Each week we meet via Twitter for #IOLchat to discuss current issues related to online learning. Participants include students, instructors, eLearning companies, schools, publishers, and instructional designers.
Social media accounts and networking sites are quickly becoming tools of the trade for those involved in the job search process. As the need to develop an online presence, manage a digital identity, and participate in virtual communities becomes more prevalent, we all seek ways to efficiently and effectively communicate online. This week's chat took place from the National Career Development Association's Global Conference (#NCDA2012) and our participants shared advice for both student job seekers and career counseling professionals.
Which social media and networking platforms are most popular with today's student job seekers?
- "LinkedIn is by far the best social media platform for student job seekers." It allows you to continue expanding your professional network even after you start working.
- Also mentioned: Dice, SimplyHired, Monster, Twitter.
- "LinkedIn may not be as interactive as Twitter or Facebook, but …" human resources managers may take a look at your LinkedIn profile. Be where the recruiters are.
- LinkedIn is designed to promote your education and experience in a professional way, with some transparency and public access – as an online resume.
- LinkedIn may be a good starting point for those who are looking for a job, and are new to social media.
- Consider the pros and cons of creating and using separate accounts for personal/professional communication, e.g., Facebook for friends and family, LinkedIn for colleagues and work contacts.
How is the role of the career counselor/advisor changing with the use of social media?
- They can help students realize that it is beneficial to do more than just post a resume to an electronic job board.
- Understanding the importance of developing strong social profiles as part of a growing digital identity is necessary to assist students as they navigate these waters.
- "It's all about networking." Social media and networking sites make it easier to find people and to be found.
- Developing good communication skills and habits is essential for students. Advisors can help them understand that these platforms can be used to interact professionally with peers and potential employers, through profiles and in online groups and communities.
- Companies and recruiters are also involved in social networking and have contact information available – initiative from student job seekers is encouraged.
- Students may be introduced to social media and networking in their courses, as well as through career centers.
How are career centers and counselors modeling social media use?
- Online career fairs are increasing in popularity – "They are pretty awesome! … recruiters live chat from a virtual booth."
- Career counselors and advisors are blogging as a way to share expertise and advice.
How are companies and hiring managers using social media?
- They are using status updates to post job vacancy announcements.
- They are participating in virtual career fairs. Take a look at Mashable's upcoming Online Career Expo.
- "Most executive recruiters use LinkedIn to find passive job seekers. Lots of corporations are using LinkedIn, too."
- Some companies are now hiring for new positions related to creating and managing the organization's social media presence for recruiting purposes.
- They are interacting with potential applicants and candidates through these company accounts and profiles.
- From the student job seeker's prospective these profiles can be a good way to research companies and learn about the workplace culture.
In your opinion, which companies and career advisors should we follow? Who is setting a good example and providing helpful resources?
What is your one, best piece of advice for a job seeker interested in using social media?
- Know your privacy settings, on all social media accounts, and adjust them accordingly. They are all part of your online identity.
- Google yourself* and find out "what's out there. Clean it up if necessary." *Make sure you are not logged into your own Google account when you do this – the results will be different.
- Join LinkedIn if you haven’t already and double-check your Facebook privacy settings.
- "Keep your profile updated, add your photo, be honest."
- "Be careful what you tweet. Once it's out there, you can never take it back. Support others."
Thanks to @katherineoto, @MikePetras, @billymeinke, @VocusCareers, and @nikkiperala for participating in the live event! Help us to continue the discussion by adding your thoughts via the comments area on this page.
For more from the most recent live session, review the chat feed below. Our past chats can be found on the archives page.
This week's read aheads:
Getting More Out of LinkedIn and Avoiding the Pitfalls from Paula Brand and NCDA's Career Convergence Magazine
This week's chat feed:
Image credit: Tulane Public Relations, Fickr, CC-BY