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Postgraduate Futures 2011: Career Management in the Digital Age

by Tahira Majothi on May 12, 2011

Well folks it’s time to unveil details of our annual Careers Conference, Postgraduate Futures 2011, which takes place on 21st June. The conference is open to all our University of Salford Postgraduates (Research and Taught). This year we are focusing on how to better manage your research and career in the age of digital technologies and the rise of social media. These changes have dramatically affected Society and the Economy and will affect us all in how we advance in our careers but also how we find and get a job. The savvy job seeker will get ahead with all of this and our event is designed to help.

We promise a packed programme firstly focusing on the emergence of social media, its ability to reach across local, national and global spheres and what opportunities it presents in terms of furthering your research/studies, your career or both!

The day will consist of strategies for career success in the digital age, including:

• Panel discussions, workshops and networking opportunities
• How to broaden your (career) Horizons
• Using technologies to enhance your research and teaching
• What employers look for from postgraduates (including advice on how they use social media to recruit)
• Networking opportunities inc. Enterprise Café – meet some real entrepreneurs
• Creative Job Search tips using social media
• A Pecha Kucha Competition © Devised and shared by Klein Dytham architecture

We are also delighted to welcome headline speakers including Cameron Neylon(Biophysicist, Science and Technology Facilities Council) and Jasdev Dhaliwal (Head of Communities, AVG) as well as our very own award winning (ALT) Research Technologies Development Officer Cristina Costa, who has developed the Virtual Doctoral School. Details of the programme so far are available here.

We also have numerous other speakers lined up including representatives from the NHS, Kelloggs, and the University of Manchester.

If you are a current Salford PhD then please register via the SPoRT programme and all other current postgraduate students can register via Careers & Employability website.

That’s not all! We also expect active participation from you! For the first time this year we will be running a Pecha Kucha competition. This is open to all Postgraduates (attending the conference) the topic is ‘How social media/digital technologies have benefitted you in or outside of your studies’. If you are interested in taking part, read our Study Skills Blog to find out what exactly Pecha Kucha is and then sign up for our preparatory workshop here.

Keep checking back with this blog for the latest updates :-)

Zooming in on social media?

All of this may seem like old hat to the social media aficionados out there, but for those of you less inclined to develop your ‘digital footprint’ it is worth noting the increasing use of social media by academics and employers alike, to promote themselves, share information or resources, network or advertise opportunities in place of more traditional forms. Here’s the stats bit…a 2010 Jobvite survey found that 83% of employers will now consider recruiting via social networks, 46% will spend more on recruiting via social media platforms and a whopping 80% will peruse social media profiles to aid their recruitment processes. The survey also found that 78% of employers use LinkedIn when recruiting, 55% use Facebook and 45% use Twitter. The Guardian newspaper recently decided to run it’s own social media test by setting a #twitterjobschallenge. You may even find that if you were to call in and see me or another Careers Adviser, to help you source opportunities, one of the first things we may ask is “Are you on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn? Or do you have your own blog, website or YouTube channel?”

Whatever personal reservations we may have, there is no denying how quickly social media has risen to lead the way in terms of being the new ‘hidden’ job market. Therefore the easy accessibility and universality of social media requires a certain amount of finesse and skill when it comes to navigating your way round to find the best platform to suit your needs. As a quick exercise, if you were to enter your name into Google (other search engines are available!) What pops up on screen? Think about whether you are making the most of promoting yourself and your achievements. Social media also provides exciting opportunities for researchers irrespective of discipline to communicate, network and collaborate, as can be seen by this report published by the Research Information Network (RIN). I’d therefore like to pose the question, “Can you afford to miss out?”

I hope that you are mulling this over by now and I would strongly advise you to register today for Postgraduate Futures, you will be better informed of how you can make social media work for you, trust me :-)

Useful social media blog posts :

Can you actually get a job through Twitter

I can’t believe you’re not on Twitter

Get an online presence now

Social Media Surgery Manchester

Social Media for Recruitment – Online Stevens

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