Social Media Homework For College Students

Is your college-age son or daughter thinking about the impact of their social media skills to aid their future job search? They are probably not developing those skills if they are ‘minoring’ in beer pong or sorority parties. A Gen Y’s social media skills are critical for their ability to transition from the classroom into the real world. College students need to begin their social media homework to help them pass the ultimate test of a job search and ultimately thriving in today’s economy.

Whether you are a parent who has just dropped off your son or daughter at college, or you are a student sitting in your dorm room drinking a Natty Light, it’s time for you to pay attention to the ‘social’ skills that matter for internships or post-graduate employment. You need to develop a strong social media skill set to be successful.

The perception in the workplace is that Gen y and college graduates know how to use social media for business. Pay attention and do the homework below and you just might be successful!

Social Media Homework For College Students And Gen Ys To Help With An Internship Or Job Search

Develop Your Public-Facing Social Media Profile

  • LinkedIn Profile. Create your LinkedIn profile and add your teachers, parents, and parent’s friends to seed your professional network for internship and post-school employment connections. 
  • Professional Twitter Handle. Create your professional-facing Twitter handle with your full and proper name (e.g., @GerryMoran) so you can start developing your social media footprint.
  • Gravatar and Google+. Create a social Gravatar for your public-facing profiles and for instances when you need a biography link.

Hide Your Personal Social Media Accounts

  • Facebook Privacy. Manage your Facebook privacy settings so only your closest friends can see what you are up to on a Saturday night at 2 AM. Remember, employers all try to find you on Facebook and judge you, whether it’s fair or not.
  • Instagram Privacy. Manage your Instagram privacy settings, for the same reason as Facebook reasons. 
  • Personal Twitter Handle. Keep your personal Twitter handle (e.g., @TheBeerMeister) very personal and do not include your name in your profile. If your name is mentioned in your profile, then others can find you and they might not like what they find! Twitter is the second place hiring managers to visit to search on your social media ‘cred’ and insight into your personal life.

Learn How To Communicate On Social Media

Develop A Sense Of How To Create Content

  • Creating Blog Content. Start to blog or guest-blog to begin to understand what makes an interesting and successful posting.
  • Learn To Retweet. Learn how to RT other’s tweets so you can use other’s great content as your content, with proper attribution.
  • Learn To Tweet. Learn how to use Twitter because it’s replacing email as the way to communicate.

Learn To Listen On Social Media So You Turn What You Hear Into Opportunities, Reasons To Connect And Content Sources

  • Google Alerts. Start to use Google Alerts to receive real-time updates on your favorite companies and business leaders.
  • Twitter Lists. Set up Twitter lists to follow real-time updates from major- or interest-related companies, publications, and people so you can school your teacher and classmates … who may not be on social media (let’s hope not!)
  • Feedly or Flipboard. Use Feedly or Flipboard to follow all the relevant companies, media, thought leaders, and business leaders in your major or field of interest to stay on top of their breaking trends.

Do you have other homework or social media skillsets for this group of college-attending Gen Y? If so, please comment below or contact me at

As the never-aging college student, Bluto from Animal House, says “Let’s do it!” Let’s get your social media skills honed to become as relevant as possible for your internship, first job, or job search! So, get to your social media homework today!

Gerry Moran is a social media and content marketing strategist who's worked for large global brands and digital agencies. He's spent significant time in hands-on marketing leadership roles with HBO, IKEA, Ralston Purina, Kodak, and numerous digital agencies. He spent his last ten years working at SAP and Cognizant, where he built their content marketing operating models, developed social media training programs, and helped thousands with their LinkedIn makeovers and personal branding strategies.


  1. Gerry, I recommend to recent grads to pick three words or phrases that they want prospective employers to associate with them – that represent their strengths, experiences and passions. And then to make sure those words are consistently communicated via their social profiles. The start of personal story telling.

  2. Great advice advice for recent grads and more seasoned people who are trying to get their branding on track!

    Thanks, Greg!


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