These days, most students are familiar with that depressing, heavy, sting-of-defeat feeling when you see those terrible five words – “We’ll get back to you“.
There I was, lying face down in my bed, being overly dramatic as I sulked over the fact that I didn’t have a summer internship yet (i.e., my entire life was crashing down before my eyes because my college career was a complete waste of time since no employer would EVER hire me with no experience on my resume, and I would probably spend the rest of my miserable days living in a cardboard box…). I thrust open my computer screen and logged onto Twitter, desperately searching for SOMETHING to take my mind off of my imminent lack-luster future of unemployment and Ramen noodles. (Like I said, overly dramatic).
When there it was…shining like a beam of light from the heavens (or, more realistically, a 17-inch computer monitor) the answer to my prayers! One of the industry professionals that I follow had retweeted 140 characters that reminded me there is still hope in the world:
Immediately, I jumped on the opportunity. Within seconds, I replied to her on Twitter, we exchanged emails, set up a phone interview, and the rest is history. Now, I happily work for Intel Corporation, and I even extended my internship because I was so pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed my position as a social media marketing intern. Intel is a fantastic company to work for, and I am so thankful for all of the wonderful people that I met throughout my internship experience.
Bear with me, I know my story sounds like a cinematic, hollywood “perfect world” ending – but I’m serious, THIS COULD BE YOU!
Over the course of my time at Intel, I learned so many valuable lessons, and I would like to share some of them with you.
Here are some of my tips on how social media can get you a job:
1. GET AN ACCOUNT
If you’re not on social media platforms, you severely decrease your chances of getting a job. How many times have you heard the phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? For me, this was always disheartening because my mom is a homemaker and my dad is a small business owner. How would I get a fancy-schmancy marketing job as a small town girl with no connections? This is where the wonders of the internet come in.
There are SO MANY outlets for you to get your name out there. These days, almost all jobs are not advertised; they get employees by word of mouth. This is why it is crucial that you get an account on social media platforms so you can gain access to these opportunities.
2. GROW YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY
As a college student, I am fairly embarrassed by the way my peers tend to use their social media. I’ll admit, occasionally I do it too. It’s hard to remember that once you post something, it is on the web FOREVER (ever…ever…ever…..That was supposed to sound like a scary echo).
However, you must be aware that since it is out there for everyone to see, this is an easy way for employers to decide if you are suitable for the position. In fact, one in five employers uses social media in the hiring process. I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep your social media clean.
This isn’t to say that you cannot be yourself. But keep in mind that if you feel the need to post a picture of you wearing an “I LOVE COLLEGE” shirt while you guzzle down two 20-foot beer bongs, you better not go to that interview with your freshly pressed khakis and button down shirt as you explain that you never partied because you were too busy studying in the library. Your social media should reflect a good representation of who you are and how you want to be seen.
Make sure that you could pass a social media background test.
3. MAKE CONNECTIONS
- Make your profile public on Twitter! I know that it is a little scary to open yourself up entirely to the world, but it is much easier to make connections with people if you are transparent. It makes it easier for conversations to happen.
- Follow companies that interest you - What is your dream job? Even if it doesn’t seem attainable right now, you can get a great sense of company culture and see what kind of work they produce.
- Follow people in the industry that you want to work in. For example, I followed PR and Advertising professionals, and they constantly tweet about job openings.
- Make connections with these professionals – Don’t be afraid to reach out to people. Surprisingly, it’s not creepy when it’s for professional reasons! It is as simple as asking a question like “what is it like to work at _____” or “what can I do to get your job?”. Most professionals enjoy helping young people and giving advice. If anything, the knowledge that you will gain after conversing with people in your industry is incomparable, and your connections may even lead you to a job in the future.
- What about LinkedIn? If you’re not on it, get on it. Linkedin is a social networking community dedicated to professional connections. In essence, it’s almost like you’re throwing your resume to employers who want to see it.
- Join groups on LinkedIn Groups are the perfect way to meet industry professionals and discuss relevant topics to your industry. With groups, you can easily engage with people who you will want to have in your network of connections.