Preparing for the First Coast Virtual Job Fair
Mayor Brown wants more jobs, and they will come
but in a digital format. Are Jacksonville’s
job seekers prepared??
First Coast Virtual Job Fair
June 11 – 15 2012
While attending Blogging While Brown #BWB2012
here in Philly, the solidarity and respect inspires
me to address students in higher education and their
digital content as the First Coast Virtual Fair comes
digitally to the First Coast
The use of Social Media and Social Network tools
of Web 2.0 and 3.0 foundations has engaged students
in High Schools and Higher Education. Students do
not have to rely on phone calls, mailed letters or
direct meetings to exchange and share information
to check on employment hiring for part time, full time
employment and internships.
The Internet has opened up new avenues and created
a new paradigm for applying for higher education and
deciding careers. Summer vacation traditionally is a
time for relaxation, sharing family time, temporary
summer employment and other pursuits. Technology
has transitioned this downtime to using technology to
continue to Brand your name, Market your abilities
and Create a students digital footprint to apply for
work. Establishing an online presence and developing
content to compete for employment.
College students may have started their social media
presence as a personal one, the competition for jobs,
internships, and researching careers has made Social
Media an avenue for career Marketing and Personal
Branding. Students from High School to Higher
Education should understand certain rules for the
professional use of Social Media and guard against
the misuse of Social Networks and Social Media
platforms. There should always be an understanding
that any information posted online will always
remain online. Many students do not realize that even
with Tweets from Twitter that any information, text or
graphics are housed SOMEWHERE in data storage
To assist students and their Social Media presence
Information / Education is the key. Guidance counselors
and even Media Specialists may not have an under-
standing of online tools and how to effectively apply
them. This is why public schools and higher education
need to infuse Social Media into curriculum’s that
prepare students to effectively compete on a national
and international scale when applying for jobs.
Edward Waters College, Educational Technology 250
course that I teach is designed to teach Education students
how to use technology in the classroom also addresses
the importance of integrating Social Media and
Social Networks for pre-intern Higher Education
students. This is a rare curriculum especially for an
HBCU, but needed for students. How can students
use Social Media to boost their career choices and create
a valuable digital footprint and Brand themselves and
abilities to gain employment?
Some key points are applicable from Freshmen in
High School to Seniors in Higher Education. The
implementation of Social Media platforms and Social
Media Networks should be understood as powerful,
empowering and applied to Virtual Job Fairs.
Using social media for professional uses allows a
student to present themselves as genuine, professional,
technologically diverse and marketable. Branding
yourself is important, establishing a business language
is important. The content through SM is career-focused,
not personal. Tools such as LinkedIn offer ways
to connect to potential networks with a wide-range
of people and businesses that have embraced imple-
menting technology. Joining is the first step, the next is
establishing and building relationships that can be
cultivated through interaction, content sharing
and creating content that is beneficial to growth.
The third part is managing content and consistency.
Students must learn to transition from the social use
of SM and SN to the creating, sharing and practicing
of content importance, branding.
Many Social Media sites that are online can be
used for professional uses, but High School and
Higher Education students must know how to use
them effectively. The upcoming Workforce Virtual
Job Fair in Jacksonville, Florida is a case in point.
online tools, digital resumes, and castings.
Those seeking employment are either recent higher
education graduates or high school students looking
for summer / temporary employment opportunities.
If people DO NOT have basic technology skills
they will struggle. Students must be able to
connect virtually to find the type of employment
that not just benefits them currently, but for
professional / career advancement.
I have had the opportunity to meet virtual
connections from LinkedIn, JCCI Forward
ImpactJax http://www.impactjax.com/ while
networking allowing this to strengthen
professional respect, notoriety and content sharing.
Online networking has lead to the opportunity
to meet with Jacksonville’s Mayor Alvin Brown,
State Representative Mia Jones,
Education Commissioner Dr. Donnie Hornier
of Jacksonville, Florida and other political figures.
Students should always think about what type of
content is most valuable and work to enhance and
post this content either in Blogging or other online
content creation. Social networking is a great way
to showcase your knowledge, talents and abilities in
your fields of interest. Using multiple tactics like
Blogging (WordPress), Twitter (Microblogging)
allows students to target industries and demonstrate
flexibility and critical analytical skills. The Virtual
Job Fair offers the opportunity to apply for jobs,
but also exposure to new technologies and making
people market themselves and brand themselves.
Once students generate enough
content potential employers, future colleagues, industry
leaders and other professionals look at your social
media content as an investment. The investment of
knowledge should always be respected, appreciated
and cultivated. You never know who is watching you
or where they are, the potential for collaboration on
educational, social, business, governmental, technology
and other social issues is always presents. Take any
opportunity to show your interpersonal skills and
ability to network, get a mentor and contribute. High
School and College students should engage with
professionals, this also displays your skill set and
growing level of maturity and increases your network
Be prepared to make some type of presentation;
”Knowledge is powerful, but applied knowledge is
awesome and empowering.” M.S. Word, PowerPoint,
Don’t wait until your almost graduating or in the process
of graduation to start applying and learning. This will
be too late, it will put you in the position of playing
catch-up, you will be racing to be up with the pack,
but find yourself further behind.
Plan and implement how to use social media
professionally while still in school, you can position
yourself as forward-thinking, abreast of technology,
build stronger networking connections, and strengthen
your online credentials.
Bill Gates said it best, “Life is not divided into semesters.
You don’t get summers off and very few employers
are interested in helping you find yourself.”
First Coast Virtual Job Fair
June 11 – 15 2012
Elizabeth Cochran-Brown at WorkSource
(904) 798-9229, ext. 2212
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Duval County Public Schools
Edward Waters College
Presenter, Trainer, Social Media Consultant