Get the Digital Edge – report
Four weeks on and the Get the Digital Edge day seems remote but it was as exciting day with a genuine buzz around what we were doing. Here’s an overview of the sessions:
Using social media for job search
I attended the talk ‘Using Social Media to Job Hunt’ which was presented by Aimee Bateman. Aimee Bateman, who is founder of Careercake.com and has over ten years’ expertise in employment, talked about personal branding and the use of social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter for job hunting. I have always been interested in this subject and I was pleased to have the opportunity to attend this talk. It was a highly interactive session, with many examples and lots of questions from the attendees. The importance of social media in recruitment was highlighted at the beginning of the talk where we heard about the high percentage of employers who form their decision on recruiting an applicant by searching the applicant’s presence on social media. Aimee talked about the personal brand and personal statement and also on the importance of the avatar, the visual representation in the social media. It was very interesting to see the different media employers use to search for information on an applicant. The talk was focussed mainly on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook where we were given lots of tips on how to develop our online presence with these media. There was lots of interest from the attendees on the subjects discussed and I enjoyed the talk as I learned a lot about the use of social media for improving employability.
Social media and reputation: what you can learn from big companies
Andrew Rigby is a Consultant with The Group ‘Digital Agency of The Year’ are the UK’s leading online corporate communication agency. They design, build, host and manage web sites and reports, but also help companies understand and monitor their online reputation. With huge and increasing numbers of people using online media e.g. Facebook, with more than 200 million active users, to comment on, not just large companies, which is their main concern, but anything and everything including individuals. For students entering the workplace, online reputation can have a huge impact. Andrew provided an entertaining and relevant talk illustrating how large companies have both fallen foul and benefited from online media, emphasising how it has more and more relevance in all aspects of our lives and that it is important not just to connect, but to monitor your reputation and betterunderstand how your social media activity may affect you.
Managing your online identity made attendees think twice about what is publicly available about them. Frances Gow gave some very useful tips on how to check this, for example looking yourself up on people search engines such as peekyou.com and social-searcher.com. What appears when people search your name on Google is also very important to consider, as this is essentially your online CV. The dangers of how much can be revealed about someone who hasn’t managed their online identity correctly were highlighted in a video “I know what you did five minutes ago” by Tom Scott. By the end of the session, one student had already changed his Facebook settings and another was planning on changing her profile picture.
Researching your companies online for your job interview
This session was delivered by two Academic Liaison Librarians for Business, Ellie Murphy and Sara Goddard. The idea behind the session was to show students how to make the most of the resources available to them to get the edge at interview. While students may be used to using these resources for academic work this session aimed to show them how they can be utilised to find potential employers and to do effective research before interview. In the first part of the session Sara showed students how to use FAME to search for potential employers and create a mailing list. Ellie then described how you can prepare for interview using Mintel and Passport to research a company or industry. Sara finished the session by demonstrating Factiva which can be used to keep up to date by reading global newspaper articles.
Ellie Murphy and Sara Goddard
Learning from media change
Here’s what Jim Mclellan had to say about his contribution to the day:
IT training opportunities at the University of Westminster
Kevin Lawley and Jemma Perrin are IT Training Specialists at the University and did a talk regarding the IT training opportunities, which focused on the certification programmes facilitated by the IT Training Team. The Microsoft Office Specialist and Adobe Certified Associate programmes are free of charge for students and alumni of the University. The session was positively received by attendees; with all agreeing that with the continual need for excellent IT skills in the workplace. Making the most of the IT training opportunities provided whilst at University is both beneficial in supporting academic work and important, if not essential to enhance employability.