9 Social Media Tips For College Students: Class of 2023

Here’re some social media tips for college students. Advice for this year’s graduating class. Future job recruiters are looking for you to join their companies. However, they also have high social media expectations!

I have been a hiring manager for over twenty-five years and have been fortunate enough to use social media to help vet my hires during the past 15 of them — specifically Millennials, Gen Ys, and Gen Zs.

To help this Class of 2021 (and other recent college graduates), I have liberally borrowed from Max Ehrmann’s famous Desiderata poem to support this year’s graduates in successfully using social media to start and build their careers.

The following advice is a requirement, a need, a prerequisite, an essential set of things to do – starting today. In other words, a social media desiderata.

Social Media Tips for College Students and Grads

  1. Go placidly amid the noise of social media, texting, and intrusive content—and let go of your college habits. Use social media as a tool for your career much differently than connecting with your college friends. Remember, there is peace and career success in the silence of listening – social listening. So, listen before you start using social media to look for a job or network in your current one. This listen-before-you-leap suggestion will help you to interact more relevantly and smartly—ultimately leading to good things.

40% of future employers look for provocative or inappropriate photographs or videos. Source: CareerBuilder

  1. As much as possible, be on good terms with those in your social network since they can make or break your career. Clearly post on LinkedIn and share your knowledge and point of view so others understand what you are saying in as little as 25 words. Don’t be arrogant. Listen and share others’ content to forge authentic relationships. You may need their assistance in the years to come.

Related article: Social Media Homework for College Students

20% of employers say they expect candidates to have an online presence. Source: CareerBuilder

  1. If you compare yourself with others’ social media followers or credentials, avoid becoming vain and bitter. Your social media and personal-brand currency will increase as time advances. Join others and contribute to the social media community inside or outside your organization. Don’t be a lone wolf. There will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself in your career. Figure out how to collaborate with them using social media by following, learning, and sharing their content. You will be amazed at the impact this engagement strategy will have.

25% of companies won’t think twice about hiring you if you badmouthed a previous company or fellow employee on one of your social media accounts. Source: CareerBuilder

  1. Keep interested in your career, however humble, but learn how to build your reputation with social media channels and great content. Your reputation does not ‘just happen.’ It’s hard work; many seasoned professionals excel at this career behavior. Use LinkedIn to build value in your personal-brand currency so you can spend it on expanding your reputation. Take a good picture, summarize what you can do for your new company, and keep on connecting with everyone you meet. Always have a point of view and an opinion. A more extensive network is always better, trust me.

85% of all positions are filled without employer advertising, through networking. Source: LinkedIn

  1. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, but learn how to network with key individuals, companies, and communities using social media. Follow others. Join LinkedIn Groups. Read key blogs. Network with influential people can teach you and connect you with others. This action will help take your career in the best and highest direction. Leave poor college-aged social media habits behind. Learn how to expertly connect with the right person, on the right channel, with the right message at the right time to make the best impression. This new social media nuance will help connect you with those that can help you.

49.5% of LinkedIn users have an incomplete profile and must appear in recruiters’ searches. Source: LinkedIn

  1. Be yourself, but build your brand to increase your career options. Remember, you can be yourself everywhere, but there will be consequences. If your potential employer, boss, or customer can see your private life on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, then only you are to blame. If you cannot embrace an always-on professional and business persona, turn on your privacy settings and use two social media accounts – personal and business. You won’t be sorry.

70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring processSource: CareerBuilder

  1. Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. The days of sexting and boasting about your partying via social channels are over. So bury that behavior, or your career may die before it starts. Keep the spirit. Lose the self-incriminating pictures and language!

38% of students had sent and/or received sexts during the past 6 months. Source: ResearchGate

  1. Own your career, no matter how many times it changes. You will need to learn how to talk the talk on every current and future social media network and platform (and non-social network, for that matter) to improve your personal brand and earn the right to move forward.

57% of employers have found content that caused them not to hire candidates for needing a good culture fit with their company. Source: CareerBuilder

  1. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy. And post your smiling professional-photographed face on your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms! You’ll get 21x more views of your profile if you do!

Do you have any advice to lend this new Class of 2023 and their careers using social media? If so, please share below or email me at gerry@marketingthink.com.

Today’s graduates might be worried about tripping on stage while accepting their diplomas. However, they can only fall flat in their career face if they pay attention to social media’s impact on their careers. You may not hear this advice at any commencement ceremony this year, so pass this post along to help everyone get a good start in their career!

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.

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