Social Media: How it Can Help or Hinder

Who would have thought you could Land Your Dream Job Using Google AdWords? I wasn’t even aware that just anybody could purchase adwords and have a sponsored link on google. I guess I just assumed that only businesses did that. To be honest, I tend just to skip over those because they are usually trying to sell something that I’m not interested in buying. From now on I might pay a little more attention to those.

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At the beginning of the article Lauren Indvik writes that landing a job through social media is nothing new, but it is to me. I got my teaching job long before Twitter was a thing so I never considered it. I haven’t had to search for a job in a very long time (and I’m very thankful for that). I can see how beneficial sites like Twitter would be for searching for a position and for advertising yourself. For curiosity’s sake, I checked out HOW TO: Find a Job on Twitter. It was very informative. If you’re in need of a job I would recommend this read.

I admire Brownstein’s (the man featured in the article) creativity and how he really went for it. In a competitive job market, that’s what you have to do, even though that can be difficult for many people, myself included. Brownstein gives the advice,

“Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there in an interesting way,” he said. “The people who you want to work for can’t hire you any less than they already are. So shoot for the moon.”

I don’t google myself, like ever. I just did as I’m writing this post. Most of the items that come up are a result of what I’ve done for this class. Googling yourself is probably a good idea to do every once in awhile, especially if you’re looking for employment. Employers most likely are and you wouldn’t want them to be turned off by something that came up. It is better to have an online presence,” added Daniel Mobilio, 14. “If people search you on the Internet, you don’t want them to get a bad impression of you.” Pretty smart thinking for a 14 year old!

What if you did find something you’d rather not have show up? What could you do about it? Try to flood the web with new information about yourself that shows up higher on the Google search. This can be done by joining new social media sites with a profile you want others to see. Other than that, I’m not sure what else you can do. The internet has a memory like an elephant, it never forgets.

In Forget the resumé: Online profiles the tool of young job seekers,” Anthony Perotta advises his young students to not only be active on social media sites like Twitter, YouTube and personal blogs, but to also be mindful of what they are posting and what that might say about them. Perotta believes, that in this digital age, the resume is dead. He encourages students to “brand” themselves with professional looking social media accounts. Students get to show that they are active and engaged citizens through their tweets and blogs. Social media allows people the opportunity to show the world what you want them to know about you. It is powerful, in that you get to decide what others see. It also allows you to build a personal learning network and make meaningful connections.

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Perotta explains that it is important for students to be posting and uploading the work they complete in and out of school in order to build a positive digital footprint. That way, when asked what they have done, they can show it. It isn’t just listed on a resume. Doing this also allows students to get recognition online. This is exciting and motivating to youth. “They need to know their voice and their work — it’s beyond marks. Good marks are important, but they don’t mean you have good skills,” says Perotta.

I think it is important that youth are thinking about their online presence and digital footprints. However, the students in this article are only in grade 9. Do they need to start this early? Isn’t this a time where kids can still be kids and not be worried that making a questionable or silly post or tweet will leave them jobless? Children and teenagers should be allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. Katia Hildebrandt and Alec Couros bring up some excellent points in their post, “(Digital) Identity in a World that No Longer Forgets.” We wouldn’t want a depressed teenager to silence her mental health issues because she’s afraid of how that might look to an employer, present or future. “If we feel the need to perform a “perfect” identity, we risk silencing non-dominant ideas;” ideas that could help change our society for the better. If we are constantly worried that what we are posting online may be later scrutinized, the scope of what can be posted becomes extremely limited and more of the status quo. Hildebrandt and Couros suggest examining key points such as the context or audience, intent, and history before jumping to conclusions. Critical examination of one’s digital footprint should “be a foundational element of active, critical citizenship as we choose candidates, hire employees, and enter into relationships.”

25238310889_713a1864e0_o Photo Credit: The one place for all businesses! via Compfight cc

On the topic of social media and what it can do for you from a more positive standpoint, I came across this article on Twitter, “Why Innovative Teachers Use Instagram: 7 Ways to Become a Socially Connected Educator.” I don’t use Instagram (I know, big shocker!!), but I’ll probably start now. I thought Instagram was a place where people shared selfies and pictures of their kids. Apparently its uses can be much broader. Instagram can used for networking with other educators, following education groups, and gathering resources among other things. If you need help getting started on Instagram, check out this cheat sheet.

I’d love to hear your thoughts or about how you use social media.

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