Social media – the dos and don’ts

Social media can be a difficult thing to manage when looking for a job. There are 1.4 billion Facebook users worldwide, and 98% of 18-24-year-olds who use any form of social media have a Facebook account[1]. This means that a significant number of people are putting themselves at risk of being rejected by future employers if they are not using these sites correctly. Here is some advice for those who use social media and to help you avoid negatively impacting your chance of being recruited.

 

Facebook

Facebook is one of the most widely used forms of social media. 250 million people have access to Facebook via their phone every day, which can lead to not only excessive posting, but also a lack of consideration as to what we post. It is important to realise the ease with which an employer can access your profile; try to keep anything remotely damaging to you, such as pictures of you excessively drinking or doing anything considered stupid to a minimum. They will see these pictures and videos and will immediately form an impression of you, even if you would consider it as the wrong one. Be honest about your behaviour – nobody minds if you enjoy a glass of wine (or two!) at the weekend, but don’t plaster being plastered all over your profile. It won’t do you any favours!

 

Twitter

Twitter is becoming increasingly popular and is a form of social media for anyone wanting to share their opinions to those who follow them, as well as sharing articles. Again, you must tread carefully with Twitter when it comes to job searching; employers may well research your interests and posts on your Twitter account. It is vital that you do not post anything that may be misinterpreted. Exercise caution when using Twitter as an outlet for political opinions or debates; you may end up getting yourself in hot water! Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t be happy to discuss with a future employer.

 

Instagram

Instagram is a form of social media for sharing photos with your followers. Like Facebook and Twitter, it is important not to share anything which could be seen as inappropriate behaviour. Try not to post too many “selfies” as this will make you come across as self-obsessed and shallow; on the other hand, posting pictures of things you enjoy such as travelling, fashion or food can support the things you put on your CV listed as “hobbies and interests”. It can prove to an employer that you aren’t exaggerating or indeed lying about what is on your CV.

 

LinkedIn

This site is targeted towards business professionals and aims to create links with business contacts. It could be regarded as the “Facebook” of the business world. It is important to create a full, detailed profile on LinkedIn so that employers and other professionals with whom you have had contact can research you and your skills. Many people get offered jobs through LinkedIn, so it is important that your profile is as professional as it can be. Look here for more tips: http://www.businessinsider.com/make-your-linkedin-profile-irresistible-2013-10?op=1

 

Don’t take your social media usage lightly. It could mean the difference between you getting a job or not. It is important to consider each and every thing that you put on your profiles and how it could look in the eyes of an employer. You don’t want that video of you drunk and singing at the office Christmas party last year (think Bridget Jones) ruining your chances of a big career!

 

[1] http://www.statisticbrain.com/social-networking-statistics/

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Learning languages – setting yourself apart from the rest!

During your time as a language student at university, you will consistently be reminded that your course provides you with “transferable skills” that will impress any employer and that having these skills may set you apart from the other candidates applying for the same position. With high unemployment in the under 25’s in the UK, it is important to have a special “something” to increase your chances of getting employed. So, is learning another language the way forward?

 

  1. Communication skills

 

It may seem obvious, but learning another language is all about communication. It isn’t enough to master the grammatical rules on paper, you have to be able to speak, listen and understand the language in order to fully master it. Learning another language not only forces you to become a better communicator in the given language, it also helps you understand your own language more clearly, which in turn can make you a better and clearer communicator in your mother tongue. To employers, this is an appealing trait, especially if the work involves meeting and communicating with clients.

 

  1. Presentation skills

 

During a languages degree, you will be asked to give numerous presentations, not only in your native language, but also in the “target language”, i.e. the language you are learning. This improves confidence, encourages you to be spontaneous in speaking the language (preparing you for real-life situations), and also enhances a skill which you may need in your future career. This will not go unnoticed by employers.

 

  1. Study/work abroad

 

A compulsory part of any languages degree is to spend time abroad in a country where the language is spoken. The experiences and skills you will acquire during this time become invaluable and, as many will agree, really shape you as a person. Employers will value this as it proves you are someone who can adapt easily, who is outgoing, responsible, independent and aware of other cultures. It will also mean that your language level hugely improves and, in today’s increasingly globalised society, employers with contacts abroad will really value this.

 

  1. Personality

 

Having learnt a language says a lot about your personality; it proves you to be a committed, confident, driven individual who likes a challenge and who rises up to it – you can, after all, speak the language. This shows employers that they can give you responsibility and that you will work hard to complete tasks to a high standard. Furthermore, the experiences you will have gathered by working or studying abroad contribute to making you a more interesting person; use tales of your experiences during this time to make yourself stand out at the interview!

 

If you haven’t begun with language learning yet, start now and take those important steps to set yourself apart from the rest!