Welcome back readers!
In the previous blog post, I conducted an interview with Eric Payne, Wayne State Alum and social media consultant. As a quick recap, we discussed how Social Media is affecting not only the business environment, but also the life of college students seeking jobs. Today, we take a step back to talk about the same issues but from the recruiters’ standpoint. Emily Kravetz, Director of the School of Business Administration Career Planning and Placement Office at Wayne State University, has given us the opportunity to acquire some insight into what companies are looking for today and how college students should respond to the changes in the business environment.
Firas: So Emily, what are the effects of Social Media on the recruiting process? And what should the current students do to adhere to the new social media standards that recruiters are setting?
Kravetz: Well it’s definitely part of the screening process to look at candidates’ social media or cyber presence. It’s used all the time now! Usually recruiters use it for two things.
- First, reviewing the person’s credentials via LinkedIn, trying to find something beyond what’s on the Resume.
- Second, to find passive candidates, also known as candidate sourcing, especially when they are seeking candidates with very specific skills.
Firas: Wouldn’t you consider that as an invasion of privacy?
Kravetz: Not at all. Anything on the internet is fair game, everything you do online matters. If you have something that you do not wish to show to the public then hide it or put a password. Think about it, if the companies are being transparent about every aspect of their business, why shouldn’t you?
Firas: That’s an interesting way to look at it. So what are recruiters looking for when they look at a candidate’s online presence?
Kravetz: They’re looking for provable skills, something they can check out on their own. A new tool that is used by college students now is an online career portfolio, where basically you can post anything you’ve been working on during your school years that shows skills recruiters might be interested in. That can be marketing plans for marketing students or Excel financial models for finance students. A website I recommend to create a career portfolio is wix.com. These are tools students should use to promote themselves and give them an edge over other candidates. (Editor note: Please be aware that the School offers a course - ISM 5994: Software Tools for Business Applications - where you can learn to create your own website utilizing the School's server space and provided software development tools.)
Firas: While these skills and promoting techniques can help you land a job, interning is a crucial aspect of the job hunt that many students seem to downplay.
Kravetz: An internship can help you in so many ways. With the rising competition for jobs, a good internship can give you a competitive edge over other candidates. Also, employers usually look for someone who has relevant skills and most of them recruit the interns they think might be a good fit for their company in the long term. Usually recruiters are looking students to have at least one if not two internships and quality is important. One internship building direct and relevant skills can be better than three that are less focused.
In addition, Kravetz emphasized the urgency of looking for jobs or internships a year in advance, since sometimes the job hunt can prove to be quite a difficult task. “Come meet with one of my advisors at the Career Planning Office and think about this out loud with somebody.” She also urged students to feel comfortable with her office’s services and not to hesitate in approaching an advisor. “It’s never too late to reach out and ask for help, the earlier the better. Students should utilize the resources offered by the Career Placement & Planning Office more often for mock interviews, resumes or cover letter workshops, and also to get a jumpstart by meeting recruiters on campus.”
Based on what we’ve learned so far from these two interviews, it seems counterproductive for any student with career aspirations to ignore the pivotal role social media now plays in getting us the jobs we are seeking. Students should be aware that everything they do online is monitored and can affect their job search process. I would strongly recommend that students actively build their own online image that they would be comfortable sharing with the rest of the world, including potential recruiters. Use social media platforms to promote yourself and exhibit skills recruiters are looking for. The School of Business Administration Career Placement and Planning Office at Wayne State is doing a great job in increasing awareness about these issues. Yet in order for them to do their job, as a student you must do yours first. Come in and ask for help, they are there to provide it.
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(All credit and accolades for this tremendous blog post go to the author, interviewer, and creator - Firas Ezzeddine)