By Eric Sanchez |Staff Writer|
California’s unemployment is at 11.9 percent, second worst in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
With the competitive job market college students and recent graduates are looking for new ways to get any edge possible for when they enter the fray.
Social networking is changing the way people communicate and may offer several job opportunities.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social network, one that connects professionals with peers in their field and applicants with prospective employers, with over 80 million members, according to its website.
Sites like LinkedIn have many features to aid job seekers but their social media-driven format is the main force changing the way people search for work and the culture of any industry.
“Social media allows you to become actively involved with a specific professional community, share news, learn about the industry, build influence and establish relationships with your peers,” said Robin D. Richards, CEO of CareerArc Group, in her blog for The Washington Post.
CareerArc develops websites that utilize social networking to help applicants and employers connect like TweetMyJobs.com
College students and graduates can also use various other types of social networks to establish a relationship with future employers.
“If you want a company to notice you, follow its corporate Twitter feed, subscribe to its blogs and become its Facebook fan. And it doesn’t hurt to talk positively about the company on your social media channels,” said Richards.
Carol Dixon, interim director of CSUSB’s Career Development Center says that the speed of the technology and the ability for users to take it with them in the form of smartphones are some reasons why social media continues to change the way one can network with prospective employers and those in their industry.
There are many new benefits that social networks offer applicants however the sheer openness of information can have negative impacts for those who may not exhibit a professional image on their networking sites.
“Employers are catching on quick, if it is out there, it’s out there,” said Dixon.
To Dixon the first step for a student who does not know where to start in their search for a job should be on campus.
“Come to the Career Center, it’s free,” she said.
The Career Development Center helps CSUSB students prepare themselves for entering the job market by offering such services as workshops, one-on-one counseling, and mock interviews, Dixon said.
Dixon also said that the Career Center helps alumni up to a year after graduation with their job searches.
The Career Center is located in University Hall in room number 329.
Along with the opportunities social networking offers job hunters, it has spawned new types of careers in its field itself.
Career Rookie Magazine listed blogging as number one in their list “10 Careers That Didn’t Exist 10 Years Ago” ahead of other careers that require traditional personal interaction.
Another entry on that list was social media strategist, which may hold many opportunities for college graduates because they often already have knowledge of social media and can apply it no matter what industry.
“Someone who is just out of college could have enormous experience in social media, and that’s not the case in other job areas,” Paul Levinson, a media studies professor at Fordham University told ABC News.