Friday, February 10, 2012

#162 - Guest Post: How I’m Using Social Media to (Hopefully) Land my Dream Job

By Leah Freeman

After three and a half years at a respected university slaving over my first press releases and news features, I feel that I have finally arrived.  As a PR major preparing to graduate and enter a society in which unemployment seemingly rises every week, it has hit me hard - finally.  My parental money tree is about to be uprooted.  My comfortable college lifestyle is nearing its end.  
The thought of searching for my first job in this economy, quite frankly, terrifies me.
As I research via the Internet sites and search engines, attend various career fairs and Google what feels like every PR firm on the planet, I have reached one conclusion.  Social media provides the best information on how to go about landing your first job, and it offers a never-ending source of job postings.  Here are three ways that I am using social media to land my dream job.
There’s no denying that I am addicted to Twitter, and I have recently discovered a way to put my obsession to good use.  By following various PR sites on Twitter, I am seeing entry-level openings appear right on my daily timeline.  Follow various PRSA accounts, in particular. If you know the state and/or city that you would like to work in upon graduation, I suggest following a local PRSA chapter. I have found that almost every state and major city has one.  Also, follow @PRSAjobcenter, which posts around 10 PR job openings all over the country every day.
LinkedIn is perhaps the most valuable resource for college students looking for career and internship opportunities of our digital time. By creating a profile, uploading a resume and accomplishments, and making connections, you can have access to thousands of professionals in any industry.  But simply creating your profile will not suffice.  Be sure to join various groups and discussions and reply to others’ comments.  For the PR industry, #PRIntern  and #EntryPR are  great groups to join and each contains valuable information and offers free webinars.
Although Facebook is more likely to be used by college students for party invites, I have recently found ways that Facebook can assist in my job search.   By liking the companies you may be interested in, you can not only find out more about the mission and values of those companies, but you may also stumble upon job openings and internship opportunities.  Be sure to “like” various job engine websites and career services groups to find tips for effective interviewing, resume writing, etc. I recommend every job seeker “like” the PRSA official Facebook page, which posts articles and blogs that may just lead you to a future career.
I am confident that these simple steps will improve my chance of landing that dream public relations job.  I vow to always maintain a clean, professional image online and to never be afraid to showcase my skills.  Employers are hiring younger people today, specifically for our expertise in social media.  Use this knowledge to your advantage; I sure am!  
About the Author:  Leah Freeman is a Senior Public Relations major in the Journalism & Mass Communications Department at Murray State University. Freeman is pursuing her dream to work for a  major Public Relations firm.  She plans to graduate in May of 2012 and pursue her master’s degree in Mass Communications. For more information contact:

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