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Prepare for Your Career/Internship with Smart Social Media Use

By Emilie Brouse

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Molly Aitken-Julin, the Internship & Employment Coordinator at Career Services, works collaboratively with employers, students and faculty to help prepare students for their chosen career and gain employment after graduating. An integral component of her work at Career Services is helping students promote their “best self” to employers through resources like EPortfolios, LinkedIn and the BSUCareers system. Here’s a list of tips on how to use social media sites wisely, as advised by Aitken-Julin:

·      For students using any social media like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. —keep anything that’s even questionably inappropriate private. Aitken-Julin advises to avoid Twitter completely.

·      Take the time to create a professional image. Remove anything that may possibly deter employers from your hire or stunt the transition from student to professional.

·      LinkedIn is the number one job-posting site used by employers and the best option when looking to market yourself online.

·      Keep public sharing to a minimum. This sharing of oneself can damage a reputation and/or an employer’s opinion of you. (“Tweeters”- beware!)

·      Don’t cross personal/professional lines. People do judge and create assumptions off of these views. Keep it professional.

And some suggestions regarding self-promotion, advised by Assistant Professor of Mass Communication, Debra Sea—

·      Use the BSU Careers link— http://www.bemidjistate.edu/students/services/career. This is a great place to post your resume for employers to review and to check out listed job/internship opportunities.  EPortfolios are also a great source for online resume posting.

 ·      Create your own professional website early in your college career and post examples of your work to your website. Use a content management system like WordPress.com. It’s easy to learn and is free! This is a great place to showcase your work. If you keep it up to date, it’s easy to send a link for internship or job applications. This can be practiced as an assignment in BSU’s Intro to Media Writing (MSC 1849) class.

·       As soon as you can afford it, own your own name on your professional site.  Owning your domain name is the first step in owning your website’s content, and the best way to perpetuate your internet presence. For just a few dollars per year, you can own the rights to your name. www.dynadot.com is Sea’s suggested website, but there are many other sites out there.

SocialMedia1Mr. Douglas Leif, a Professor of Business Administration at BSU, is another great resource for on-the-web advice. Here are some of the tips he provided on the use of social media for students:

·      Be conscious and highly cognizant of what you share online. Use good judgement and consider the ways in which the content you share could work negatively for you.

·      “Undershoot the runway”— if you are going to make personal content public, less is more.

·      Let it sit overnight before publishing for all to see. Often times, you won’t feel the same the next day. You’ll be glad you did!