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Job Hunting Seniors Learn Opportunities, Pitfalls Associated with Social Media

January 25, 2013

 

 

 

Seniors at Curry College have one bizarre phrase ringing in their heads: "Toy boat, toy boat, toy boat."

Try to say it quickly and the words jumble together into an incoherent mess. But, if you slow down and enunciate the words easily roll off your tongue.

It might be tough to connect that phrase to the upcoming job search for graduating seniors-unless you're Eric Stoller (@EricStoller).

Photo Gallery:  Eric Stoller Speaks at Senior Conference 2013

The blogger for "Inside Higher Ed" is an expert on social media, and spoke to students about the importance of protecting their digital identities during the annual Senior Conference, hosted by the Center for Career Development. Stoller's message was simple: slow down and think when using Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram-just like you would when saying "toy boat, toy boat, toy boat"-and you'll likely produce coherent and informative posts, rather than potentially damaging or embarrassing ones.

"Once you post something, it's out there [and] you have no idea what's going to happen," Stoller told the crowd gathered in Keith Auditorium. "Before you post, think, 'am I angry?' Am I going to say something in the heat of the moment that I'm going to regret? There's no such thing as privacy on the internet."

Eric Stoller Tweet from Curry College Senior Conference 2013

Storify: Curry Students Share Feedback from Eric Stoller's Keynote Speech

And those are important considerations for job-seekers today. As Stoller pointed out, potential employers are no longer just looking at your resume; they're checking your Facebook page, your Twitter feed, and "Googling" your name.

"It's important to know what's out there and being said [about you]," Stoller said.

To combat that he recommended that students take control over their own personal brand. That means developing professional profiles on LinkedIn and Google + so that employers will find positive results when they search for your name.

Stoller also urged students to embrace the power of social media-beyond posting pictures, or sharing their dinner plans.

Related: Curry College Social Media Directory

"Twitter is the most powerful tool in your social media arsenal," Stoller said. "Engage with folks. Converse with people. Are people engaging with you?"

But, even while extolling the virtues of various social media, Stoller kept things in perspective with a fitting analogy.

"[Social media] is kind of like a Swiss Army knife," he said. "It can do all sorts of things. It can be good, bad, cut you. It's versatile."

 
 
 
 

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