Some of you may be lucky enough to already know what you’re going to be doing next year. Whether you’ve already landed that oh so coveted full time job offer, or you’ll be returning to BC to finish your undergrad or MBA program, you fortunate ones don’t have to have your parents on your back week in and week out about what you’re going to be doing after graduation. Many of the seniors in this class are in the midst of trying to find that first job. It can be very stressful at times trying to figure out what exactly you want to do with your life. Then when you finally find something you might like, you have to go through several rounds of phone calls and in person interviews just to find out they gave the job to some kid at Harvard. What most of us don’t think about very often is that the way we go about searching for these jobs is so drastically different than how our parents found their first jobs that it seems pretty comical.
I was talking to my mom recently about looking for jobs and she started to tell me what it was like trying to find her first job out of college. She explained how she moved home after graduating, then started looking in the wanted ads in the local newspaper, made about 50 copies of her resume (that she made on a typewriter), dropped them off at the respective business, and then waited for any phone calls. As she told me this, I started to laugh because it’s so incredibly different than how we approach job searches today that it just made me think of movie scenes where you see people looking for jobs in the newspaper.
Our reality and ability to search for jobs, not only in our immediate area, but, frankly, all over the world is so much more advanced than when our parents found their first jobs that it is kind of hard for us to think about having to do that. The advancements of the Internet over the last 25 years have opened up an entirely new realm of job opportunities with just the use of a computer. Even within the last 10 years, with the incredible rise of social media, the way many people search for occupations has greatly changed. Linkedin is absolutely the least entertaining form of social media that I use, but it is easily the most important and useful profile that I have. It has given me the ability to connect with people I’m friends with on a much more professional level, while also giving you the ability to reach out to people you don’t know to learn about jobs, companies and opportunities. There’s even thousands of job postings on Linkedin that allow you to apply to open positions with the click of a button. Even though this social media site is a lot less social and a lot more professional, being a user of Linkedin has the opportunity to provide a lot more benefit to your life in the future than does posting pictures of your salad on Instagram. I think people our age will realize very soon that it is one of the better things to come out of the social media revolution.
Although it may seem like this is tough to do, plenty of people are able to get jobs through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This is usually reserved for jobs that have a much more creative element to them than your typical desk job, but it still happens quite often. I did a google search to find out ways people got jobs through social media and there were dozens of stories of people making creative hashtags and clever tweets (usually trolling or making fun of something big happening in the news) that end up getting seen by the right people. Maybe they continue to look at other content on your profile and see that you could be a great addition to their company. Just as an example, one of my classmates from high school made an instagram account in which he photo shopped trendy articles of clothing onto really famous paintings and got thousands of followers. Later on he had an article written about him in a fashion magazine and now he has an unreal job with Vogue. This just goes to show, that for better or for worse, there’s always people seeing what you put out there on social media, and for some people their creativity and wit can land them that dream job that they may never had a chance to get if they didn’t promote themselves, whether it be on twitter, instagram, or their Linkedin profile.
Just to play devil’s advocate real quick, there are always the negatives that social media brings to the job search that our parents did not have to deal with when they were finding jobs out of newspaper ads. Everyone’s always been told to be wary of what you post on Facebook and Instagram, because you hear of that friend of a friend who didn’t get the job they wanted because of some illicit photo on Facebook of them from spring break. So, social media has done wonders for job searches, but I’m sure it was nice being a college student at a time when you didn’t have to worry about someone taking a picture of you doing something that you wouldn’t want your grandmother (or potential boss) to see.