Social Media Column: Social networking and a summer job

Published in the June 11, 2013 issue of The Edmonton Sun.

Linda’s social media column can be found every Tuesday in the Edmonton Sun.

Social media for a summer job

Summer is here for post-secondary students, and nearly here for the rest. Many young people who haven’t yet, will begin looking for a summer job and many will turn to social media to find one.

I always lucked out when it came to summer jobs because I could just work at my parent’s restaurant. My friends weren’t so lucky – dropping off countless resumes in the hopes that someone would pick them for even just an interview.

The job process is a bit different nowadays. In this age of social networking, you can connect to the companies you’re interested in working for directly online.

Louise Morett with Teenwork, a company that helps teens find jobs, says more youth are using social networks to find work and more employers are using the same tools to seek out employees.

While there are success stories, a lot of the time Morett says teens just aren’t doing it right, from not being specific enough in job-related posts, to putting our too much information, to being informal and unprofessional.

“Some of them put their resumes out there with all of their information, addresses, age, phone numbers, their age, and they don’t see anything wrong with that,” Morett says.

“They don’t have any self-filtering, like oops, that’s not a good thing to put out there.”

There’s also poor grammar, bad spelling, swearing, and those ever embarrassing and truly damaging drunken photos that never seem to go away.

“They can be very inappropriate and don’t understand boundaries,” Morett says.

Employers are using social media to seek you out.

If you’re smart about it, there are opportunities.

I’ve gotten jobs through Twitter and because of my online brand and you can too.

Social networks like Twitter have given this younger generation something previous ones have never had: incredible, direct access to the people who can hire you.

“A different generation would never get access to a VP of human resources or a CEO,” Morett says.

“I can be connected with publishers of huge magazines. I’ve never met them and I can send them a tweet and they’ll tweet me back so that’s the power of social media and young people who have that will have a lot of success looking for a job.”

When you’re actively seeking a job using social media, be specific, be appropriate, be smart about what you put out there.

Use your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, even Instagram and Pinterest, to showcase your personality, skills, and interests.

Take it further by creating a website or a blog that further highlights who you are and what you can do. Take control of your social identity.

Work to create and refine a positive identity online that makes you irresistible to employers – to anyone.

Manage your social networks, your online brand, well and you will find success.

Tweets of the Week

@upstephanie: I must be the only person in #yeg who enjoys construction on Stadium Road, thinking of all the great @cfl_esks moments to happen in 2013.

@pamhobday: Got my #broadwayacrosscanada season tickets for #yeg today. Can’t wait to go!

@FreestoneJenn: Please let the Yellow Pollen Attack on #yeg be over.

@MelanieLMorais: Wishing I lived closer to #YEG so I could go to all these awesome events! #decisions

@stormbrew: Oh man they replaced the doors at commerce place with the ones that work normally. This makes me unreasonably happy. #yeg

Click here to read the column on the Edmonton Sun website!

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