I am writing this guest post following the research I have done for my track at April’s #truAmsterdam – Students and Social Media: The #Tru Story. Why did I choose this track? Being very lucky to be part of the #trugrad mentoring scheme, and like this discovering the amazing help of social media when job hunting, I asked myself: how about my fellow students? Is there anyone teaching them how to use social media to advertise themselves?

It was easy to guess the answer but I thought it would be better to prove it. So I used the Survey application to create a 9-question survey on Facebook, and I sent messages to probably 500 of my friends asking them to do it, and inviting them to join the Student Social Media Group. I created this group in order to gather students from different universities and countries, and between us to be able to share or gain social media knowledge. A few of my friends shared the survey on their walls, like this making it accessible to approximately 3000 students. I was very optimistic at the beginning because I targeted 200 students in a week time. Unfortunately, after 6 days only 2% of those who could have accessed the survey actually did it. I then saw myself in the situation when I had to go around my university and ask other students to do the survey by hand. This can only show one thing, and this is that students use Facebook strictly for communication purposes (post photos, comments, send messages).

After gathering the results of my survey, I considered that the best way to make them public was using prezi – it’s great!

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I must admit that my research has got certain limitations, such as time and the fact that 75% of the students were from the same university. I will definitely expand this research in preparation for my track at #truDublin and I will target a much bigger number of students from the top as well as the average universities.

Even if I am aware that I still have to do a lot of research regarding this subject, I strongly believe that when it comes to graduate recruitment there is a certain gap somewhere, or shortage. I am making this statement after having noticed that big companies mostly look for graduates at top universities, even if those are the students who tend to have the least working experience when finishing their degree. On the other hand, students at average universities seem to focus on applying to the best companies, they spend on average 3 to 5 days submitting online applications, and end up receiving an email saying that they were unsuccessful on that occasion. In some way they forget that there are also small and medium enterprises where they can receive good training and furthermore, receive more responsibilities. Having said this, there are many good, capable students at average universities, but it is unfortunate that they don’t know how to advertise themselves, in other words they don’t know how to use social media to their advantage.