Nearly 41 percent of college students in the class of 2012 are using social media as a tool to find jobs, according to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
When using social media as a tool to find a job, students are most likely to use it to network with professionals, according to the survey. Students and professors at Weber State University discussed their opinions on the use of social media as a way to connect in their careers.
“From the point of view of a faculty member at Weber State, I feel like one thing that I can do is that I can help students by using LinkedIn,” said Kathy Edwards, the Master of Professional Communication adviser.
LinkedIn is a social media site used for networking with professionals.
“Sometimes, I write recommendations for students (on LinkedIn),” Edwards said. “If students connect to me, then they have access to connecting to my network. . . . A lot of times, students don’t have a really big network yet, because they are just starting their career, but I might be able to help them to connect to other professionals that they wouldn’t have a connection with otherwise.”
Each year since 2008 — when NACE began tracking the use of social media by students — the number of college students using social media to find jobs has increased from 7 percent to the current 41 percent.
Some students, such as WSU sophomore Sierra Nielson, said she would use social media to find a job if the company was advertising on social media.
According to the NACE survey, one way in which social media is gaining popularity among students is the ability students have to research information about companies.
“(I) can look up things on their Facebook page,” Nielson said. “There’s other (sites), like business ones, like LinkedIn . . . (I) can look up information on there.”
Though the number of students using social media to help them find a job is rising, there are students who do not find social media to be useful for them in the job search process.
“For me . . . there are lots of tools that are more useful,” said Caleb Cornaby, a microbiology major. “Weber State has a really strong relationship with Nielson Labs and a couple of other labs. So, for me to get a job, it is just easier to have a professor recommend me to a place.”
The mission of NACE is to facilitate the employment of the college-educated. It connects more than 5,200 college career services professionals at nearly 2,000 colleges and universities nationwide and more than 3,000 human resources/staffing professionals focused on college recruiting.