaForStudents.com, and my blog's editorial calendar.
What is your favorite aspect of social media?
Results! While social media is notoriously variable, forever changing, and hard to measure, there is a kind of joy and excitement when your page or channel starts yielding engagement, growth, and results. I love hearing from my clients that they had X amount of leads from Facebook one month, or that Twitter was a top referrer for their website last quarter. The fact is that social media works as a marketing tool, and my favorite part is when people and clients accept that realization through results.
Kayla is the founder of SocialMediaForStudents.com, a site that aims to be a resource for social media students of all types to learn how to market themselves or their business through social media. She is also the GoMedia Coordinator for GoAbroad.com where she oversees a social media management and consulting service. Kayla has a passion for country music, travel, and social media, and enjoys a good chick-flick, any kind of shopping, and all kinds of dessert! Follow her on Twitter: @kaylapatt
If you are interested in participating in our guest blog series please email me at email@example.com.
Below is a special guest post by HootSuite Community Manager, Stephanie Wiriahardja. Stephanie runs the HootCampus Ambassador program for HootSuite which is a new initiative. Below is her post about a day in the life of a community manager for a social media management tool (among other things).
One of the questions I get asked the most as a Community Manager for a popular social media dashboard is "What's your day-to-day like?". I usually chuckle first before even attempting to put into words what exactly I do and what's my day-to-day like. Everyday is different, but there are a number of projects I oversee that involve a heavy usage of social media.
If you peek at my HootSuite dashboard, you'll see that I manage 38 different Twitter accounts, 8 Facebook Pages, 6 LinkedIn Groups, and 2 Google+ Pages. It will be such a nightmare if I had to log in and out to each one. Lucky for me, I get to use my company's product, HootSuite, to reach out to HootSuite users and promote HootSuite. Yep, it's that meta! I have actually used HootSuite for 1.5 years before I joined the team in 2011, so I didn't have to make any radical adjustments to my social media practice.
Some of my all-time favourites features are:
Streams and tabs are the bread and butter of HootSuite and I could not imagine having to go to each account to search for something or tweet from it. I manage all 54 accounts at all times, which means I have listening streams that I organize to different tabs to help me monitor everything that is mentioned. Now that I have all my accounts connected in one dashboard, I can easily tweet or post from any of the accounts without the need to take a step back, log out, log back in, and try to remember what I wanted to tweet, or who I wanted to give a shout out to.
I must admit I am not the only one monitoring and managing all 54 accounts. I have my coworkers spread across many departments that also have access to these accounts, simply because the questions that we get from the users vary. For example, most of the mentions that our main Community team's Twitter handle, @HootClub, is about how cute our owl swags are. Once in awhile though, we get technical questions, affiliate-related, or hiring questions. Sure we can answer these, but would not it be better if we can assign someone else that is an expert in the topic to answer the question? Rather than emailing or pinging the person on chat to reply to a specific tweet, HootSuite has a built-in Assignment feature for its Pro and Enterprise users.
Last year alone, I help host over 110 HootUps (similar to TweetUps, but with HootSuite as the main topic of conversation) in 43 cities, in 18 countries. Sometimes it's difficult to sift through the dozens of HootSuite mentions, but with the geo-location search, I can filter to only the mentions and conversations happening at a set location. This way, I get to tweet the people who are actually around the area of where the HootUp will be held. I also use it to give me relevant updates and insights. For example, if there's an event happening in town, I can see who's talking about it so I can create an opportunity to connect with them before the event.
Serving 6+ million users worldwide is not easy, especially dealing with the different time zones. The scheduling feature on HootSuite is so helpful in making sure I tweet articles when the audience is awake and most active. This feature also helps in making sure there's always content going out, even when I am taking vacation or day off. However, don't mistaken this as your reason for not replying to any mentions. You are not a spam bot, so you have to show your followers that while you have content scheduled, you also engage with them.
So there they are, my top four favourite features of my favourite social media tool (slightly biased, but I swear I am telling the truth, only the truth, and nothing but the truth)! What sort of features do you need the most to be more efficient? Leave a comment below or tweet me at @stephawie. I'd like to hear them!
If you are interested in being a guest blogger please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hi everyone! My name is Kimberly Wilson, and I am the new Mandy’s Mashups social media intern. My role here will be updating the blog, website, and Facebook page, as well as brainstorming other ways to branch out with new projects.
I am currently on track to graduate in May from Clemson University with a degree in Spanish & International Health, so the International Education aspect of Mandy’s Mashups really appealed to me. Throughout my undergraduate career, I have had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Spain to study and intern. Thanks to these experiences, I have developed a passion for travel, studying abroad, and all things international, so I am incredibly excited to merge this interest with social media.
I will be very honest and admit that I have ZERO experience using social media in a professional setting. I, like all college students these days however, have plenty of personal experience using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, among other social media sites.
What else are we supposed to do during a 90 min lecture when the next exam is weeks away??
It has been enlightening to see, however, that social media can actually be something productive and useful, not just a time-waster when putting off that ten page paper or final chemistry exam (or cheMISERY as I liked to call it).
By working as an intern with Mandy’s Mashups, I hope to continue expanding my knowledge of social media’s professional functions as well as its relation to international education. What are your first experiences with social media? Did you jump on the Facebook and Twitter bandwagon from the start or did you hold out until it was only completely necessary to have an account?
Please feel free to write me with any suggestions for the website and social media channels below as a comment or through the contact form!
Here is the latest installment in my series of guest bloggers. This is from Danielle Sleeper who is currently a graduate student seeking a career in international education. Here is how she is using social media to aid in her job search.
Getting Schooled in Social Media: The International Education Job Search
Does this sound like you? Full time student, part-time intern, maybe also holding a part-time paid job, completing a thesis project, while simultaneously finishing up final credit requirements to graduate—oh wait—and then there is that little something called the job search.
Well, that’s me. Hi! My name is Danielle Sleeper and I am a master’s degree candidate in the School of International Service at American University, pursuing a career in international education. I use social media on a daily basis to engage, connect with and learn more about my passion—facilitating international cross-cultural exchanges to help other communicate effectively and understand the world (personal branding statement! Will talk more about this later).
If you are a regular reader of Mandy’s Mashups, you are already aware of how platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Pinterest are changing the field of the international education. Having a handle on how to optimize these tools will not only boost your resume, but can also give you an edge in the job search itself.
Side note: I am, at this point, by no means gainfully employed full-time in the field of international education. Therefore, I am not here to teach you how to use social media in your job search. Rather, I am here start a discussion on what I have learned or tried using social media thus far—all of it an ongoing experiment in the job search 2.0. I look forward to your hearing more about your tips and tricks in the comment section below!
I have trouble talking about the “job search” as a standalone event in my life. In truth, it has been a year-long journey in establishing an expert presence, making connections, and building relationships along the way. And networking itself is just that—adding value to your community.
Experiment 1: Be a professional. You don’t have to have a job title to do this—in fact, being creative in how you define yourself is often more effective. I am an “intercultural specialist”. Why? It is how I can most easily explain what I do and what I believe in. In online profiles, and consistent across all social media platforms, I follow that title with my one-sentence personal branding statement and a clear photograph of my face. Some users are wary of putting “too much” information in cyberspace, but there is something to be said for under-sharing as well. Employers want to know who you are and one of the first things they will do is Google search your name. Let them know you are a real person and materialize your passion. That said, make sure what shows up on a Google search is professional—not photos from Saturday night’s party.
Experiment 2: Engage. I dove headfirst into the Twitterverse about a year ago and never looked back. Every day, I tweet about news headlines, trends, and stories in international education. I follow just about everyone and everything related to study abroad, cross-cultural communications, diplomacy, and internationalization. Over time, I built up quite a following of international education experts and leaders. The greatest advantage to Twitter is that it levels the playing field—I love that on any given day I can start up a conversation with the director of the Fulbright Commission or communicate directly with organizations like iEARN-USA or Cultural Vistas. Moreover, I can get a better sense of the company vibe and values.
Results? I was hired as an intern for Melibee Global Education via Twitter and communicated with Mandy’s Mashups for a long time before finally meeting Mandy in person at the Forum on Education Abroad Conference. Don’t be shy to reach out to people you don’t know—reply and message. And as soon as you can, ask for that informational interview offline. Rachael King writes a lot on the ABC Rule: “Always Be Coffee-ing,” a practice I am trying to make a habit. For an idea of who to reach out to, look at who I am following on Twitter. Bonus: a lot of these organizations tweet about open job positions.
Experiment 3: Offer something. I am a member of many LinkedIn international education groups, and though I cannot say I do this particularly well, I try to join in on conversations and offer resources to other educators in the field. For example, someone recently posted a request for resources on reverse culture shock. Having written a very extensive literature review on this last semester, I was able to send over my bibliography and other articles I thought were valuable. Another idea is to write a guest post for an international education blogger (check one for me!).
Experiment 4: Be innovative. Everyone and their host parent are talking about Pinterest nowadays. The great thing about Pinterest, I believe, is its ability to demonstrate who you are through images. When you look at my Pinterest page, for example, you will have an immediate idea of what I am about: intercultural exchanges, travel, culture, and…er…food porn (it’s all about being the real you, right?). I recently created a resume board as a visual gallery of my accomplishments, as well as another board of organizations I would like to work for. The idea is different enough to stand out at the moment, and I regularly circulate the links to these boards on Twitter and professional LinkedIn groups for feedback. Also, I should mention that Mandy has a great upcoming webinar on this. Be sure to check out “Pinterest for International Education” on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 2pm EDT. I know I will be there.
Experiment 5: Just keep swimming. My experiment in Job Search 2.0 has been quite an expedition. I continue to reach out to others, join conversations, and learn more about international education--all while finishing up my degree and other things. In essence, social media has supported my job search; it certainly is not the be-all-and-end-all. I recognize that the traditional job search is not going to change any time soon; I am still proactively writing letters of motivation, sending out resumes, putting together writing samples, conferencing, and interviewing in-person. Thank you letters are best hand written.
But social media has given me a voice I never thought I possessed. More to the point, it’s fun. Rest assured, my social media presence will remain strong even after I’ve scored my dream job in international education.
Where are you in your job search? How has social media worked for you? Any other tips you can give a recent graduate?
Connect with me at http://about.me/daniellesleeper
For other tools and resources in the International Education job search, check out my new Pinterest board! http://pinterest.com/daniellesleeper/international-education-job-search/
Danielle Sleeper has made somewhat of a profession out of being a full-time student, now pursuing a Masters in International Communication at American University in Washington, DC. Her personal experience studying, working and traveling throughout East Asia changed her way of thinking, and she returned to the U.S. committed to all things related to global education and study abroad. In her spare time, she is an obsessive yogini, super-nanny, cruciverbalist and Jeopardy! enthusiast.
If you are interested in being a guest blogger please email me at email@example.com
Do you fit into any or all of these areas? Or has your use of these social media tools led to these issues? Thought my social media readers might enjoy this!
This blog is all about social media. I hope to offer tips, tricks, advice and more on using social media within international education and international travel.