Encourage Students to Use Social Media…ProfessionallyFebruary 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Posted in Advising interns, career center, Finding internships, Intern Advice, networking, Social media | 1 Comment
Tags: Christa Juenger
I often work with students that are about to engage in their first internship or job search. As we start the process to prepare, we discuss the usual topics: the focus of the search, preparing the resume and cover letters and how to search for a position strategically. When we get to the “strategically” stuff, I ask a lot of questions about networking, which leads me to their use of social media.
MySpace? – Yep.
Twitter? – Tweet.
Facebook? – Duh! (I bet that dates me)
LinkedIn? LinkedIn? LinkedIn? – This is often met with a mumble or guilty silence.
Coaxing students, especially in their first couple years of school, to start their professional networking can be difficult. They don’t have time, they don’t have a professional network, they don’t have any experience – are objections that I often hear. As career development advisors, it’s important for us to encourage (i.e. prod) them to start utilizing social media for more than just fun – making it also work for them to build their professional image and resources.
A few tips to assist your students with their professional networking:
- Suggest alternatives if they pitch you objections:
- No time? Make it part of a class project or assignment to create a profile and utilize social media for professional development. Challenge them to give up just 30 minutes of TV or texting a week to focus on professional networking sites.
- No work experience? Their job title may be Full-time Student – they can list classes taken, projects worked on and extracurricular activities to their profile. They can keep in front of contacts by updating their status with (appropriate) updates, posting articles to share or using applications to upload projects they have worked on.
- No professional contacts? Even my 5 year old has professional contacts (like his soccer coaches and preschool teachers…he is always on his best behavior with them). Students can reach out to friends, family members, classmates, faculty, advisors and community members they know through sports and volunteer activities (be sure to remind them to only invite people to their network that they know personally). This is also a great time to encourage them to build a strong professional network (and resume) by actively seeking internships throughout their college years!
- Make social media part of your career services topics and workshops, if it’s not already. Walk students through the process of building a profile and offer to review their online profiles just like you would with their resumes and cover letters.
- Start a LinkedIn group for your school, department or career services office. Invite the students to be part of that group and encourage them to join other groups that interest them.
- Direct them to the student section of LinkedIn for the benefits of online professional networking: http://learn.linkedin.com/students/
- Have you been asked to “friend” a student on Facebook? Redirect them to your LinkedIn, Plaxo or Xing profile (I noticed that I’m a little biased towards LinkedIn) and suggest that you connect on there instead.
Encouraging our students to start using the vast array of social media available for professional networking NOW will help them to create lifelong networking habits that they will thank us for later!
P.S. – Keep your eyes open for exciting news regarding an Internships.com networking application for your students!
This post was written by Christa Juenger, a huge Buckeye fan, avid photographer, and career coach with a passion for networking. Find out more about Christa and the rest of our bloggers on our new About Us page.
1 Comment »
About this blogThis is a blog for College & University Career Center professionals. Written by a variety of industry professionals. This blog is hosted by internships.com
- Want to work with a company that organizes awesome music events like Coachella & EDC? @TheDoLaB is looking for you! che.gg/1KAZTS0 3 days ago
- Intern Tip of the Day: Let your supervisor know what your goals are and go for them. 4 days ago
- Do you want a career in fashion, but need help getting there? CollegeFashionista is the perfect place to start! che.gg/1OAQfAu 1 week ago
- Intern Tip of the Day: Make friends with HR. They are the true keys to getting things done & staying in touch with the right people. 1 week ago
- Intern Tip of the Day: Always be positive. It will take you far! 2 weeks ago
Tags"Leave no child behind" "Race to the top" 2011 graduates alumni application career career center career center professionals career centers Career Fair college corporate culture economy education employer employers entrepreneur Fall Internships finding an internship finding internships fitting in at internship getting an internship getting an internview getting a summer internship global internship higher education forum intern intern advice international internship International internships intern behavior intern evaluation intern preparation interns internship internship advice internship compensation internship conference internship expectations internship fair internship opportunities internship question internship questions internships internships.com internship trends internship wrap up intern support intern tips interview Job Fair labor statistics linkedin NACE networking paid internship paid internships President Obama resume SHRM social media student networking students summer intern summer internship summer internships supporting interns Susan Sandberg Tech Internships technology internship thank you notes unemployment unpaid internship unpaid internships virtual internships