by Anubha Kapur (SEAS ’13)
The weekend begins on a lazy Saturday morning at 11 o’clock. With all the troubles of college life hanging over you, the heart flutters to have a no-agenda moment. Like the leaves of fall strewn over, and amid the gentle Philly drizzle, the weather plays the same ambivalent tune like the one strumming your life.
A cream cheese bagel, a cup of steaming Dunkin, the DP in one hand….and that’s the kick start to the day we all have…Stereotypical, yet real!
Amidst all the randomness of life, there is another crucial factor that links all of us together. Yes, checking out what’s new on our Facebook page, or skimming through the tweets of last night’s party… Social media: that little flicker that makes the clockwork of mundane life come alive!
Social Media: A Part of Life & The Job Hunt
Social media and social networking has become such an intrinsic part of our life, it is no longer a passing fad, but a growing necessity, be it in business as well as in personal life. The unending desire that people have to connect with each other has been one for centuries and today, technology provides us with a plethora of such platforms to not only connect, but share, inspire, interact, learn and grow as individuals and in communities.
But for students, is social media only about updating statuses, posting photos and hanging out with friends in the virtual world? Or does it have a more significant purpose?
In an era, where the global economy is making advancements as this article is being read, carving a niche in the career world has attained highest priority amongst students. And this job hunt in a virtual cloud is where social media is finding itself as the next biggest tool and no wonder all people are beginning to use it more frequently.
Looking back at the roots of some of the most popular social media platforms, we find that it was an idea of a university undergraduate that led to the creation of a multi-billion dollar company.
The core point: social networking was created by the youth, and so it offers maximum benefit to the youth as well. A dynamic projection of yourself on your LinkedIn profile only takes mere seconds, and only a few seconds more potentially to get noticed by hiring managers who are searching the social “field” for the desirable candidate. What better way to showcase your diversity interests than the Activities & Interests section of Facebook or following a dynamic entrepreneur or a start-up on Twitter. Social networking platforms provide infinite space to paint your picture and get noticed. This is networking, in the very real sense, providing unlimited avenues to connect and be seen by a prospective employer.
Personal Branding & Outreach
Each of these networks offers a unique way to connect and involve. On Facebook, you get to comment on a company’s posts. For LinkedIn, you could send inMails or seek introductions or referrals. On Twitter, you can retweet the words of someone inspirational from the industry. The wider the network you develop, the more avenues for career growth shall open up, and the better your chances of landing a job with your dream company.
On a more personal note, having explored quite a few realms of online media, I was surprised how Tumblr helped me in keeping up with the latest events by following the vast number of blogs in fields ranging from business to technology. I found it quite an innovative tool for personal branding, as well as to connect with people from diverse industries, owing to its rich and powerful user base.
A virtual profile mirrors your personality in more ways than one, and so you have to be interesting, emphasize your uniqueness, show how you’re extraordinary than the milieu to make others interested in you. You must demonstrate that you are following the latest trends or events of the companies you wish to work for in the future. In the fast pace of the virtual world, it’s only a matter of time before you could find an opportunity to engage, discuss and contribute.
Mantra for Success
The 3 fold mantra of successful social networking skills, especially to pave a career path:
- Establish your unique personality-Know what makes you different and special.
- Publish yourself -Communicate a strong message online.
- Spread out- Reach out to the target companies you want to work for.
It’s time to take pride in the “WOW” factor that is YOU! To go out and tell the world, so that it sits up and takes notice of your individuality!
Happy Social Networking!!!
About: Anubha Kapur is a 2nd year Master’s student in Systems Engineering. Apart from technology, her interests span creative writing, social blogging and travelling. She can be followed on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.