Using social media to find opportunities
Using social media (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, blogs etc) to look for vacancies will not only give you a wider view of what's out there, it also shows employers that you are tech-savvy, interested in the world around you and up to date with new developments.
Great for following companies in the sectors you want to work in or those that advertise apprenticeships. Keep up to date with developments, news and opportunities in the companies you're interested in. If you have a personal twitter account you may want to set up a second, professional account for networking and job hunting. Add a professional-looking photograph of yourself and highlight your skills, achievements and what you can offer.
Joining or liking companies' Facebook pages is an easy way of keeping up to date with news, events and opportunities. Like Twitter, if you have a personal account it may be an idea to get a professional one, particularly if you want to get into the creative or media industries so you can showcase your work.
LinkedIn is the most well-known professional networking site and, unlike Facebook, is focused solely on career development. It recently lowered its membership age from 18 to 13 so young people can start to network with people in the companies they'd like to work for. You can join groups in the areas you're interested in and 'link in ' with people who work in the industry you'd like to work in. Participating in debates and sharing information in these groups is a great way of keeping up to date with what's going on in these sectors and also getting yourself noticed. You can create a profile which is like a digital C.V. highlighting your achievements, skills, qualifications and work experience while teachers and other professionals you've worked with can write you references.
Click here for a guide to building a great profile.
Blogging is a great way of showing the world your creative skills and sharing your ideas and work. Wannabe artists and designers can showcase images; prospective film makers and musicians can share videos or podcasts and would-be journalists can blog about issues that they care about, highlighting their research, writing and editorial skills.
Great for those wanting to get into media, TV, broadcasting, film, journalism, politics, art, design, music etc. Create your own channel and once you've uploaded something put it on Facebook and Linkedin then tweet and blog about it!
- In a recent survey 91% of employers said they google people who apply to work for them and 69% said they have rejected an applicant because of something they'd posted on a social media site. Spring clean your online presence and delete anything you wouldn't want an employer to see, or at least change your settings to private.
- Keep updating and refreshing your professional profiles - it can look worse to have an out of date profile than none at all.
- For a guide to staying safe online Thinkuknow has some great tips for people of all ages.