All 2 entries tagged Social Media

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June 06, 2012

Who am I online?

Digital footprint

In a recent post, I got to grips with the issue of blogging itself, asking how you could use this medium to find - or create - a job. Our student blogger, Emily, reflects on her own digital footprins and the trail we leave online....

Reading the blog post about blogging on May 22nd was very interesting, as a job-seeking soon-to-be graduate. Now that I’m mired in my own job search, the idea of who I am – or seem to be – online has become increasingly important. I’ve tried (and failed) many a time to set up my own blog, and while blogging isn’t for everyone, if you have a Facebook account, tweet occasionally or even just comment on The Boar articles then you’re leaving a web trail for employers that can be just as useful to them, so you need to be aware of the consequences of those throwaway comments. SU President Leo Bøe recently wrote a blog post about inappropriate jokes online – yes they’re offensive, but what if they also lose you your dream job?

We all know the basics about making sure our privacy settings on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter are high so that people we don’t know don’t end up seeing our private information, but I don’t think we really take this quite seriously enough. Companies like Channel 4 spend a long time at their talent pool sessions stressing that you shouldn’t have too many Facebook pictures of you compromising yourself (if you know what I mean) – if an employer ‘googles’ you and the first image that comes up is you with a bottle in your hand, you might want to rethink.

A couple of students who had their radio show taken off them for bad language last week (which generated a Boar article about the incident) now have a link talking about their irresponsibility and bad language at the top of search engine results for their names. Not that I’m recommending that you turn into one of those people who frequently ‘googles’ themselves...

Even what you tweet about can be important. I’ve applied for nearly thirty jobs in the past month and for several of them have been asked to give links to my Twitter account and any blogs I write for – cue me going through several years of previous whinging and deleting tweets... because the internet is not just about expressing yourself anymore. It’s a massively useful resource for demonstrating your interests, your commitment to writing and who you are, or who you want to be. Building up a strong Twitter following could show your marketing, communication or persuasive writing skills and is definitely essential to breaking into radio, marketing and media generally, so if you’re serious about getting into these more elusive sectors make sure you give yourself the best advantage.

And if this doesn’t sound convincing, a friend of mine who recently got rejected from her ideal job was told that the reason was an article she had written for The Boar. Don’t let that be you.

* Emily Middleton is a third year English student and Careers and Skills rep


May 22, 2012

Can you blog your way to a job?

Blog

The Careers Blog is a mere three weeks old – with a following that is steady, rather than stratospheric – so commenting on the career benefits of blogging may seem a little premature. Fortunately you don’t have to take my word for it. I spend a lot of time online at the moment, so it was inevitable that I’d stumble upon (in the old fashioned sense) a post merging together my main preoccupations – careers and blogging. Step forward, ‘7 Ways Blogging Can Improve Your Employability'. It’s no secret that having an active, online presence is a virtual pre-requisite for entry to some careers (PR, journalism), but it seems blogging can open doors in other, unexpected ways. Krishnan Nair was struggling get a foothold in the legal sector, despite numerous applications, and decided to channel his frustration by blogging. Fast forward a year and Krishnan has turned a pastime into a career: 'How blogging helped get my career started'

Blogging is not an instant ‘quick fix’ to your job search woes, but done well it can generate interesting career opportunities and get you noticed. Just make sure you observe a few cardinal rules:

  1. Choose your topic carefully. According to NM Incite over 181 million blogs were tracked in 2011 so there’s no room for a bland and boring blog. If you make your content interesting, engaging – and even entertaining – readers will find you.
  2. Think of your blog as a professional platform. It’s fine to let your personal and professional worlds collide occasionally, after all your followers will expect to see a glimpse of the ‘real you’. But don’t post anything that detracts from your purpose. Not many bloggers can transform the trivial into the meaningful – it’s probably best not to try.
  3. Post regularly. If you start a blog commit to it. This doesn’t necessarily mean daily posts, but you do need to post regular updates. Consistency is essential if you want to develop and maintain a readership.
  4. Communicate in a clear and compelling way. Use the blog to showcase your writing style and skills.
  5. Own it! Don’t hide behind anonymity. Link to your blog from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (you should be visible here too) and mention it on your CV. But only if you've followed points 1-4...

Employers regularly scour social media sites looking for reasons to screen out potential employees. A well-written, well-researched and heavily networked blog can attract their attention for all the right reasons. There are myriad benefits to blogging, which the well connected folk at Give a Grad a Go have summarised as:

  • Enhancing your personal online brand and Google-ability
  • Demonstrating skills such as writing, design, photography, and analytical thinking
  • Showing your ability to take initiative and commit to a project
  • Connecting you to a whole network of other bloggers

Blogging isn't for everyone – if writing is a chore, and you dread commitment, it's possibly not the medium for you. There may be other job search strategies you can use to accomplish your goals. However, if you're reading this feeling excited and motivated, then maybe you've found the ideal platform to show your skills and shape your future. What's stopping you? Get blogging!


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