Students, jobs and social media

April 2, 2012

April 2, 2012               Lisa Severy                     

Getting students to use social media is a no brainer – but getting them to use it in a professional manner can sometimes be a challenge.  Yet with 89 percent of recruiters using social media in 2011, CU-Boulder Career Services director Lisa Severy says focusing on a professional online presence is crucial for today’s students.

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Students, jobs and social media

April 2, 2012                        Lisa Severy

Getting students to use social media is a no brainer – but getting them to use it in a professional manner can sometimes be a challenge.  Yet with 89 percent of recruiters using social media in 2011, CU-Boulder Career Services director Lisa Severy says focusing on a professional online presence is crucial for today’s students.

CUT 1“In a job market that is kind of tight when a lot of people are job searching you might think that ‘well employers have a ton of resumes why would they need to look anywhere else?’ But I think, actually, the flip side is true which is, ‘I have so many candidates. I can’t possibly interview them all. So I will do a quick Google search and see what’s going on with them.” (:21) 

With employers conducting Google searches during the recruitment process, Severy says, many students are asking how they I make a positive online presence for recruiters to search for.

CUT 2 ”The easiest ways are through free tools like LinkedIn where you can create a profile and have that information and have references if you want to - encourage friends, faculty, people you’ve been on teams with to leave recommendations for you. (:16) I’ve also had students that create whole WebPages that are basically their online ‘Uber’ resume so that they can have anything they want on there and they actually post that on their resumes. So employers that want just a little more information don’t have to search for it randomly but they’re provided with that information right up front.” (:37)

Building a professional online appearance is not the only thing students should worry about, says Severy.  Minimizing a negative online presence can be just as important. 

CUT 3 “There is also the downside as well which is some information is information that you don’t necessarily want an employer to see. So we always talk to students about when you’re job searching your audience, your primary audience, needs to be employers.  And so that may require you to change your messaging, if you will. (:18) Some career counselors talk about it being the ‘Grandma Test.’ If you don’t want your grandma to see it you probably don’t want an employer to see it.” (:24)

Severy says students ask her why should they go to all this work when you can simply send a resume?

CUT 4 “I think having a resume in and of itself is not enough anymore.  Companies require that, and certainly you’re going to need a resume, but that can’t be the end-all, be-all.” (:10) 

Many colleges and companies around the globe are working toward teaching students how to enhance a professional online image while minimizing anything negative, says Severy, adding that at the end of the day online recruiting is becoming a popular concept demonstrating that in today’s digital world, resumes are simply not enough. 

-CU-

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