Here at equimedia we’re always on the lookout for a variety of new and exciting opportunities. One of the most recent came in the form of an invite to lead a talk at Reading University on the subject of digital, and particularly social media, and the variety of uses for both when you’re fresh out of uni and hitting the job market. A great opportunity – as a growing business, we’re on the lookout for graduates who have their eyes set on a career in digital – and it’s something we’re passionate about.
The job market is on the up, but research indicates that it’s typically higher level roles that are becoming more available, meaning the graduate recruitment market is still hugely competitive. So you need to standout, get noticed. How? Working in digital I’ve learnt there are a vast number of ways you can do this, using a number of tools that you’re probably already using daily. A step change in the way you use online tools, namely Social Media networks, can kick start the building of your positive online persona – what I’m calling your “web halo”.
Our slides for the talk cover 3 rough areas:-
1. How to actively manage your online persona
2. How to promote yourself online, within relevant circles, and convert your persona into a positive “web halo”
3. How to maximise the tools at your disposal to find the role that’s right for you
I’ve collated some tips and tricks from our team for the talk, and thought they might be of interest to you too! Have a read, and let me know what you think – you can tweet your thoughts to @equimedia using the #webhalo hashtag.
1. Think before you tweet
…or share, or Like, or Snapchat!
This seems like an obvious one, but an important one nonetheless. Brands, celebs – we are all susceptible to a bit of oversharing or drunk Facebook-ing. But do try and think before you tweet. With 75% of recruiters saying they actively search candidates on social media networks, you never know what might come round and bite you on the bum later on!
2. Practice safe social
Security settings are there, make sure you use them in a way that’s right for you. You hear horror stories about people being robbed because they shared in a status that they were away on holiday, and their open pro/wp-content/uploads/file also shares their address with the world. Ok, that example is a little extreme, but it’s worth sitting down, checking your settings and reviewing what you want people to see. Me, my Facebook settings are strict, whereas on Twitter I’m more open as I like to use it to learn, and engage in conversations with new people online, often for work. Just take 5 to think about what is best for you.
3. Dig up the dirt – on yourself
Start with Google. Search yourself and see what you find. Google’s image search is always interesting too! Same goes for social networks – use their search functionality and see what you find. As the saying goes, knowledge is power, so do the digging, understand what’s out there and then you can make an active decision on how to manage that information – and use it to begin curating and building your web halo.
P.S. Set up a Google alert for your name to keep on top of anything new that finds its way online!
4. Show off
Use social media for more than chatting to friends and family. Use it, and other online tools, to showcase your hobbies and interests – whether that’s starting your own blog, or keeping a photo diary of your gap year or volunteer work using Instagram or Tumblr. On average, each graduate role has 46 applicants, often with a minimum 2:1 degree requirement. Being able to showcase your genuine interests and hobbies can help set you apart. Here, part of the interview process for Account Management roles is presenting for 5 minutes on a topic you’re interested in. We don’t want to hear about digital – believe me, we’re ok on that front! – But we want to get to know a candidate more and we’re interested in “non-work” mode.
5. Join in the conversation
Social media connects us. You probably use it every day. Start thinking about connecting with people outside of your ‘offline network’. There are conversations out there taking place already. Take time to locate relevant conversations (using hashtags or LinkedIn groups, for example) and join in the conversation. Reach out and ask questions. You can learn from the answers and also build your online network – which you can then leverage when it comes to looking for your first job.
6. …and start talking to the right people
Whether you’re doing a geography degree or an advertising degree, there will be high pro/wp-content/uploads/file people from within that industry online. Search for their social media pro/wp-content/uploads/files, and reach out to them. Join in their conversations and engage with their other followers.
7. Dig up more dirt – on your dream employer
Back to research, this time, on your shortlist of dream companies to work for. Back to Google, access the latest information on the company using the ‘News’ search, and also find their latest blog posts using the blog: (company name) search command.
In depth research on the company is also crucial for when you do make it through to interview stage. I’ve interviewed people and trust me; we expect you to know about the company and genuinely want to work for us. So get digging!
8. Be creative
When you’ve done your research and have your shortlist of dream companies, it’s time to start thinking about how to communicate positively with them directly – most likely through your CV.
While there are still instances where a traditional CV will be expected and accepted, from my experience, the CVs that stand out have that creative edge. We’ve seen info-graphic CVs, CVs using Slideshare – a wide variety – and it’s always great to see something new and unique. There are some great tools for CV building out there (see Sumry) so give them a go!
9. Indulge your stalker tendencies
Let’s admit it. We all participate in a little Facebook stalking now and then! But I’m not talking your ex’s new girlfriend here – I’m talking interviewers and potential employers.
Use LinkedIn to search for the company you’re applying to and then take some time to read about the people that work there; LinkedIn will give you lots of information on them, from skills to whether they’ve risen up through the ranks. If you can find out who is interviewing them, you can learn a lot from their Twitter bios; for example, if you search for our Client Services Director, Jamie Walker, and find his Twitter pro/wp-content/uploads/file you’ll find out he’s into Man Utd and Cricket – and that could give you a way of breaking the ice when you meet.
10. Take it offline
Most of my tips are online focused, but don’t forget good ol’ face to face networking. Visit online sites like Meetup.com (link) to find groups that meet in your area, and/or meet to discuss topics relevant to your degree and the career path you want to follow.
Manage. Promote. Find. Make more of the tools you use every day to form your web halo.