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Social Media

Cyber Jungle - A Guide to Staying Safe

Today, it’s almost impossible to escape social media. It’s everywhere. Companies use it, teachers use it, and your future boss is likely using it too. Before you dive head first into tweeting, posting and recording every moment of your college years, stop and think about what can be seen and by the public, how it will affect your future and how to take advantage of this tool.

Privacy Settings

Always check the privacy settings for your social media accounts. You should receive notifications when privacy features are changing, but it’s smart to check these settings each week to ensure that you aren’t sharing that you wouldn’t want presented to a parent, teacher or future employer.

To Post or Not to Post

Everyone has different interests and values different life events, but when you prepare to post something, ask yourself what it says about you. Photos and posts about life on campus, including volunteering or football games could be appropriate. Anything involving alcohol, inappropriate clothing or inappropriate language is probably best to keep to yourself. Use your best judgment. If you aren’t sure, it’s probably best to keep it private.

Build Your Brand

Branding isn’t just for corporations. You can brand yourself. This becomes especially important as you begin to apply for internships and job interviews. If you have a clear online brand that represents what you’re about, you can use it to tell your story.

For example, if you’re applying for an advertising job, you may have your own site that displays ads you’ve created in class, copy you have written or photos and designs you have created. You may share some of what you’ve learned on a blog or a YouTube channel that tells more about you and your career goals. Use social media to leave a positive and memorable mark that shows you’re serious about your future.

Get Linked

Recruiters are saving time by using LinkedIn these days. You can use your profile to apply online, and you can also be found by future employers. Create a LinkedIn profile as a student and begin building your online resume. If appropriate, you can use a part-time job title, or even a volunteer position. Now is the time to start networking and gaining recommendations from other students and professionals you work with. Don’t leave out internships and awards. You can also add PowerPoints and writing to your portfolio.

Join groups and ask questions that are well thought out. Make your presence known to gain attention so you’re taken seriously. Follow thought leaders and learn from what they’re posting.

Find Your Focus

You can use your skills, talents and interests to build your own brand. Do you enjoy writing? Consider blogging about what you’re learning in classes related to your major. Are you a creative type? You could use your blog to display photos and ads you create. Be sure to put a copyright symbol on your work with a link back to your site. It’s easy to steal work these days.

Is design and production your thing? Or, are you interested in being a news personality? Create your own YouTube channel and share your knowledge. Talk about your favorite topics, review books or films, or consider sharing tips and tricks.

If you have an important cause, create a Facebook page and learn how to gain likes. This kind of marketing knowledge can be valuable to a company. You can also use Facebook to promote your other social networking channels. Don’t forget about Twitter. It’s another great way to promote your work. Just be sure your account is appropriate. You may consider making a completely separate and private account to tweet with friends.

In the end, remember that it’s much harder to take something off the web than it is to put it on. People can copy, save and share your life in an instant. Rather than falling victim to the world of social media, use it to build your future.

10 creative ways to earn money in college

As a college student, it can be difficult to balance your studies and extracurricular activities with a job. However, it helps to have a little extra cash on hand so you can participate in weekend outings with friends and purchase non-essential items on occasion. Here are a few of the best ways you can earn money and still make time for your studies and yourself.

1. Tutor

Tutoring is a great way to make extra money and maintain a flexible schedule. Begin by checking with your university to see if there are tutoring positions available on campus. If you prefer to work for yourself, look for bulletin boards around campus where you can advertise your services or consider posting to websites like Craigslist.

2. Get Crafty

Love to craft? Consider making a business out of it. Sell your creations on websites like Etsy, ArtFire and DaWanda. You can do it in your free time so there’s no pressure to be somewhere specific when it’s time to put in extra study hours for exams.

3. Social Media

Blogs and YouTube have quickly become popular ways for individuals to earn a small income, and in some cases these hobbies have even turn into jobs. Claim your space on the internet by talking about what you love, what you’re learning or what you experience on a daily basis. Bloggers can earn by placing advertisements on their blogs or by contributing blog content on other websites. YouTubers can apply to be a YouTube partner and earn by their number of views. Remember to think through what you share. Is this something you’re okay with the entire world seeing or reading? Could you eventually offer your social media skills to a future employer and use your blog or channel as a work sample?

4. Sit Something

Babysitting, pet sitting or house sitting.  All of these options allow you to earn a little extra in your free time. If you develop a good relationship with your client, you’re likely to be asked back for more work. If you’re babysitting, you may find that you get a free meal out of it in addition to hourly pay. With house sitting, you may have the opportunity to escape the dorms and spend a few nights somewhere quiet.

5. Freelance

Are you a good writer or editor? Are you great with a camera or computer code? Try your hand at some freelance work to make some additional money and perhaps build your resume. Websites like Elance oDesk and Freelance Photo Jobs have countless jobs that you can complete from the comfort of your own home.

6. Be an Ambassador

Is there a particular brand you love? Many brands look for die-hard fans and advocates to help promote their products to the rest of the world. You’ll find a lot of these jobs with food and beauty brands. You may have the opportunity to educate people about a product and let them sample it. Visit the websites of the brands you’re interested in to search for positions and reach out to them on social media as well. This is a great job to put on your resume if you’re studying business or marketing.

7. Get Personal

These days, everyone is busy and a little help can go a long way. Consider starting your own personal assistant business. This could mean anything from running errands to providing light computer work or organizing. You can advertise on Craigslist, at local coffee shops, or anywhere with a community board. Search the key words “personal assistant” on websites like Indeed.com. Try spreading the word on your social networks. You may be surprised how many people need help with simple tasks.

8. Temp

Temping is a great way to get flexible part-time professional experience while earning your degree. And you never know, the connections you make at a temp job could lead to a full-time offer after you graduate. Locate a temp agency near you and call to learn more about the jobs they have to fill. Some agencies only fill positions in certain industries.

9. Sell Something

There’s always something to sell when you’re in college. Sell your used books back to your campus bookstore if possible. Get rid of clothes you no longer wear at the end of each season. Locate resale shops near you and clean out your closet. Use online services like Poshmark and Threadflip if your local resale shop won’t take them. Get rid of other unwanted items by posting flyers on bulletin boards around campus.

10. Participate in Research Studies

Universities with science and psychology departments will often have trials you can be paid to participate in. Contact department heads or talk to other students in those particular departments to learn more. Additionally, you can look for market research companies near you. You will likely be required to fill out some paperwork and you will be selected for studies based on things like your age, gender and product usage. Studies are often a great way to make a large amount of money in a short amount of time.

There are plenty of ways to earn a little extra as a college student. As you begin to look for new opportunities, remember to consider your schedule, your interests and how the opportunity may benefit you in the future.