2014/01/15

How to use Social Media to find an internship?

social media - image

Let your social media mediate Going social


After reading your application but before sending you an invitation for an interview, employer will probably do one more thing – try to find out as much about you as possible. CV and motivational letter are often not enough for HR specialists, so it is possible that recruiters will do a quick search on you. And usually the first places they look at are social media.

Sounds scary? Well, it needs not be. One thing is that – as we mentioned in one of earlier articles – you have full control over what they can see. And, of course, you may always turn the tables on them and visit their profiles. Of course, those usually will be neatly trimmed pieces of Internet where no outside opinion grows, but hey, at least this tells you something about them!
 
The single most important profile of yours is the LinkedIn (linkedin.com) one. Supposedly, as much as ninety four percent of companies that recruit on-line pay attention to it. The great thing about this site is the fact that you do not have to worry about your profile's contents. You tell about your previous experience, education and add a photo. There, this is it – no friends placing embarrassing photos where others can see them.

Then there is a big, long gap of thirty percent, after which comes a site we all know and love: Facebook. It takes a great deal of attention and scissor-work to create something future-employer worthy so many people decide to simply lock it up for strangers.
Twitter is almost as popular as Facebook, although it mostly serves as nothing more than an advertising board. It is hard to get to know somebody by his or her tweets only, and few people have patience to scroll down and down, reading post after another. It is always a good idea to check it regularly for job offers, though.

Company blogs are similar to Twitter in a sense. For employers, they usually serve only as a way to exchange contact info with potential employees. For you, on the other hand, it is a great place to visit and read a bit. It can be a potential goldmine of information, as long as you remember to take everything you read with a grain of salt.

And then there is always Google+ and – surprisingly – YouTube. The rules concerning Facebook are in effect when we are talking about Google+, but obviously it is much less common. YouTube, on the other hand is simply another way to place/ watch advertisements and exchange contact information. Of course, you may build your video portfolio or give presentations about your speciality, but you would be generally better off by attaching them to CVs rather then leaving them lying around on the Internet.

There is also one, special case – GitHub. It is intended only for IT specialists, but having an active account on there can help you greatly. It is often visited by various employers, especially the ones that actually care about employing the best programmers avaible. If you are majoring in English, though, you will not have much use of it.

What and where?

 
As you can probably imagine, since content on all those sites differs greatly, so does the motivation of employers visiting each of them.

LinkedIn, being the most “professional” of them all, serves the employers twofold. First, they place actual job offers there, not just links to them. To be honest, if you are looking for a job or an internship, this is the best place to start, as some of the offers are placed on LI only.
Employers also use LinkedIn to gather information about future employees. The list of skills is thoroughly checked, professional experience is examined. It can be a good idea to place a straightforward list of your hard skills there, as it makes the whole recruitment process much easier for employer.

Facebook – as well as Twitter – is often used for advertising. Companies try to place interesting posts there in order to make more people buy/use products of their brand and create a group of potential workers. HR people use it to see whether you will fit culturally, if something about your previous experience can be deduced and to search for industry-related posts.
Google+ is – once again – used just like Facebook, but as you might have guessed it is much less popular right now.

What if I don't want to socialize?

 
Recently more and more people started complaining that the social media space should be kept off-limits to various recruitment specialists. While it may make getting a job slightly harder, you may decide that your personal info is yours and yours alone. The most obvious way of avoiding being checked by a recruiter is to simply not create an account, but there do exist means to keep your data hidden. If you feel like it use them – and remember that you will sill be able to read about your future employer.

See also: How to write a creative CV ? 
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