Getting an internship is crucial in helping secure a full-time job. Whether you plan on entering the medical, law, business, communications, or field of science, employers seek candidates who already possess the knowledge and skills it takes to be successful on the job. Gone are the days when a college degree is all you need to help you get a job, today it is about what value you can bring to the company and believe me the competition is fierce. The Generation Y students of today have to plan out their internship and job search strategy and keep working at it every day.
What Works and Doesn’t Work When Looking for Internships and Jobs?
In one respect it's a good thing that this generation is so technologically savvy compared to previous generations which gives them the chance to use innovative techniques for finding internships or jobs. Finding an internship or a job today requires much more than looking through the Classified Ads in the newspaper or even scouring the job boards online. To be successful it takes constant monitoring of available opportunities in order to not miss out to someone who may be equally as qualified but more organized in their search.
Is Networking Really All That Important in Finding an Internship or a Job?
Since networking is the #1 way for finding a job, you can’t ignore its value when you’re in the throes of finding an internship or a job. Contacting family, friends, faculty, pervious employers, community and church affiliations can all add to your being successful in landing an internship or a job. Conducting informational interviews will help you learn more about specific jobs and will put you in contact with people who are already doing the jobs you are interested in doing.
How Can Social Networking Help Me in Finding an Internship or a Job?
Using social networking as a tool can be an enormous asset in the internship or job search. Through social networks you can literally be seeking opportunities on a 24 hour basis. Using these tools you have an opportunity to brand yourself and market yourself to employers in a very professional and methodical manner. By using social networkssocial networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn you can be creating a brand that speaks your uniqueness and potential value to employers seeking candidates online.
It is highly recommended that everyone have a LinkedIn profile to be able to make connections with others in their career field of interest. In case you didn’t know, LinkedIn was launched in 2003 and is considered the social networking site for professionals. LinkedIn offers groups that you can join where you can share information and participate in ongoing discussions. In 2011 it was reported that LinkedIn had 100 million registered users.
First you will want to create a bio (160 characters) to begin branding yourself on Twitter. You will then want to learn about Twitter chats and decide which ones you’d like to join. Posting Tweets (140 characters) can help you get your message out there while sharing your expertise through online messages, links, blogs, etc.
Facebook is clearly the most highly used of all of the social networks with over 600 million users at the beginning of 2011. While Facebook is popular amongst high school and college students, many people in their 40’s and 50’s have joined on the band wagon. Used primarily for keeping up with friends, it is quickly becoming another means in finding internships or jobs. Although it now seems that Facebook has always been around, it actually was only launched in February of 2004. Career Amp gives you the power to connect with friends and see what job opportunities are available with their employers.
Having your own blog is another way of branding yourself and getting yourself out there. You can promote your blog by posting in on your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter pages. By maintaining a blog you can share your knowledge, interests, and expertise with others by posting your research and ideas on a specific topic. Blogs also are a chance to show your writing skills which is especially important when looking for jobs requiring strong writing ability.
Combining Your Networking Tools Using a combination of social media tools will give you increased exposure to the job market and help you to create a brand for yourself where you can gain employers interest. Branding has been around for a long time but it has recently been more in the limelight given all of the tools we now have to promote ourselves. Don’t miss out on the vast opportunities there are out there to market yourself or you’ll be losing out to those who have learned the strategies and techniques it takes to get recognized in today’s job market.
The key is to use your social networking sites to help create a list of contacts that you can eventually connect with via email or phone. Social media is just a means of establishing those all important networking connections. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are all very powerful tools but eventually there needs to be a personal connection between people in order to reap their benefits .