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SMC promotes professional media use

| Monday, November 2, 2015

On a campus where students tweet almost as much as birds, Social Media Week, celebrated at Saint Mary’s for the next five days, will encourage students to maintain professional online presences.

Stacie Jeffirs, director of the Career Crossings Office, said she hopes this week teaches students more about the evolving world of social media.

social media week WEBSusan Zhu

“Social media continues to be relevant in our personal and professional lives,” Jeffirs said. “So long as this continues, Social Media Week, or at least the programming and messages, will continue to be relevant as well.”

Those who incorporate social media into their daily lives should know how to use it to propel their careers, Jeffirs said.

“Social media is weaved into the fabric of our everyday lives,” Jeffirs said. “Almost everyone has some sort of social media presence today. Social media has impacted the way we interact with one another, and this extends to recruiting relationships.”

Jeffirs said Social Media Week will teach students the value of connecting with potential employers online.

“Employers use social media today to recruit candidates, conduct research on candidates and to promote opportunities,” she said. “If you are not using social media in some way to connect with companies and brand yourself, you are missing out on a world of opportunities and will likely be at a disadvantage in today’s job market.”

Social Media Week serves as a reminder that polished online profiles benefit students entering the professional world, Jeffirs said.

“Our social media footprint is an important one, and what we post has an impact,” she said. “It impacts the work that we do as well as our own personal and professional image. We want students to consider the impact of social media and how they can use it effectively to shape their presence online.”

Over the course of the week, events will allow students to take headshots for LinkedIn profiles and receive advice to help them refine their social media profiles. Jeffirs said one of the most important components of the week is Media Chat Monday, during which students and alumnae will exchange advice about social media. The event will take place at 7 p.m. in Rice Commons.

“For the kickoff event, students will take away differing perspectives from students and alumnae on how social media has impacted their personal, academic and professional lives,” Jeffirs said. “It is also an opportunity to learn about some of the exciting things Saint Mary’s alumnae are doing in their professions.”

Jeffirs said Social Media Week may cause students to rethink how they portray themselves online.

“It is important for students to attend the events to hear different perspectives and get advice on how to use social media effectively,” Jeffirs said. “With digital media, what you put out there could come back to haunt you. Clean things up that you don’t want potential employers to see.”

This week will teach students the importance of remaining active and consistent on social media, Jeffirs said.

“Keep your social media profiles up to date,” she said. “If you no longer use or post to an account, close it. It is better to stick to one or two active accounts than have lots of accounts that you don’t update.”

Jeffirs said she is looking forward to this year’s Social Media Week because it will help the Saint Mary’s community grow in knowledge.

“I am most excited about being able to share really great and important information with students,” Jeffirs said. “It is always a good feeling when students learn something new and will take it forward with them in life.”

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About Martha Reilly

Martha is a senior majoring in English literature and political science. She currently serves as Saint Mary's editor but still values the Oxford comma in everyday use.

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