There's never any doubt that when May rolls around, there's always a sea of graduates saying goodbye to their colleges and universities and hello to the world of online job listings. However with awesome digital networking powers at their disposal, millennials aren't just sticking to these listings, they're using the tools they know best -- social media.
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool that today is available to everyone. And like any tool, there is a right and wrong way of using it. While recruiters are not necessarily interested in millennials' selfies or meals, hiring managers are certainly looking to their profiles, timelines and boards to vet candidates and learn more about them.
Landing a dream job, or any job for that matter, is already highly competitive and requires the use of every available resource millennials have to support their candidacy. Instead of viewing social media as a deterrent to their personal brand, millennials can take action with their social media accounts to augment their networking and interviewing processes.
Listen up new grads; here are some things to consider when embarking on your search for that first "real" job:
Scrub Your Social Networks
Whereas before it was all about having a solid resume, in the digital age, an impressive social footprint is just as important. Millennials should Google themselves and get familiar with what employers will see. Assess how open your social networks are and lock down any that may expose your weekend social activities. Every social network has privacy settings which allow users to set parameters around who can see what you share on your networks. If you need to leave a social network open, delete any posts or images which may position you negatively.
Millennials have a tendency to overshare on social, but it's important to keep your posts positive. Avoid posting negative comments regarding a former company, employer or professor. Negative language will only show your lack of professionalism and may be attributed to you not being a team player. Diligence when posting goes double for pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words, so be wise with what you put online. When in doubt, refrain from posting.
Consider pictures and posts of yourself volunteering or participating in a hobby or with an interest group -- showcasing that you are well-rounded and have a generous nature. Sharing links to interesting articles in your field of interest and providing light commentary shows your knowledge and willingness to continuously learn and grow.
Build a Brand
Consistency across your social media properties can say a lot about your organization skills. Keeping all social networks updated on a regular basis, with all with the same information such as job titles and education, can show your attention to detail and position you as a social media superstar. Set a monthly reminder in your calendar to update and sync your social channels and resume. Employers expect your credentials and public presence to reflect your current role, experience and education, so don't miss out on any opportunities to get their attention.
You can go one step further when building a personal brand by creating unified handles across all your social networks.
Each Network Serves a Different Purpose
There are many social networks out there and they all do different things. Where Instagram is for your pictures, Pinterest is your digital bulletin board. Depending on your field, the type of job you're seeking and industry, use each social media channel in appropriate situations. Pinterest is great for graphic designers to showcase their favourite designs and their recent work. Aspiring architects can use Instagram to snap pictures of their favourite structures. Actors can leverage YouTube or Vine to showcase their talent in front of the camera.
Social media is an easy and free way to set you apart. It only takes a bit of time and effort to shape your image online, but it pays off in spades when you're en route to your dream job.
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