There’s no other way to say it: leaving university after graduation is a challenge. Securing a job isn’t necessarily difficult, but it can cause a lot of stress and worries as the job market, especially for inexperienced students, is currently in crisis. By managing your online presence and taking advantage of networking opportunities through social networking platforms, you will boost your chances of scoring a great job soon after you graduate.
Building Your Professional Online Presence
These days, your CV and interviews will only tell part of your story to potential employers. Lurking all over the internet are traces of you, such as your Facebook page, your Tweets, comments that you have left on articles, your Pinterest boards, and your email address within contact forms. Maybe your face even shows up when a potential employer Googles your name. In some ways, this is a terrifying reality to face. The good news is that your online reputation is actually in your hands, and easy to manage.
The first, and most obvious question: do you have LinkedIn? This is an invaluable resource for putting an image out to the public that showcases your talents, experience, and expertise in a very easy-to-use format. Use the profile generator to speed up the process of creating your page. Then, consider putting privacy protections on any “incriminating” texts or photos you have published online that may be considered offensive, too controversial, or even illegal – such as Facebook photos that would send the wrong message to companies you apply to. Of course, it’s ok to be yourself and exercise free speech, but carefully consider the implications of the materials that you post on websites like Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr under your name instead of a pseudonym.
Showcase your Spruced-Up CV
To have a successful job application process, you need two things on hand: a “master document” that includes information about everything you’ve ever done, from trainings, to coursework, to jobs, to volunteer positions and internships, and everything in between. It should serve as a personal file or notebook to remind you of all your work, not as a polished document for presentation to potential employers. This document will be very important for when crafting your one-page resume for employers. This second document will be tailor-made each time you apply for a job to highlight your expertise in terms of what that particular position demands.
Taking these two documents into consideration, think of a creative way to share this information online. Can you create a website that links your CV and publications to a homepage that features your photos and contact information? Perhaps you can make an infographic that is easily shareable and highlights your creative skills? Don’t be afraid to sell yourself well and have confidence in your abilities.
Schedule Online Mock Interviews and Request Shadowing Opportunities
Like most things in life, the best way to prepare for big events like a job interview is to practice until perfect. Mock interviews are a perfect way to work out any kinks in your style of presenting yourself, your work, and your skills. Your university’s career services office often offers opportunities for you to schedule mock interviews with trained counselors, challenging you with difficult questions and tasks, and then providing you feedback about your interview. These are offered online as well, via Skype, which can be incredibly convenient if you are unable to travel to mock interviews or have a difficult and inflexible schedule.
Shadowing opportunities are a great way to meet people in your field of interest and discover what a day in the life of a particular profession is actually like. Again, these opportunities can be made possible through connections with your career services office and the alumni network at your university. You can also consider reaching out to potential employers via email or social media platforms, and ask them if they ever have open office hours or recruiting events, where you could attend to learn more about the positions they have available and ask questions about office life. In the meantime, do your research: check out some company websites to see if businesses you are interested in working for have published interesting information for job candidates.