It’s rare these days to find a young person who isn’t connecting online through some form of social media. After all, it is the quickest and easiest way to find out who said what, when, where and with whom. Though it can be tons of fun to track friends’ statuses or check out the latest news on our favorite celebs, social media can be a powerful tool for academic and professional purposes as well.
For those who are currently attending college or will soon, I would highly recommend using Twitter in an academic and career focused manner. If utilized correctly, it may be the key to a more fulfilled college experience or even aid in landing a job after college.
Here are 5 ways students can use Twitter to get ahead in college and life.
- Keep up with professors and school updates
Students may be pleasantly surprised to find that many colleges, and their professors, are branching out and utilizing social media to keep students informed. Since Twitter operates on a 140 character model, it is a quick and easy way for schools and professors to convey reminders about important events or activities.
In addition, professors using Twitter often offer exclusive resources not found on the syllabus, such as supplemental videos, articles or commentary on the course or subject area. Some professors using Twitter are also typically quick to respond to student inquires there, making it an easy way make contact outside of office hours.
- Coordinate group projects and discover relevant resources
College life is busy and with nearly half of all college students falling into the non-traditional category, it can be difficult to coordinate schedules for a group project. Twitter is a great way to share short updates on work progress, links to articles, related materials and more. It also is one of the best ways to find recent and relevant news and articles related to course work. By simply typing a key word or idea into the search box, users can quickly discover quality resources—sometimes even faster than through a Google search.
- Find groups and enrich your major
On a professional level, I have found Twitter to be useful in honing my craft as a teacher and writer. Through participation in relevant tweet-ups or twitter chats, I have gleaned a plethora of valuable information related to my field while connecting with seasoned professionals to whom I might never otherwise have access.
For college students, these chats and groups can be a great way to deepen their knowledge of future career fields and to build a network.
- Learn valuable career skills
We are all aware of just how huge social media has become in the world of business and marketing, however, it is quickly becoming a major form of communication for numerous other industries as well.
Those who understand how to use social media in an academic or professional manner will find themselves with a toe up on the competition when graduating college. More and more employers today are asking for social media skills as a part of the resume package.
Additionally numerous jobs are now available which are specifically geared around social media use. By learning to utilize social media professionally, students can equip themselves with skills of the future workplace.
- Build brand “You” and land a job
Finally, Twitter is an excellent platform for letting companies and potential employers know just who “you” are. Many times in the news we have heard stories of how social media use has led to someone’s demise; however, by properly leveraging this networking tool, students may find themselves landing a dream job faster than expected.
To become known in a professional arena, it’s a good idea to post relevant thoughts, articles and resources to one’s field of interest. In addition, students should follow well-known professionals in their area of study. Not only can excellent information be gleaned, but students also have the opportunity to impress someone they never expected, or develop a link to valuable job resources.