Catch Them Young:Social Media for Students

Ask any teacher and they will tell you how important it is to catch students when they are young.

I think 6th Formers would really benefit from an injection of social media training while they are still at school.

You might think that tutoring them in social media would be pretty pointless, after all most teenagers are already completely addicted and could probably teach us a thing or two.

But do they realise how much they could benefit their future job prospects and careers if they started taking it seriously now?

Students can get a real leg up by:

  • Using Twitter to build up connections in a chosen field. You can learn from the best in the business by following industry leaders, listening in to what they say and reading their blogs.
  • Look out for work experience opportunities. I have seen several internships in public relations advertised on Twitter.
  • Make yourself known to prospective employers by tweeting intelligently, asking direct questions and maybe eventually offering to help on a project. I noticed a student recently collaborating on Twitter with a professional. They were working on a new directory of influencers in their field. Once the work was done they made it available as a free resource to everyone and he got lots of the credit as well as making loads of contacts. Word of warning; do try to establish some sort of relationship before blagging that placement. If the person you are asking knows you first, you will stand a much better chance of success.
  • Start a LinkedIn profile and gather testimonials from work placements.
  • Avoid putting up material which will damage your personal brand in the future. By all means have a fun on Facebook with your friends but learn about privacy settings and use them.

Thinking ahead about social media for careers can give students a real advantage and set in train both good habits and lifelong contacts.

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