The Candor

Students and Guests Learn How to Use Social Media to Their Advantage Through Career Development Employment Toolbox

By Taylor Hoppe

ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR

 

Students, alumni and members of surrounding communities attended Career Development’s, Developing Your Employment Toolbox, to learn how to utilize various networking sites to find jobs.

Emily Kerous, director of operations and outreach in the Village of Hoffman Estates hosted the session. She made a few suggestions prior to the lecture, “Go through and clean up all of your Facebook photos and Twitter posts. Delete anything you wouldn’t hang in our cubical,” she said.

Blogging, Kerous suggested, is a way to showcase your work, keep up professional knowledge and show that you are knowledgeable in the industry you are looking to work in. “Treat every blog post as though it’s a cover letter for a company you want to work for,” she suggests, “Proofread it, add your contact information and make sure it represents you well.”

When developing and posting on your blog, try to use keywords that would register with recruiters.  By adding common keywords, when employers are searching online, your blog will come up in a search.

As for Twitter, she suggested using hashtags. “By using the right hashtag, recruiters could find you very easily. By searching hashtags, you could find employers that are hiring just as easily!” said Kerous, “Play around. The more you do that, the more you’ll learn about how to find potential employers.”

Using Twitter can be helpful when establishing in an industry.  You can help others expand their knowledge of the industry through your posts or broadcast that you are looking for employment. Whichever option you choose, Kerous says, “Twitter is most useful if you have followers and use the appropriate hashtags.”

Kerous suggested “liking” companies you might be interested in working for.  By doing this, you are expressing interest and learning about new things the company is doing. “Another benefit of ‘liking’ a company on Facebook is if you get called in for an interview, part of your research on the company is already done since you’ve been reading their page,” shared Kerous.

Facebook mining was also a suggestion made during the event.  “Find friends that work for companies you want to work for and get the ‘scoop’ on what’s going on. For example, are they hiring? Is it somewhere your friend thinks you’d enjoy working?” making this connection, Kerous said, could be your first step towards getting hired.

“The best advice was to friend companies or organizations you want to work for,” said Moser Center Alum, Elaine Vernola, “It was something I’ve never thought of doing before.”

Kerous said these means of social media could be used to express that you are looking for a job. “Just make sure you keep your tone positive, specific and professional. Don’t vent your frustrations about your job search. It could come back to haunt you,” Kerous advised.

“Before I graduated,” Kerous shared after the event, “my dad told me to write down 50 people I know and send them an email saying that I am looking for a job. In the email I stated what kind of job I was looking for an asked if they could help.” She would suggest future graduates to do the same thing. “The responses I received were amazing.”

 

If using social media is still a bit of a foreign language, Kerous suggested a few websites to help make things a little easier: