After a brief introduction, we were initially split into groups of three for an ice breaker session. We were asked to discuss the benefits and disadvantages of using social media from the perspective of the undergraduate, the graduate and the employer. After having a discussion with the presenters of the session I felt I already had a fantastic insight into how I could use social media to my advantage in the context of searching for jobs, networking, selling myself and getting placements/work experience to enhance my CV.
We were then introduced to LinkedIn. As students, most of you will have heard of LinkedIn but if not then here is a brief explanation! LinkedIn is a social media website created for undergraduates, graduates and work professionals. You create a profile (very much like on Facebook), and upload your CV, work experience, references and recommendations. Through your profile you can network, find companies you wish to work for, or professionals you wish to get in touch with. If you want to get ahead of the game, you could contact someone who has already got a place on the graduate scheme of a company you want to work for and ask them questions about the interview process, what the company look for in an applicant, and what questions they might ask in an interview. In return, you would write a positive recommendation for their profile. Employers can find you on LinkedIn and assess your credentials and recommendations, so it can be a really useful way to stand out from the crowd and become more employable.
Through an interactive presentation, we were talked through how to spice up your LinkedIn profile to make you look like an attractive asset to employers. We were shown how to use ‘hot words’ to optimise our profile so that our names come up in recruitment searches. In the session we were literally being spoon fed the hidden keys to employability from the recruiters themselves…. AND IT WAS FREE!!!
As a medical student, I have to do an 8 week placement abroad in 2015 called an elective and securing a place in a hospital is no easy feat. But the employer was happy to answer questions and show me on the computer how to get LinkedIn with other medical professionals around the world, which is a great way to make contact with potential medical centres to do placements in!
I was so impressed with the level of information given to us by MPG that I would recommend this session to any undergraduate. Please make the most of what is offered to you. I know that my employability has been improved because of this session; improve yours too!
(Student Ambassador for the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health)
If you’re interested in finding out more about how you can use social media to enhance your employability, look out for our LinkedIn Labs! See our What’s On Diary in semester 2: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/careers/students/events