It’s all about connections
LAU’s career guidance office offers tips on how to use social media to leverage your job or internship hunt.
Ten years ago, it was almost unheard of for jobseekers to use social media, most considered it unprofessional. The recruitment landscape has, however, shifted. A recent statistic suggests that today close to 30 percent of jobseekers are using social media as a primary tool for finding a job or internship and the number is on the rise. “One of the reasons for this is that many companies now have a strong presence on social media and post job openings there,” says Rana Sakr, lead career guidance officer at LAU Byblos.
“Social media platforms like LinkedIn help students have direct access to recruitment actors,” says Aya El Mir, career guidance associate manager on the Beirut campus. “Especially now that the job market is very globalized, it’s a quick and easy way to communicate.”
According to the LAU’s career guidance office, if you are going to use social media you need to make sure that you invest time on refining the image you are putting out to the world. “Google yourself periodically and see what results the search brings up; monitor your online presence—make sure it reflects the personal brand that you want the world to see,” says Sakr.
One of the advantages of social media is that it facilitates employee referrals—which could increase the chances for getting a job by 40 percent. If you add social media as part of your job hunt you can see who in your personal social media network has access to that company or has worked there before. These strong or weak links can help you get a foot in the door. “Connections are key—you can identify which alumni are at the companies you want to work with—and here at LAU we have a truly global alumni population, which can give students a huge advantage,” explains El Mir.
First and foremost, the career guidance office recommends that LinkedIn is where students should direct their energy to expand their personal network—you can post your resume online and see potential employers. Make sure to look professional in your profile picture and add major accomplishments, education, skills etc. to increase your chances of getting a job offer.
For LAU alumna Ines Dib, social media has played a huge role in her hunt for an internship. “I discovered that many offers were exclusively advertised on unexpected platforms like Facebook and Twitter, when I would then refer to the official website I wouldn’t find what I had seen on social media,” she says, adding: “If you want to stay ahead of the competition you have to constantly monitor the social media environment, see what friends you have that have links there, and get yourself noticed.”
Last spring LAU hosted a workshop—part of the ‘Start Your Career Solid campaign’—on the ins and outs of social media for job recruitment on the Byblos campus and expects to hold more such events in the fall. For more information contact: http://students.lau.edu.lb/career-guidance/