BY JESSICA WILLNER
SC Contributing Writer
The reality of graduating and finding a real job sneaks up on students before they know it, making them think beyond the college utopia of ‘Thirsty Thursdays’ and weekends on Main Street.
However, early planning is important to student success in that place called the real world.
The Career Development Center at ESU helps put students at an advantage in the career hunt, providing resources including major and career exploration, career and internship preparation, resume-writing help, a four-year goal-oriented plan, and more.
With two out of every five employers checking prospective employees’ social media profiles, according to CareerBuilder.com, developing and maintaining an appropriate professional online presence is also increasingly important for students.
The majority of these hiring managers are checking the professionalism of the individuals, but a percentage is also looking for reasons against hiring them.
Ashley Smith, a senior at ESU majoring in Communications Studies, says, “Something that I think is very important for students that are moving from college into the ‘real world’ is for them to keep their social media sites. Don’t be scared of what is on your page– just be smart about what you put there.
Employers aren’t looking at your site for a reason not to hire you; they are looking at your Facebook or Twitter to see if your personality fits with their company.”
A new survey by Abine, Inc. shows that 69 percent of recent college graduates are jobless and that only 16 percent are actively working towards improving their online presence.
Students argue that their profiles are private, making it impossible for prospective employers to view their content. Emily Driscoll of Fox Business says, “Privacy settings on different networks are prone to frequent change and can create a false sense of security that posts and pictures are kept under wraps.” It is also important to consider that a growing number of employers now require employees to reveal their profiles before considering hiring them. This is especially important in fields related to the media, such as journalism, advertising, and communications, but it is rapidly expanding to other fields.
Another important early step students can take to get ahead in the job search is networking.
Being proactive on networking websites such as LinkedIn help you connect with professionals in your field, learn what jobs are available, and highlight your personal skills and achievements.
In a “Business 2 Community” article, social media specialist Samantha Collier highlights five ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile for your job search.
Collier discusses the importance of an updated and professional profile photo, adding relevant experience and education, building your network of connections, giving recommendations, and updating your URL.
Smith says, “Recently I’ve gone through my LinkedIn and re-wrote the descriptions of each job that is listed.
I’ve glorified some to make the most basic things I’ve done to present them as more interesting and relevant.
I played with the wording in my objective statement to make it relevant to any potential employer that would be looking at it.”
Students can find more resources and support from the Career Development Center any time online at http://www4.esu.edu/students/career_services/index.cfm.
To make an appointment at the Career Development Center, call (570) 422-3219 or visit the office located on the second floor of the student union.
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