If you have college kids at home now for the holidays, there is no better time to have a serious conversation about their education and future career goals. Why? Generation Y currently holds the highest level of unemployment, holding out now at 6.8 percent according to The Georgetown Public Policy Institute’s Center For Education. As this generation prepares to move in with the baby-boomers, there are many decisions college students can make now in order to prevent a trip down to the unemployment office.
The Millennial Generation is the most technologically advanced generation; unfortunately, most of their social media skills are used for personal social reasons only. They are the leading generation who do not use social media tools in a professional manner. 96 percent of college students are on Facebook and 84 percent are on YouTube, with a mere 10 percent on Linkedin. Less than 1/3rd of college students have a presence on Linkedin, while 93 percent cannot identify with the term 'personal branding'. College students do not tend to blog often, attend networking events, take internships, nor use personal domain names, etc.
College students are also using social media in a risky manner; neglecting who may be reading their Twitter and Facebook posts (potential employers especially). Jobs can be gone before a prospect has even occurred. "Google" is now a verb, and every potential employee is being 'googled'.
Here are some tips to discuss with your college student:
- Social media profiles should not contain anything unsuitable for the web (photos, text messages, Facebook posts, etc.)
- Delete any/all offensive material
- Get busy on LinkedIn, pronto
- Start making valuable connections by networking online and offline (Eventbrite and Meetup hosts hundreds of events hosted all over the country)
- Research the most needed skills/professions for the next 5 years...Google it..they are all listed
- Make career decisions with both your heart and your head
- Figure out now how to differentiate yourself from your peers
- Start a professional blog showing and sharing your knowledge
- Get a mentor, someone who is up-to-date with the latest trends in hiring
Please keep an eye out for my upcoming project: Secrets of a Linkedin Groupie: What College Students Need To Know Now, Before College, During College, And After To Find Career Success.
I have advised over 2,500 college students for the state of Illinois and as the Lead Academic/Career Advisor for National-Louis University (2006-2011). You can also connect with me on Linkedin and read about my personal story on their corporate blog.
Linkedin's Corporate Blog: http://blog.linkedin.com/2012/10/25/unexpected-journey/
Sources: The Georgetown Public Policy Institute’s Center For Education and Tunheim Research