The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Social media workshop helps students with job search

SMU students pulled up their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts on their laptops Thursday night at the “Social Media and Your Job” workshop to see how their presence on the Web could attract future employers.

The workshop took place in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center and was hosted by the Heigi Family Career Development Center.

Panelists of the workshop stressed the importance of students using social media tools to develop an online presence as well as network with professionals in their field.

“It’s all about who you know and how you connect with them for getting a job,” Allison Dupuis, a panelist at the workshop and a career coach at the career center, said.

According to the presentation, 91 percent of employers use the Web to search for prospective employees. Of those employers, 47 percent look at social networking sites to screen prospective employees right after they receive an application.

Guy L. Davis, the assistant director for internships at the Career Center, said that while social media can work favorably for applicants in their job hunt, it can also have the opposite effect.

“Sixty-nine percent have rejected a candidate because of what they saw on a social networking site,” Davis said.

Dupuis logged into various social media sites and demonstrated their job-networking uses to the audience. She stressed the importance of LinkedIn and shared her personal story about how it helped her get hired at her current job.

Dupuis met Davis in March 2010 at a conference in Baltimore and became friends with him on LinkedIn shortly after. When a position at SMU’s Career Center opened a couple of months later, Dupuis applied and mentioned in her cover letter that she knew Davis and was impressed with the presentation that he had made about social media.

Supervisors looked at Dupuis’ LinkedIn profile and hired her because it was developed and tailored to the skills that they wanted in applicants.

• LinkedIn: Davis said that LinkedIn is usually the first site that employers use to check out applicants. Users can upload their resumes, search for professionals in their field, and connect with colleagues. Dupuis urged students to join the “SMU Alumni Group” on LinkedIn because many alumni post job openings in their field to the page.

• Twitter: Dupuis demonstrated the use of the hashtag on Twitter and showed students its usefulness for job searches. She used the example of marketing (#marketing) and pulled up all of the results that it displayed. She also suggested students to follow important people or organizations in their prospective industries. “Twitter is really casual but also professional,” Dupuis said.

While the workshop focused on common social media sites, it also informed students about lesser-known tools.

Among those tools was BranchOut, a Facebook application that imitates the functions on LinkedIn. BranchOut allows users to network with each other for jobs, write recommendations about each other and search for companies and job openings. While the application is a part of Facebook, BranchOut does not link its users to their personal Facebook accounts.

Students who attended were pleased that the workshop taught them new tools they didn’t know about. Sophomore Jordan Ackerman was among them. Ackerman attended the workshop because she is interested in interning for a nonprofit organization next summer and wanted to learn how to develop herself as a strong applicant on the Web.

“I’m going to follow and tweet more about organizations that I’m interested in on Twitter and I’m going to get the BranchOut account on Facebook,” Ackerman, who is double-majoring in environmental studies and psychology, said. 

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