But for students, like U graduate Nate Orchard, having a well-connected online public profile can be a way to build professional connections within fields they want to go into. Orchard (@OrchardNate) has over 6,000 followers and has had an easier time finding social and employment connections.
Andrew Thompson, social media manager in University Marketing and Communications, said it’s important to start thinking of profiles on sites like Twitter as “an extension of your resume.” While students at the U don’t have 70.9 million followers the way Katy Perry does, even an average of 200 to 350 can still benefit a student.
Thompson said for careers in business and communications, it’s difficult to get by without a prominent social media presence. It is not required for every field, though it still tends to help.
“I think it’s important to be able to network with prospective employers … if you want that extra exposure and if you want to see what other people in the field are doing,” Thompson said. “Twitter is a great resource to enter into a dialogue with people you may have never met before and now you have a chance to reach out.”
Thompson cautions students about what they post on social media. He said that the biggest danger for students is “tweeting something stupid” and forgetting that it is difficult to detect sarcasm over the internet.
“Even if you’re not employed at the time, pretend like your boss is going to see anything,” Thompson said. “[Think] ‘Will this ever come back to haunt me in any way’? If there’s a chance of that, don’t hit send.”
While it can be difficult to start building a following when a person is not already a celebrity, Thompson said one way students can attract more attention is to be a resource in the field they want to go into.
“If your interest or expertise is in like journalism, follow journalists and NPR and things like that. Retweet them and share links you find interesting and apply to the field,” Thompson said. “Give people a reason to look at your content.”
By Kylee Ehmann, posted on dailyutahchronicle.com