Networking in the era of social media

Online networking is playing a big role in getting hired

Photo by Austin Everett
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Reported by Austin Everett 

Students are urged to be mindful of their social media footprint as employers may screen them for future jobs, said the chair of Langara’s co-op and career development centre.

Heather Workman said that people can be found online through a system of mutual interests, skills and connections, which is a great opportunity. The amount of followers you have is not the most important thing, as quality of followers is preferred over quantity, said Workman.

“LinkedIn can boost your reputation and help people who are looking for you, it’s free buzz,” Workman said.

A 2018 survey by CareerBuilder, a job-posting website, reported that up to 70 per cent of employers in the U.S. screen applicants, 48 per cent check up on their employees throughout their careers and 34 per cent have fired employees because of social media related activity.

Andrew Wright, a business student at Langara, said he is aware of posts on his social media as he moves towards a professional career.

“Show your personality but use your platforms to highlight things that reflect positively on you.”

-Stephanie Koonar, Langara marketing management instructor

“If you’re posting something that makes you look bad, it could have a bad effect on you in the future,” Wright said, adding that he has friends that have posted images of themselves smoking weed, but who have since removed those photos as they search for employment.

Wright said that past posts aren’t a great measure of someone’s character but still have weight for employers.

Networking is now a combination of face-to-face conversations and a good social media presence, according to Stephanie Koonar, a marketing management instructor at Langara. “There must be a balance,” she said.

“Show your personality but use your platforms to highlight things that reflect positively on you,” said Koonar.

Bhav Dhillon, a Langara nursing student, said after reading a Facebook job post shared by a friend, he contacted the human resources related to the posts and later was hired.

“We exchanged emails following a telephone interview, and then in person,” Dhillon said.Using social media by putting your brand out for anyone to see is the ideal method for networking in 2019, and may lead to future meaningful career conversations, according to Workman.

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