Social media is an invaluable and incredibly influential tool if used correctly. I was lucky enough to find a way to leverage technological innovations to improve my work skills and build a stronger professional network. Students already use social media, but much is left to be desired on their daily usage. Currently, most students are using social media for sharing photos, information, contacting one another, venting about situations, creating new relationships etc. However, if there was some form of social media training with respect to improved communication skills, I strongly believe more students would adjust their usage accordingly. For example, social media can connect thousands of people, places and businesses. If there was ever a way to share your work product or networking with your dream employer, social media is that tool to make it happen.
A great way in which social media can increase the likelihood of job placement is the ability to network. It is an extremely valuable tool to be able to communicate with a variety of people and even more valuable to be able to make connections between businesses and relationships. I can speak first-hand on how valuable networking is based on my experience working as part-time promotions specialist at a variety of tradeshows. Before social media, I was feverishly collecting business cards, sending thank you cards in snail mail and following up via phone in an effort to create relationships between executives, hiring managers and people in positions I desired. Today, the motivated can do all of this and more with a simple scan of a QR code and connecting online.
I strongly believe more emphasis and structured learning practices should be in place for college students to better understand leveraging social media. Creating a social media networking presence and showcasing their greatest quality would help bolster a student’s chance for job placement. Creating a multi-media platform is also wildly beneficial as the majority of employers are utilizing a variety of platforms including photos, video clips and more. Long gone are the days where a single paper resume and a recommendation letter would get you in the door. Today, there are inquires as to how large of a social media following someone has, what experiences with Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Vine, Periscope do they have and even video submissions for some jobs. In order for a college student to be competitive in today’s job market, they need to fully utilize social media in the most logical and relevant way possible to their personality and field of study. For example, during my college years I spent a great deal of time brainstorming on a brand and how to reach a wider audience in my field of study; sports and fitness. I created a blog in which I wrote about the most commonly asked sports and fitness questions. I wrote based on my experiences, my knowledge and education as well as speaking directly to someone as if in conversation. After a while, people began asking more questions and wanting additional information alongside the blog posts. I created a Twitter account mirroring the same concept but this time with a 140 character limit I kept to abbreviated tips for people to follow. In addition to this, I created my own hashtag that even to this day, three years later, is unique to my account. I gradually began building a following and continued posting and creating credentialed content of which followers, readers, fans could get behind and support. After Twitter, a YouTube channel was created to further assist those interested in elements of sports and fitness. These videos comprised of frequently asked questions being answered on video, instructional videos, sample workout routines and more. All of this building content and creating a social media brand expanded onto the larger and more well-known platforms until I have monopolized my brand on social media. I created leverage and reinforced all the information on my resume when it came down to interviews after graduation. Hiring managers were very interested in all the different elements of which I incorporated into my field and some went so far as to mention why I made it to their final round of interviews or how I stood out in a pool of hundreds of applicants. Social media is an extremely powerful tool that can connect people to prospects, fans, strangers or third party contacts that end up on your page. I used social media as an outlet for my passion and drive to help others by way of sports and fitness. In doing so, I created a brand and an experience unlike any other. To borrow from the author Shannon Alder, “When you are joyful, when you say yes to life and have fun and project positivity all around you, you become a sun in the center of every constellation, and people want to be near you.” Use social media to make people, businesses, and strangers like you and want to hire you! That is how a student takes control of their post-graduation life and begins a new and successful journey.
www.broadbandblue.com Scholarship Essay