Social Media, if utilized correctly, acts as a ‘salvation’ for college students careers during COVID-19.
As college seniors veer closer to graduation and COVID-19 limits face to face interactions, social media provides digital opportunities for students looking for jobs.
In March 2020, COVID-19 shut down schools, businesses, and hope for a lot of people. By June, 11.2 % of American people were unemployed, a 3.8 % increase before the pandemic. This increase created fear in college students looking to find employment after as their graduation date loomed in the future.
However, social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram could be the salvation these students were looking for.
Social media sites like Instagram and Twitter allow students to follow their favorite creators and companies, keeping up to date with news announcements and competitions. Aaron Paige, a film student and senior at the University of Central Florida, stated, “I follow a lot of writers, and they post a lot of competitions and recourses that have helped me.” He went on to say, “I pay more attention to what they are talking about on social media now that I know COVID will make it hard to get a job.”
Twitter and LinkedIn often post job resources. Business Insider stated that since the beginning of Covid-19, Social Media Use has risen in people over 16.
LinkedIn also allows students to get in contact with potential jobs. Due to COVID-19, job fairs are now virtual, causing students to have fewer chances to impress a company.
However, LinkedIn allows students to direct message and connect with these representatives. Auburn Fashion and Merchandising Senior Ivana Black said, “I’ve been working on my LinkedIn because the pandemic has created a lot of time for me. But it’s helped me expand my opportunities, and I now have direct contact with people who work for my dream job.
Social Media has a downfall for students as well. In a 2018 Career Builder Survey, The Harris Poll found that a third of employers have not hired or fired due to what they found online. The sample of this survey was over 1,000 hiring managers between April 4 and May 1.
“I am worried about my Instagram,” stated Black, “I feel like it’s not job appropriate, and I waste a lot of my time mindlessly scrolling on it.” The average 16 to 24-year-old spends around three hours mindlessly on social media a day, taking away from their job hunts.
Dr. Platenburg, an Auburn Media Journalism Professor, said, “I don’t know if my students are using social media correctly and benefiting from it, but there are a lot of recourses it can provide if used properly.”
Dr. Platenburg refers to media sites like Facebook, where students can boost their resumes by getting certifications in their job’s fields. Facebook offers a Blueprint Certification for “individuals who demonstrate advanced-level proficiency in various aspects of digital marketing with Facebook products.”
As COVID-19 continues to grow, jobs, and the way people obtain them have changed. While social media has its downfalls, it also provides opportunities that the pandemic has attempted to limit.