How Social Media can shape your Student Experience (Part 2)
Just as Universities are engaging students through social media channels, students can particularly benefit from social media for academic aid and career advancement!
29 July 2015
As an academic tool, students can use Twitter to follow notable academics and organisations that post links to articles or share interesting events about a topic they are studying. For example as a Law student, I can follow the UK Supreme Court @UKSCBlogcom for links to discussions about up-to-date judgments on their blog. Whilst our textbooks are updated regularly, Supreme Court judgments happen far more frequently - giving you the opportunity to impress your tutors by being aware of them! You can also follow your tutors and lecturers who may be posting interesting insights into the subject matter and useful revision tips (see @DrHeleneTyrell and follow the hashtag #revisiontips for examples). Overall, we can see that social media has transcended from a platform for personal communication to becoming a powerful tool to acquire information - use this to your advantage. After all, it’s far more enjoyable to read short blog posts and a series of tweets than it is to have your head in several different texts books (although these are still important to read)!
Employers are also using social media to reach out to prospective candidates and screen applicants. If you haven’t done so already, Google your name. What do you see? Do inappropriate photos come up from a night out a few weeks ago? Do tweets with offensive comments pop up? If you can see this, so can employers. 86% of recruiters are likely to look at your social media profiles and profanity, poor spelling, pictures of an unprofessional nature etc. unsurprisingly make a negative impression. If a quick glance at your current social media channels gives off this impression, don’t panic! There are a few simple things you can do to improve your social media presence and help to land you that job:
• Make your profiles private: Especially if you’re posting on Facebook; it’s fine to share pictures and stories with your close friends and families, but as 37% of employers use Facebook to pre-screen applicants, you probably don't want them seeing this personal information - so make sure your profile is private and don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know!
• Create a LinkedIn: 89% of recruiters have made a hire through LinkedIn. Establish a professional presence by creating a complete profile with your academic and professional history. Showcase your skills obtained through these positions, share relevant information, join groups and interact with others. Most businesses and organisations have a LinkedIn account; join their groups and post questions. Finally, don’t forget to add a professional looking picture - preferably a headshot where you are dressed smart!
• Use Twitter to ask questions: 15% of recruiters have made a hire through Twitter! Sure, it’s lower than other platforms, but who would have thought in 140 characters or less you could land a job? Use Twitter to follow businesses, recruiters, and current employees. Ask them questions; make them aware of your presence. It may not get you the job, but engaging with recruiters through social media gets you noticed and that’s a very important first step.
• Be present: Finally, make sure you have some sort of social media presence. No presence at all is almost as bad as a negative presence. If you’re unsure where to start, LinkedIn is a good place. Expand by creating a Twitter where you can showcase your initiative by following recruiters and engaging with their content.
- Carolyn Minaudo is a final year student at Queen Mary, studying an accelerated two-year Law degree. Originally from Toronto, she also has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Political Science from Queen’s University in Canada. Carolyn came to London for the first time to begin studying at QMUL and hopes through sharing her student experience you’ll be inspired to join her!