Leicester Award: Using Social Media to assist your Career

Today I delivered a workshop as part of the Leicester Award programme organised by Zara Hooley. When I designed this workshop I intend to show the students some of the tools and networks available to students to engage with employers and actively/positive promote themselves. Some of the tips and advice I picked up at the Agcas event I attended last week were priceless. Here are my slides from the presentation:

The four objectives of the presentation were to look at:

  • Why you should engage with social media
  • How to staying in touch with employers and areas of interest
  • How to engage with social media
  • How to protecting yourself online

I started with quote from last weeks events from a graduate recruiter:

“In three to five years time I would expect not to be looking at CVs and doing most of my recruiting online using LinkedIn”

I asked what the student’s thought about this quote? I was expecting them to be surprised in terms of the dramatic change in employer recruitment approaches, however I was more surprised myself when the the response I received was “what is LinkedIn?”.

I followed this with my social media dingbat. The answer to which is “Horses for courses”, which was the underling theme of my presentation. There is a lot of media you can engage in, but it is about choosing the right tools for you.

I showed them some of the key features and techniques of Twitter and LinkedIn, to show how they can engage and network with employer and peers. Stating it was important to maintain a complete and up-to-date profile and to consider their Netiquette when engaging. I demoed some features they can use in both network to job search using Social Media, the twitter jobs search sites came thanks to Jo Badge who shared this brilliant AboutJobs.com blog post with me.

I went on to explore the benefits of blogging as a platform for deeper reflection, how posts can assist when applying for jobs and that posts can be shared on the various networks.

The final part was about Digital Footprints and how to manage them, demoing it was important the keep an eye on your footprint using google or kgbpeople.com. I followed this up by showing them how they can promote their presence online.

Here is a Diigo list of all the resources I refereed to in the session: http://www.diigo.com/list/mjmobbs/leicester-award-and-social-media

The main question that came out of the session was, how do you find the time to do all of this? I linked this back to the horses for courses theme, in that I was never suggesting they try and use all the tools initially, but as appropriate and as it suits them.

Another interesting question was “is it more important to spend time engaging in social media than attending face to face events?” A very interesting question I’d like to hear opinions on. I said it was important to engage in schemes and initiatives, however as an employer I don’t know you have taking part in such things unless you tell me, and Social Media present an opportunity to do so.

For my own personal reflection on the session, I was only suppose to talk for 40 minutes, however I overran to nearly an hour, so I need to cut some material out of the talk. Furthermore, I was a little disappointed the audience was quite quiet and didn’t ask many questions throughout. I hope this was because the session was delivered at the end of a long day and not because they didn’t enjoy it. Having said this, I probably need to build some more activities into the session. I did allow them time to discuss their current use of Social Networks, part way through, but more is required. However in a talk on this subject, that isn’t a practical session, it can be complicated to use activities. Possible activities could include more discussion around:

  • How do you currently job search, do you think social media would assist?
  • What are your current methods of find out about employers and keep up-to-date with them.
  • Or a retrospective discussion at the end of the talk around which Networks do you think you will engage in.

I redeliver this session at the weekend and hopeful intend to deliver similar session as part of the Student Development central programme in  the future.

My final reflection on the talk, was my presentation style. The audience was made up of approximately 50 students. We were in quite a large room, I was very conscious of the fact I was shouting to over compensate. I possibly need to work on voice projection.

Finally I would like to say how honored I was that a number of my Student Development colleagues gave up their time to come to hear my talk. I hope they and the students got something out of it and enjoyed it.

5 Comments


  1. I think it was a great session. And you weren't shouting. I agree that the room wasn't perfect for that kind of talk and it would be so much easier to do something like that to just a handful of people. But the session itself and inclusion of that as part of Leicester Award? Great! Well done Matt & Zara :o)

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  2. Matt – sorry I couldn’t stay for all of your session, but as always very informative!

    Picking up on one of the comments “is it more important to spend time engaging in social media than attending face to face events?”

    I think from a student’s recruitment perspective, do they physically have the time to attend a large number of face to face events networking sessions. I strongly believe having a good balance of the two works well. The student is hitting a wider network of employers etc and by positively utilising social media; the individual is not having to the hard work themselves! Win/win situation all round!

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  3. Hey Matt. I've just looked through the slides – looks like a really good session. No wonder the feedback was so positive 🙂

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