Whether we like it or not, social media is here to stay. Some people view it as an unnecessary distraction; however, a professional presence on such sites can create opportunities for all kinds of career aspirations. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn all provide the necessary features to make it easy for their users to network, create and connect. They also maintain the means to keep users connected with those that can help guide and mentor them along their journey to becoming an accomplished professional.
In order to construct a professional presence on social media, it is important to pay attention to the pictures and statuses you post, the links you “like” and the people you are friends with. This may come as a surprise, but not everyone is aware of these things. Potential employers use social media to get to know their future employees. Grammar, behavioral patterns, maturity and political correctness all play a part in deciding whether a candidate is employable. Creating an unscrupulous reputation on Facebook will result in being denied a job.
Patrick Sledge, a communications major at the Dunwoody Campus, said “Employers will be interested in you if you have a certain type of fan base.” Creating a following that adheres to a potential employer’s main demographic can work wonders. Some students have even gotten freelance jobs by having a following of people interested in their line of work. Do your Twitter followers match up with your customer base? While it is important for an employer to know the kind of person a potential employee is, it is also important to know the types of people you associate yourself with on social media. Keeping track of friend requests and followers is just as important in creating an accomplished persona.
It is no surprise that social media has become a huge part of the networking world we now live in. “I think employers are using social media more and more to attract people”, said Kaley Lefevre, a communications major at the Dunwoody Campus. You may not realize it, but potential employers are looking at your profiles on social media. The companies that spark interest in your field use social media to determine if your profiles are ethical or if holding an interview for a position is worth it. Even after landing a job, it is still crucial to maintain a polished social media presence. Deviating from these standards has been known, too many times, to cost someone their job. Sharing inappropriate photos or classified information is always risky in regards to maintaining an honorable work life.
Christine Farrier, a communications major at the Dunwoody Campus stated that she is working with Alice Murray, the advisor at The Collegian, and The Second Wind Club to create a seminar for students looking to improve their LinkedIn profiles. Farrier has hopes of holding the seminar during the Spring 2016 semester.
Using social media to create a responsible and professional reputation for yourself is becoming more and more important in today’s job market. Not only can it provide the resources to stay connected with the people in your field, it can also give you a chance to showcase your talents and equip you with more chances at becoming a successful professional.