Using Social Media to Your Advantage When Seeking an Internship

Social Media Can Help You Get An Internship

I spend most of my time talking to kids about how to fix mistakes on their social media pages and how to avoid making the same mistakes in the future. What sometimes gets lost during this discussion is how social media can actually HELP teens get into college or get an internship or job so, I wanted to take the opportunity to focus on the positive side of social media in the process. How can you use social media to help you achieve your goals?

Think of social media as a way to build your personal brand

Social media gives us the opportunity to tell the world who we are and show ourselves in the way we want to be seen.

Think about what you post and ask yourself, “what does this photo/text/tweet, etc. say about me?” In the internet age, perception is reality and you aren’t going to get a chance to explain yourself or your post to all the people who see your post. They will never know what you posted was a meant as a joke or a misspelling or auto-correct led to a completely different post than what you originally intended it to be.

Ask yourself: what do I want the world to know about me and what do I want the world to think about me? Once you figure that out, you can tailor your social media sites to fit into that personal brand you want the world to see. I’m not talking about marketing yourself per se – I am talking about being real, authentic and thoughtful about your posts and your profiles. Just because a thought comes into your mind at any given moment, doesn’t mean you have to post it. Just because you had a great time partying with your friends and took some photos at the party, doesn’t mean they need to be posted on social media for the world to see. Are those the images you want people who don’t know you to associate with you? What might they say about you that you’d prefer they didn’t?

Building your personal brand is about much more than “marketing”. It’s about knowing who you are and who you want the world to see you as and then making sure that that person is who you are online.

Social media allows you to connect with colleges or employers you are interested in and let them know you’re interested and serious

Anyone who has been on a college tour in the last couple years knows that colleges are using social media to recruit prospective students. When the admissions representative comes into the room to greet everyone who came for a tour and tell them about the school before they are sent off on a walking tour of the campus with current students, he/she always says, “make sure you follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook – this tells us that you’re really interested in our school”. While it does open up your profiles to the school, it’s also an important part of the process because it gives you and the school an opportunity for dialogue.

Admissions departments will respond to students who post or tweet to/about them. Ask questions, let them know you are interested and committed and that you want to go to the school – they are paying attention and looking for candidates that are a good fit.

Social media gives you the opportunity to showcase your talents and passions

Social media makes it easier than ever before for people to showcase their talents or interests to others. Students should use social media for that purpose. If you love to write, start a blog; if you are an athlete, create a YouTube channel with film clip highlights of your accomplishments; if you love photography, art, music, poetry, etc., showcase your work on Tumblr; if you love to work with rescue animals, share your stories on Instagram or Facebook. There are so many ways for people to share their talents and passions and highlight the “good” stuff you want to be known for online.

Your online profiles should be an authentic representation of you, your passions, talents and interests. Once you figure out what you love and how you want the world to see you, work on transforming your online profiles into a personal “brand” of yourself you can be proud to share.

Julie Fisher, M.Ed., is the founder of The Social U and consults with schools, organizations and individuals through the MJ Fisher Group.  

Twitter: @Julz Fisher, @the_social_u