Jessica Bedore is a journalism student at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh and a public relations intern at Weidert Group, Inc., a full-service marketing agency in Appleton, WI. Visit her blog to read about the latest in public relations, social media and how it all relates to the life of a public relations intern.
In a world where the applicants for a single internship or entry-level job range from 50 to 1,000, students must stand out in the crowd.
Obviously, employers are faced with the task of selecting only one candidate from the pile of resumes on their desks, but how exactly do they do that?
The biggest complaint that I hear from my colleagues, and especially our company’s internship coordinator, is that students who have awesome resumes and cover letters often don’t portray that same image online. Although this is especially important in public relations and marketing, being able to show a potential employer that you are tech-savvy is crucial in any field. Below is a list of my top six social media tools that all of my fellow students should learn to love before they graduate:
OK, so this one may seem obvious, but I am always surprised by the number of students who don’t have a profile on this site. For those of you who don’t know, LinkedIn is a professional networking site that lets you “link” with various professionals that you meet. By connecting with these people, you then have access to that professional’s network, and they have access to yours. You will find that top-notch area professionals in your industry may only be one or two networks away from you, meaning that you may meet them in the near future. If you don’t have a profile, I suggest making one immediately. Start by linking with your professors and friends who have a profile, and watch your network grow from there.
Even if you aren’t in a field like marketing or PR, where blogging is one of your daily tasks, students in every field should try to maintain their own blog. WordPress is a great website for this. Setting up a blog is easy, and the site is extremely versatile. It allows you to add tabs and multiple pages to your site, which is useful to college students because you can turn your blog into a personal website, complete with your resume and portfolio. It will also track your website statistics, so you know how many people are viewing your site and what they click on the most. If you don’t know what to blog about, try writing about the latest news and events happening in your industry, then connect with other industry bloggers.
Here is one that not many people know about. My current internship supervisor introduced me to this a short time ago. This is the ultimate online resume site; It’s free to sign up and very easy to use. It allows you to enter all of the information that is on your paper resume, plus you can add portfolio items, videos and pictures. You can also link it to your social networking sites and control who you want to view it. The best part is that it automatically generates a link that turns the entire thing into a PDF book, which most employers will ask for before or after an interview. I would get to know this site, and work on creating your resume online.
My guess is that most people reading this have probably experienced YouTube sometime in their life. However, I’m sure that many of you don’t have your own YouTube channel. I would suggest making one! It is a great way for you to show off your personality and really show employers what you have to offer. Consider video blogging about topics that interest you or even uploading a video resume. This will set you apart from your competition and employers will remember you.
If you are on Twitter, I would recommend checking out the HootSuite dashboard (and if you are not on Twitter, I recommend joining!). It allows you to be more interactive and organized on Twitter because you can track your mentions and various hashtags easily. Most companies/agencies use this to manage their social media pages, so I would definitely become familiar with the way it works.
What is it? Why do I care? I, along with most Twitter users, was wondering the same thing. Basically, Klout is a measure of your online influence (a.k.a. what employers are looking at!). If you use Hootsuite, like I mentioned above, you can find your Klout score by clicking on your profile. If you don’t use Hootsuite, visit Klout.com to get your score. The score is based on a number of things like your followers to following ratio, your number of re-tweeted posts, the size and influence of your network and the number of tweets that you send. Higher Klout scores indicate that you know what you are doing online, so this is something to research and get to know.
Once you have made a profile on all of these sites, don’t forget to add links to them on your resume or business card. When employers get your resume, they’ll Google you to find the sites you’re using, so make sure they’re updated, relevant and will be found in search engines.