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Workshop teaches success in 140 characters or less

CDC promotes use of social media in student job hunt

In an ongoing effort by the Career Development Center to teach students to get a leg up in today’s job market by using social media, they held a workshop Wednesday about how people can use Twitter to attract potential employers.

“[T]he CDC is focusing more efforts on educating students on how to effectively utilize social media for the purpose of finding a job, internship, and career development,” said Francis A. Borrego, a career counselor at the CDC, in an email. “At this point we are focused on the educational stage on why/how students should use social media for this purpose. We are hopeful that this message will resonate with students and as a result students will actively manage their social media profiles with an emphasis on career development.”

Danielle Dottolo, the career counselor who led the workshop, presented tips on Twitter job searching, including what to tweet, what to hash tag, what to search and what kinds of pictures to use on your profile.

According to Borrego and Dottolo, over one million new jobs are listed on Twitter per month, and it serves as the second-best social networking site for finding a job, next to LinkedIn.

Dottolo noted how simple it is to search for employment opportunities through social media.

“You won’t have to muddle through a whole bunch of information; either they’re posting a job, or they’re not,” she said.

Dottolo stressed the importance of keeping your personal account separate from your professional one and reminded attendees to to use the professional one only for tweeting and following career-relevant information, not tweeting friends.

“If you’re not using it correctly, it could be a detriment,” Dottolo said. “Bad photos and language is going to hurt you rather than help.”

However, Dottolo encouraged students not just to think of social networking sites as something that can hurt your job prospects, but rather as a valuable tool in the job and internship search. She highlighted the benefits of using Twitter to find job recruiters, get career development advice and improve your online brand. She said that over 90 percent of employers use social media to find potential job candidates, and 53 percent check Twitter specifically.

“If you’re not on board, you’re missing out,” Dottolo said.

Lotfi Zekraoui, a doctoral student in translation studies, said he would give Twitter a try in his future job searches after attending the workshop.

The CDC has already held several of these workshops, including “Using Social Media for an Effective Job Search” and “Creating a LinkedIn Profile.” There will be another workshop entitled “Connecting with Alumni and Professionals via LinkedIn” on Nov. 1.