A lifestyle blog all about Birmingham, UK.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Is social media more powerful than a degree?


When I began applying for jobs after graduating from university, I always thought that my degree and the experience I had under my belt would secure me a job in the designated industry I wanted to work in. I was under the impression that it was my degree that got me my current role of a Business Journalist and Social Media assistant, until I asked my editor. He told me that although my degree got me an interview, it was of little consideration once I arrived for the interview on that cold March afternoon.

He told me that there were a range of applicants with a degree, but it was more about how I set myself apart from them and it was my social media presence which eventually helped land me the role. I couldn’t believe that what I decide to tweet about and my profile picture on Facebook had such a profound effect on my future. It made me think, is social media actually more powerful than a degree for Millennials? Here are five reasons why...

1. Knowledge vs applied knowledge
During a degree, you’re encouraged to try and remember as many things as possible in order to pass modules and exams. You learn about all sorts and have a good amount of knowledge about the industry you want to work in. But if you can show on social media that you know about certain issues, you have applied your knowledge. You have a view on it and can tell others about it. By being able to show that you can apply your knowledge, you appear much more employable.

2. Networking skills

If you are active across social media platforms and are constantly building connections and increasing your following, this shows that you’re a keen communicator and probably someone that can create a good name and image for the company. Businesses like anyone who can portray their brand well and the more connections you have, the more people are likely to learn about the company themselves.

3. Shows what you’re really like
A degree can show that you’re interested in a specific industry, but doesn’t say much about your personality and what you like to do in your spare time. Although your CV may claim that you’re a keen tennis player, your social media can show how you interact with friends and colleagues and traits like your sense of humour and stance on particular issues. Employers will look at your social media to see if your personality would fit in with their brand.

4. What worker you could possibly be
The majority of jobs now require you to know a good amount about technology. Even if the role you are applying for doesn’t require any social media skills, it’s still worth being able to show to employers that you know what you’re doing online and that you do have an active presence on them. It will show that you’re outgoing and have connections, which is a skill that could be vital to your position.

5. Self-discipline
If you have a blog or take part in any online communities, it can show that you have good self-discipline. For example, if you update your blog three times a week at the same time, it shows that you are consistent and are able to do something on your own without being asked. If you have a keen interest in a certain subject and are tweeting about it regularly, it shows that you are keeping up to date with it, which is a very employable trait to have.

Has your social media presence helped you in securing a job?
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