Thank You and Good Luck

I want to thank all of my readers for being so supportive, interactive, and engaging throughout this process. I hope that I have informed you of the importance of using social media, social privacy, and the Internet in a professional and proactive manner when diving into the job search. This research process has been both an enlightening and valuable journey that I believe will not only help myself, but other students my age in the course of our pursuit for jobs. I am confident that following these tips will help all of use 18-22 year olds land the jobs of our dreams. Good Luck!

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Keys to Success

I want to leave you all with my final words of advice. Though I have harped on social media as a dangerous tool to beware of in the job search, I strongly urge you all to utilize it in a positive manner. Navigating social media during your job hunt is all about making smart decisions. Don’t post inappropriate pictures and messages on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Use these networks as powerful assets! The Journal of Marketing Studies provides fantastic tips to help you make a brand for yourself using social media. First, “Be Professional.” This tip is in respect to your physical appearance and the language you use in posts. Second, “Find and market your difference to the right people.” This advice is pretty self-explanatory. Once you have found your differentiating factor, make sure employers, recruiters, and influencers in the professional field know what it is.

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 9.13.36 PMIf you can get them to remember you positively, your shot at success will increase.  Finally, “Leverage yourself as an expert on social media.” Make sure you are up to date on current events in your field. Feel free to post relevant articles and encourage discussion. Always double-check your factual information. There’s nothing worse than posting false information and losing your credibility among your online community. Just remember, being an expert in your field isn’t just about being knowledgeable on relevant topics, but enabling your passion for the subject to shine through (Nassar 104-113).

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Nassar, Mohamed A. “An Investigation of Hoteliers’ Attitudes Toward

the use of Social Media as a Branding Tool.” International

            Journal of Marketing Studies 4.4 (2012): 93-113. ProQuest.

Web. 3 Dec. 2013: 95-103. Print.

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Professional vs. Fun

thingI was scanning through my tweets this past week and I found that I have a very mixed personality on Twitter. Sometimes I make silly comments that only a few friends and myself will understand, but other times I tweet about sports or current events in the marketing world. There is this neat article on Mashable.com that discusses the importance of having a “seamless brand image” on social networks. This got me thinking, why don’t I have two different Twitter accounts? Having two twitter accounts allows me to post those silly everyday occurrences that only a few people understand. It allows me to use profanities without worrying whose reading. It alleviates the stress of having a company breathe down my neck every time I post. “A professional Twitter could be passed along to employers or listed on my resume” (Smith 4). This is the one I want companies to see. In here, I would make a brand for myself. Since I am a sports marketing major, I could utilize this account for current events in the sports world, posting about marketing tips, and displaying my knowledge and interest for the field. Creating a seamless brand image here is what is important. I recommend that all of you fire up your professional account today and start making a brand for yourself, because there’s nothing worse than losing a job opportunity over 140 characters.

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Smith, Jaquelyn. “How Social Media can Help (or Hurt) You in Your Job Search.”

                  Forbes Marketing 30 Oct. 2013: Web.

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Protect Yourself

As promised folks, here are some good privacy tips to utilize on your social networks to protect yourself from an employer’s prying eyes. I provided a link to The Online Privacy Blog, written by Sarah Downey, who provides a very concise and reliable step-by-step process to Facebook privacy. Take a peek and get started. Protect yourself before you subject yourself to employer criticism. That’s my motto. Enjoy!

http://www.abine.com/blog/2012/do-your-privacy-a-favor-control-the-7-most-critical-facebook-settings-post-timeline/.

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 5.19.27 PM Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 5.19.45 PMI want to highlight a few that I think are especially important. First, “Limit your sharing to friends only.” When sharing online, what’s the point of exposing yourself to people you don’t even know? When you release your privacy settings to “friends of friends” you’re allowing over 150,000 people to see your information! That’s a huge risk when it comes to prying employer’s eyes. The second privacy tip that is extremely important is “Taking control over your tags and your timeline.” By simply switching on “Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline” and “Review tags friends add to your own posts on Facebook,” you’ll be able to receive tag notices instead of allowing anyone to tag you without your knowledge (Downey).

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Pending Friend Request

Pending-friend-requests-in-your-Facebook-profileWhat’s more important? Another friend request on Facebook or a job offer from your dream company? The answer seems blatantly clear, job offers from your dream company. Even though we all think this way, we really don’t act like it. If we really thought a job was more important, we would scour our Facebook profiles and scrub them clean of any incriminating, reckless, racy, or unprofessional content. Do we? Not often enough. The problem with poor Facebook upkeep during the job search is that employers are constantly using these sites to gauge the kind of person you are. Your photos, posts, and profile design can tell an employer a lot about you, and I guarantee it’s not at all how you want to be perceived in a professional setting. Just by scanning over some of my friend’s posts I’ve already seen potentially harmful content. For example, “Let’s think about how many men we encountered that were perplexed by facial piercings” (Facebook). This may not seem all that harmful to you, but in the eyes of an employer it definitely can be. Generally, companies have a dress code so that its employees project a professional look for its clients. In most professional settings, facial piercings stray form the accepted dress code mostly because they don’t conform to social norms. So we, see that the problem with posts and pictures on social networks is that they can be taken out of context by whoever the viewer is. After reading that post, most people would gather that the person posting it has a facial piercing. However, from personal knowledge, I can say that the person in question does not. But alas, an employer could easily take that out of context and in turn end your chance at landing the position.  Think of posts and pictures as your first impression with an employer, except you’re not there to defend yourself. By posting photos and comments on social networks, you leave your words and images to the critique of another. When an employer critiques your content in a negative manner, you have just become less professional and a higher risk employee than another candidate. BAM! You’ve lost your dream job. Now that I’ve got you all worried about your social media content, I’ll find some great privacy tips and share them with you soon. So next time you’re thinking of posting something on Facebook, just ask yourself…would I want my grandma to read this?

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Body Piercing Facebook Post, Madison, WI. Personal Friend

Post by author. 2013.

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Drawbacks of the New Job Search

I want to continue with the discussion we had last time. I ended on the drawbacks of our job search process today. Like I said, our job search has been simplified and I couldn’t be more grateful seeing as I’m currently on the job hunt. However, transferring a lot of the job search process to online opens us prospective hires to a lot of risk. “According to a new study from market analyst firm On Device Research, 1 in 10 young job seekers have lost a job opportunity because of their social media profiles. In the U.S. alone, the total was 8 percent among those 16 to 24 years old and 5 percent for those 25 to 34 years old” (Sherman).  See, it’s not all that easy when employers start using these networks too.  “There is a power and danger to online crowds” (Surowiecki). It’s true! Social media can be a powerful tool to help create a personal brand for you. Personal branding is a huge asset during the job hunt when you’re trying to differentiate yourself from hundreds of other applicants.  What social media offers is an easy way to display yourself as a knowledgeable, professional, and qualified applicant. How, you might ask? Well its simple. By posting content related to your job field, following professional accounts in your field, and also monitoring your personal comments, you can gain an edge up on another qualified applicant (Nassar 95-103). However, the dangers mentioned earlier are real. You really have to be careful about the content that you’re posting. Are you displaying yourself online in the same way you would want to be viewed at work? If your answer is no, then employers may get the wrong impression of you and brush your resume aside. My advice for everyone: be aware of the positive and negative ways to use social media.

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Nassar, Mohamed A. “An Investigation of Hoteliers’ Attitudes Toward

the use of Social Media as a Branding Tool.” International

 Journal of Marketing Studies 4.4 (2012): 93-103. ProQuest

Web. 3 Dec. 2013: 95-103. Print.

Sherman, Derek. “On Device Research.” Slideshare. 27 Oct. 2013: Web.

The Power and Danger of Online Crowds. Perf. James Surowiecki.

TED.com, 2005. Online.

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Getting Jobs in the 21st Century

phoneToday, I constantly find myself thinking of all of the times my parents said, “We didn’t have ‘fill in the blank electronic gismo’ when we were growing up.  I had a habit of brushing these comments off as a small jibe at me for being spoiled and not really needing and iPhone of laptop computer. But now that I mull it over in my mind I’ve realized that they were just speaking the truth, they never needed those items growing up and probably can’t see why I would either. But in today’s age, technology really has altered our way of doing things, especially the job search. For instance, instead of physically attending a career fair or networking event, we can simply sit on our laptops and apply for jobs. As a Badger, we have this handy dandy network called BuckyNet that posts every job being offered to graduates in a specific major. Now that’s crazy! You know what else we’ve got? LinkedIn. It’s basically an online resume, which allows you to “connect, share, and discover opportunities” (LinkedIn). The sites login page presents quotes from successful professionals saying, “I haven’t made a cold call since 2005 thanks to LinkedIn” (Ramirez). Another testified that, “I make my living on the relationships garnered on LinkedIn” (Nicholas). All I’m trying to say here is that the job search has been made simpler for our generation, but that doesn’t mean it comes without some drawbacks.

With all of this technology at our fingertips, we sometimes get carried away with what we’re posting because it’s been made so easy. “Over 75% of men and women in the U.S., ages 18-22 own a smartphone or laptop” (Grant 15). We have access to social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine and more both in home and on mobile devices. But here’s where the drawbacks come in. “Users ages 18-22 typically apply minimal privacy settings, but deliver the highest amount of personal content online” (MARKET INDICATORS 26). Us 18-22 year old millennial need to seriously consider on how we manage our content so that it’s professional and appropriate and also tailor our own personal brand to help us shine in employer’s eyes.

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Grant, Alexis. “Rise in Social Media Jobs Means Opportunity for Job

Seekers.” U.S.News & World Report 12 2010: 1. ProQuest. Web.

3 Dec. 2013: 15. Print.

“MARKET INDICATORS: Dawning of the Age of Social Media Jobs.” Recruiter

(2010): 17,n/a. ProQuest. Web. 3 Dec. 2013: 26. Print.

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