Leveraging Social Media in Your Job Search

This past week I attended the Big 10 Plus Career Services Conference. I had the opportunity to network and share best practices with Career Services Professionals throughout the consortium. One of the topics discussed was social media: how should college students be using social media in their job search? Three common themes emerged from our discussion:

1) Majority of college students are using social media in some way, shape, or form. According to NACE’s survey targeting class of 2011 graduates:

  • 41% of seniors reported using social media in their job search. Those leveraging channels in this manner used a combination of LinkedIn, (31.5%) Twitter (22.7%), and Facebook (91%).
  • College seniors using Facebook only are less apt to leverage social media in their job search.
  • Networking and company research are the two most popular ways college seniors are using social media in their job search.
  • 71% of college seniors expect employers to view their profiles.

2) Understand and define your personal brand before engaging in social media. You are the CEO of your own company, marketing the brand called you. How can you market yourself to potential employers if you don’t know what you are promoting/selling? Take the time to inventory yourself and develop your brand. Once you have clearly defined your product (you), develop a plan to market yourself to potential customers (employers) using social media. Remember to always keep your brand messaging consistent.

3) Social Media is a tool, not a destination. It’s no longer about just having an online presence. You must realize the power and value of each individual channel, strategically choosing which ones to actively use in order to reach your final destination, or in this case obtaining a job. Before you put your marketing plan into action, click here for advice re: social media do’s and don’ts from the perspective of a college recruiter.

As a student in the midst of his/her job search, what does this mean for you? In order to maximize your job search, you need to be an active presence on social media. Your peers are online, and according to the 2010 Jobvite Social Recruiting Report, 83% of companies now use or plan to use social media for recruiting. Taking the time to develop and promote your brand online will help to open more doors in your job search, build your network, and increase the likelihood of you landing your dream job.


Heather currently serves as the Associate Director of Student Services for the Undergraduate Career Services Office in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. In her role, Heather guides students throughout their career development, lectures on career-related topics and personal branding, presents career workshops for students, supervises a team of career coaches, and develops/manages the social media efforts for her office. Before making the switch to Student Affairs, Heather worked in Marketing, Sales, and Promotion within the Music & Entertainment industry. Originally from New Jersey, Heather attended Indiana University for her undergraduate degree and The Ohio State University for her graduate studies. You can connect with Heather on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Related posts:

  1. The Importance of Social Media
  2. Social Networks and Your Job Search (Part 2)
  3. Social Networks and Your Job Search (Part 3)

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