August 28, 2013
Students globally are social media nerds, they know all the acronyms and shortcuts to write blogs, postings and a whole lot more. So why are the youth of today so scared of virtual networking to further them in life?
I spent a brief time working at Kingston University. I came across students that knew what they wanted to do and how to get there. I also met students who had no idea where their degree would lead them professionally, then there were also the students that know what they want to do, but do not know how to get there.
The savvy students were on LinkedIn, using Facebook, Twitter and blogs to attract professionals to their pages and interacting with them, making the best use of social media platforms. They were posting interesting articles that were relevant to their career path and ensuring they were joining relevant groups and following companies they were actually interested in.
“GREAT! Hurrah”, I would cry when they told me all this, but I always wondered why they did this when a majority of their peers had no interest in using social media for anything other than posting pictures of nights out and generally having fun. This all has its place in social, but what students need is lessons in professional networking. If we want to decrease unemployment in graduates, lets teach them how to get a job without just pressing ‘apply’ on a job post. Academics, university staff, recruitment consultants and employers need to get on board with this and make the effort to inform students and recent graduates on networking.
immediate future had a fantastic assessment day yesterday, six of the BEST candidates I have met in years in fact. They all followed me on Twitter, retweeted my tweets, looked at my profile and were part of social media groups on LinkedIn, ‘liked’ anything to do with social on Facebook, as well as having interesting blogs and other social media profiles. That made them stand out from the 104 applicants we had. It just goes to show how much influence a strong online presence can have for jobseekers.
What’s more, I bumped into a Kingston University 2013 Psychology graduate yesterday. I had met him once before whilst working at Kingston University. He had wowed me with his wit, humour and confidence – he didn’t want to be a Psychologist, he just wanted to work, to earn money and get on in life, and he has. He went from interview to interview, recruitment, sales and is now working at Haymarket in advertising sales, where I started my career! He is an example of what tenacity and hard work does for you: it gets you a job!
I propose everyone reading this makes an effort to help a graduate get a job… from student, to graduate, to employee! I continue to work with graduates from Kingston who contact me through LinkedIn and so far have helped two get a job, so it is possible.