Will You Pass the Social Media Recruitment Test?

Think that what you post stays between you and your friends? Well, that’s not the case—employers may look for online infor­ma­tion about stu­dents as they apply for intern­ships and jobs. Recently, Career Ser­vices hosted “Do You Pass the Social Media Recruit­ment Test?” This event served as an intro­duc­tion to the ways stu­dents can use social media tools – among them Face­book, Twit­ter, and of course LinkedIn – in the job search and offered tips on how to man­age your online reputation. (Career Services offers similar events every semester, so watch their event calendar or the weekly CareerNews e-newsletter to see when the next one will be offered.)

The session began with the obvious question – what is the Internet saying about you? Stu­dents in attendance looked them­selves up on dogpile.com and other web­sites, and hap­pily none uncov­ered too much unsa­vory infor­ma­tion. Some found videos of them­selves, and the one post-doc present saw links to his research that he didn’t know existed. Kath­leen Mannheimer, Senior Asso­ciate Direc­tor of Career Ser­vices, who hosted the event, said stu­dents may be sur­prised what infor­ma­tion exists about them online and what employ­ers can eas­ily access. She sug­gested set­ting up Google alerts with your name so you can see what comes up in searches. She also sug­gested that when post­ing any­thing online, stu­dents should con­sider whether they would want to see that infor­ma­tion, photo, etc. printed in the news­pa­per. If you hap­pen to come across any­thing you would not want to see as pub­lic infor­ma­tion, lifehacker.com has good tips how to remove infor­ma­tion from the Internet. Check out this infographic entitled, “The Google Yourself Challenge” to learn more.

The pre­sen­ta­tion then shifted to LinkedIn, the social media plat­form that was founded with the express pur­pose of busi­ness net­work­ing. Despite this, Mannheimer said employ­ers can use any social media plat­form, even Twitter and Pin­ter­est, to track and source candidates. Mannheimer showed one of LinkedIn’s educational videos on cre­at­ing a pro­fes­sional pro­file. Tips included upload­ing a business-like pic­ture and giv­ing an in-depth sum­mary of your experiences. LinkedIn has under­gone a num­ber of changes to be more applic­a­ble to stu­dents. “In the very early stages, it was primarily for expe­ri­enced pro­fes­sion­als,” Mannheimer said. A LinkedIn page now includes oppor­tu­ni­ties for stu­dent data such as GPA and rel­e­vant coursework.

Other fea­tures of LinkedIn include the abil­ity to search by com­pany or indus­try and to research a role model’s career path. Mannheimer sug­gested that stu­dents reach out to recent hires at their dream com­pa­nies and ask how they landed the job. She also dis­cussed that when reach­ing out to pro­fes­sion­als on LinkedIn, it is not the same as “friend request­ing” on Face­book. You should add a pro­fes­sional intro­duc­tion and mes­sage to your request for connection.

Face­book and Twit­ter can also be good sources for job infor­ma­tion. Com­pa­nies often have pages specif­i­cally devoted to recruit­ing on Face­book, and there are Twit­ter han­dles that exclu­sively post job open­ings, such as @TweetMyJobs.

Despite the increas­ing rel­e­vance of social media plat­forms in the job search, one stands out. “LinkedIn is going to be the most impor­tant for you right now,” Mannheimer said. Career Ser­vices staff can help you review your LinkedIn pro­file in the same way they offer resume cri­tiques. If you would like assis­tance, sched­ule an appointment.

On a final note, I sug­gest all stu­dents search their name on the Inter­net to see what infor­ma­tion turns up and review their social media pres­ence to find out what an employer might see. Now’s the time to “own” your online reputation!


Why I Love the Princeton University Career Services Facebook Page

I can’t imagine the world without Facebook! In high school, I was an avid MySpace user, but by the time I arrived at college, I had become a full blown Facebook addict.  Although I sometimes find myself on the site when I should be doing other productive things, there is something alluring about the site that keeps me on it.  Social media functions as a mechanism for users to share information with each other. As Facebook’s technology becomes even more sophisticated, the ways that users can share information and the type of information that can be shared seems endless. I wanted to get some quick facts about Facebook, so I went to their Statistics page. Here are some cool facts that I found:

  • Facebook has more than 800 million active users
  • More than 50% of their active users log on to Facebook in any given day
  • There are more than 900 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups, events, and community pages)
  • The average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups, events
  • On average, more than 250 million photos are uploaded per day
  • More than 350 million active users currently access Facebook through their mobile devices

I find it extremely cool that Facebook connects so many users and that it serves as a forum for information to be shared. So, you are probably wondering why do I love the Princeton University Career Services Facebook page? Here are some cool facts about our Facebook page:

  • Mythbusting Mondays – Every Monday the fanpage busts career-related myths. These myth-busting facts are normally linked to interesting articles or Career Center events that pertain to the topic
  • Event Photos – Career Services hosts numerous events each semester. We love taking pictures at these events to put up on our site. Students also like seeing themselves.
  • Fun Career Center Surveys – Throughout the semester, Career Services likes to get student feedback on a lot of career center initiatives. Students even have a chance to win prizes!
  • Interesting Articles – Every week, we try to post links to career-related articles that will grab reader’s attention. Recent posts that I’ve enjoyed reading have been “Why You Should Have a LinkedIn Profile,” “Getting Noticed, Getting Hired: Candidate Attributes That Recruiters Seek,” and “The Art of Choosing the Right Social Media Profile Photo.” All of these articles are shareable, so you can share them with others in your network.
  • Career Services Events – All of Career Services’ events are posted under the “events” tab on our page. Browsers can peruse this portion of the page to see what kind of events will be going on for the rest of the semester
  • 690+ “likes”- We have over 690 people who currently “like” our page. We love that so many people are interested in staying connected with Career Services. It is also very cool that not only students like our page, but so many alumni and recruiters do as well. So, if you haven’t done so already, make sure to go to Facebook and like our page—you will be in very good company!

Whether you are at home, school, the office, or even on the go, you can stay connected to Career Services on Facebook—it is like a one-stop shop for everything related to Career Services.