Personal Branding Online: The Social Media Fishbowl


Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. Most of us wake up and immediately check our phones to see what we missed during the time we were asleep. Looking around at a restaurant or any other public place, most people are glued to their hand-held devices and are updating their statuses or checking up on what’s going on. Our world has entered a digital age, where social media has taken priority in our lives. Whether that’s good or bad, it’s important to realize the impact of our social media posts.

In a job search, you may be the best candidate, but when an employer sees that picture of you from Spring Break doing a keg stand, you may not  be the favorite anymore. It’s important to remember that what you post is not just visible to your friends, but is searchable and can be found by anyone. For example, 94% of employers use LinkedIn for recruitment purposes. Next, 93% of employers will look at a candidate’s social media profile before hiring them or not. Furthermore, 55% of employers have changed their hiring decision based on a candidate’s profile. Check out this infographic from Jobvite’s “Social Recruiting Survey Results 2014” presentation, showcasing the reasons why employers changed their minds:


Scary, right? Here are some tips to avoid any issues in the future:

1. Google yourself! Hey, you may not be a famous person, but your information and pictures will pop up. Doing a quick search will allow you to see what employers can see if they Google you. For instance, if you do not update your settings in Pinterest, all of your pins show up when your name is Googled.

2. Check your privacy settings. On Facebook, you can set it so that when someone tags you in a picture, you can allow it to go on your Timeline or not. So those party pictures or any unflattering pictures? They don’t have to show up. This also helps because if you are tagged in a picture, anyone can do a picture search to see photos you’re tagged in, but you have the power to allow yourself to be tagged or not! So, avoid any awkward situations by checking those privacy settings.But, beware even if your privacy levels are high, there are still public areas where your posts may be seen. Some groups are public viewing even though you must be a member of the group to post, like the USFSP Know It All’s Guide to Knowing It All.

3. Be positive! We can have some rough days and sometimes you just gotta vent, right? Well, don’t vent over Social Media. Find a different outlet, such as a friend, a journal, or something more private. We can get caught up in our emotions, that’s okay, but posting them as a status, could deter employers and others and give people the wrong idea.

4. Don’t overshare. “Just woke up and I had the craziest dream about _______,” “Heading to the gym! #gains,” “Ugh, don’t you hate it when people let you down. Like why you gotta be so rude! #overit” — Okay, we get it, some meals you have are super delicious or your working hard to get in shape, but when you start posting every day about what you eat, where you go, what you’re doing, etc, people will start to get annoyed. Tell your friends or family about the happenings of your life or your secrets, not Facebook or Twitter. Remember that nothing is private. For example, with recent leaks of SnapChats, thousands of users didn’t even know their snaps were saved by receivers.

5. Think before you post! Ask yourself, “How will others react when they read this?,” “Is this necessary?” — Asking questions like this will allow you to rethink some statuses that may not be proper to post. YikYak may be anonymous, but what if someone hacks in and leaks posts linked to usernames?
Social Media is great, but remember that it can impact your job search and other aspects of your life. It’s simple, think before you post! Use these Social Media Strategies and also utilize Social Media to help with your job search! Reach out to your followers or professionals in your field, follow organizations, and utilize professional sites, like LinkedIn, to discover organizations, professionals, and opportunities. By sprucing up your profile and becoming more aware of what you post, your job search and your professional realm will be better!  

Statistics came from Jobvite’s “Social Recruiting Survey Results 2014.” 

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The Difference Between College and the “Real World”

College is the threshold to the real world. It’s like the grey area between childhood and adulthood. Yes, as a college student you are now in the “real world,” but are you really? Not quite, my friend. Here are some of the differences between college and the “real world.”

1. Getting a Job

College: Getting a job is mostly an option. Having a job in college allows you to make a little extra for fun or, if you’re economically savvy, paying for school or saving it for after graduation.

Real Life: Getting a job is necessary for survival! You need to get experience and you will need to develop your skill set in order to get a position for a company or organization.

2. Making Bank?

College: Making any amount of money is fabulous! Wahoo, extra coins!

Real Life: Rent? Groceries? Insurance? Utilities?These are things you will have to factor in when you seek out positions and the salaries that go with them. Budgeting is necessary in order to stay economically afloat — yay for being an adult!

3. Being There

College: So you can skip a class or two. It’s on you and no one is really going to hold you accountable for not showing up (unless your professor takes attendance). Eh, to show up or not to show up, that is the question.

Real Life: You don’t really have an option, you have to go to work and be on-time. “Time is money,” right? Well, if you don’t show up and spend time working, bye bye to the money.

4. Responsibility

College: The little things matter. Like being responsible and making sure you pay for your tuition on time or turn in your homework by the time it is due. You have responsibilities, but it’s really up to you whether you do them or not.

Real Life: Responsibility is everywhere! Making sure you pay your bills or making sure to remember things like a friend’s birthday or your parent’s anniversary. You have to adhere to your responsibilities and follow through, others will hold you accountable.


So, growing up can seem a little scary! Have no fear, college helps to prepare you for the world outside of the university walls and the Career Center can help you with the tackling things like getting a job, salary negotiation, resume assistance, and much more! We have your back and we can help you in your transition to the “real world.” Because there are some fantastic reasons to love being in the real world, too. First, there’s generally no homework, assigned readings, or papers (depending on your chosen profession). Then, there is money…REAL money, if properly budgeted enough for fun stuff like a car, vacations, shopping, etc. Finally, don’t forget about the freedom and free time!

We got the inspiration for this post from Kylie McConville and her article “20 Biggest Differences Between College and the Real World” — see it here:

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Meet the Staff: Taylor Williams


Hi, y’all! My name is Taylor Williams and I am the Social Media Manager and a Career Peer Advisor at the USFSP Career Center. This is my third year at USFSP and I’m so happy to be a student at such a wonderful school!

Being a Career Peer Advisor has allowed me to assist students with their career exploration process and I’m grateful to have helped them on that journey! Furthermore, I enjoy being the Social Media Manager at the Career Center because I love social media! Promoting our services and engaging students is great, and utilizing some of my favorite sites (like Pinterest :D) to do so makes it even better!

Along with working at the Career Center, I am also in my second year of being a Resident Assistant here on-campus. Working on-campus has been very rewarding and I have not only been able to meet and assist other students, but I have also have been able to expand upon my skills and grow as a person.

I’m a Senior here and am majoring in Mass Communications, with a minor in History. My whole life I had wanted to become a teacher, however that plan changed when I got to high school. In 2009, my parents took me to a Tampa Bay Rays spring training game and my indifference toward baseball soon changed to a passion. Coming into college, my career goal was to become an in-game host for the Rays. While that’s still an option, I’m leaning towards going to graduate school and becoming a Student Affairs professional. We’ll see where my path takes me — all I know is that it will be a fun journey!

Fun Facts About Me:

  1. I love country music and have gone to over six concerts, within the past two years, and am going to two more later this year. I have seen Scotty McCreery three times, and got to meet Joe Nichols after his concert!
  2. I love quotes! One of my favorites is “We lose ourselves in the things we love. We find ourselves there, too. — Kristin Martz.”
  3. Finally, my parents are two of my best friends — that may be cheesy, but it’s so true! I love to hang out with them and explore new places together!

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Meet the Staff: Lesa Shouse Edition!



Hi! My name is Lesa Shouse and I am the Director of the Career Center. I just finished my first year here at USFSP and love it! USFSP students are fantastic and we have the most beautiful campus!

I am a huge resume nerd! I love everything about resumes. I love how they represent us, how they help us to become better people by getting new jobs and new experiences. I love how they help us to look back and reflect on all of our past experiences. I love how they are list of our strengths and accomplishments. I also love how they can always change and improve just like we can!

After graduating from Defiance College with my Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts with an emphasis in Public Relations, I worked in business for a few years and realized it wasn’t a fit. After taking a secretary position on a campus, I realized that I wanted to get my Master of Arts degree in College Student Personnel, which I did at Bowling Green State University.

I have worked in non-profit, banking, and higher education. I found my passion working with college students and helping them to reach their goals and dreams.

Random fun facts about me:

  1. My husband, Reggie and I have a cat whose full name is Gunner Thor Kitty Puppy Ramirez Shouse.
  2. I am a Lifetime member of the Girl Scouts and received my Gold Award. Plus, I know almost every Girl Scout camp song! Let me know if you want to hold a sing along around a camp fire!
  3. While studying abroad in the United Kingdom, I got to stay at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland where they filmed parts of Harry Potter and upcoming episodes of Downton Abbey!


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Navigating College: Tips For Freshmen



Welcome to USFSP! This marks the start of your collegiate voyage and we can’t wait to see where your journey takes you! Here are some tips for navigating college:


  1. Use your Resources: On campus, there are a multitude of resources, organizations, and departments you can get involved in that will assist you in your journey at USFSP. Academic Advising, the Student Success Center, and more can help you with your classes and offer tutoring services, which will help guide you through the academics of college. Here at the Career Center, we can help you with job search, major exploration, and various other career-related topics. There is a plethora of resources here at USFSP waiting to be tapped in to!
  2. Get Involved: Easy, right? USFSP offers clubs and organizations for all types of people. Do you like to garden? We have a Gardening Club! Do you like to play baseball? We have a club baseball team! We have various ways to get involved through clubs, on-campus jobs, and civic engagement. Whatever your interests are, getting involved will not only look good on your resume and open doors to other opportunities, but getting involved also allows you to showcase your talents and interests.
  3. Don’t Worry and Don’t Rush: Don’t stress if you don’t know what you’re going to do with your life! Also, don’t rush through college majoring in something because it will take the least time or doing something that you don’t really like. There’s a saying “Do what you love and love what you do,” and it’s absolutely true! We want you to be successful and happy here at USFSP, so study a subject that interests you. College can be stressful, but if you are doing something you love, it will be far better than suffering through. If you don’t know what you love to do or want to do, don’t worry! The Career Center has resources available to help you with this process and you don’t have to figure out what you’re going to do with your life just yet.
  4. Have Faith in Yourself: You got this! College can be scary and intimidating, but have no fear! You made it here for a reason and you can conquer anything that stands in your way. JJ Watt, Defensive End for the Houston Texans, says “Dream Big. Work Hard,” and we couldn’t agree more. There’s nothing you can’t achieve and we’ll be here with you every step of the way. College will be exciting, fun, and rewarding. We want you to be successful and have the time of your life here!

Again, welcome to USFSP and remember, the Career Center is here for you from to the start of college to beyond graduation, so stop in and say hi! Go Bulls!

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Use Your Resources!!!

It’s Crunch Time! It’s close to the end of the semester. You have 3 papers due, you need to start studying for your final exams, that dreaded group project is far from complete and to top it all off you might be graduating this May. You are stressed out. But don’t freak out. Now is as great of a time as ever to visit a few of the many resources The University of South Florida St. Petersburg has to offer.

The Wellness Center offers stress and time management workshops. They can help you plan out the last few weeks of the semester so that you use your time wisely. Good time management skills allow you to focus more on your academic performance and less on that overwhelming feeling that you may have. The professionals at the Wellness Center are also there if you need someone to talk to or if you need minor medical attention.

The Academic Success Center offers tutoring to USFSP students free of charge. They are located in DAVIS 107 and no appointment is needed to receive help, however, you should ensure that there will be a tutor present to help you with the specific subject you need help with. They have tutors that can help you with many courses: math, science, business, foreign language, and writing. The website provides links on great study habits, developing writing skills, and test dates for standardized tests.

The Career Center is here for all of your career exploration needs. For graduation Seniors, there is the Last Chance Job Search Boot Camp on Thursday, April 17. This workshop will review the entire job search process! Giving you the leg up above the competition in the job search process and helping you identify and snag your first post-graduation job. To all students, we also give advice on resumes and cover letters, provide mock interviews, and give you the resources to find a current job on and off campus.

So don’t let these next weeks bring you down, be encouraged and utilize the free resources that the university has to offer.

The Wellness Center
(727) 873-4422
Student Life Center (SLC)
Room 2200

Academic Success Center
Davis 107

Career Center
(727) 873-4129
Student Life Center (SLC)
Room 2300


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A Guide to Getting a Summer Job

Summer A Monitor

DON’T WAIT! The time is now to start looking for that perfect summer job! The semester is almost over and whether you are going home or staying on campus, extra cash over the summer would be nice. Here are some tips for getting that summer job you were hoping for.


  1.        Create a Resume
    Be sure that you have a resume that you can give to employers looking to hire. If an employer is not hiring, you can still leave a resume with them in order to be considered for future openings. Come into the Career Center for resume help or constructive critiques.


  1.        Start Early
    Employers start hiring for summer jobs as early as March. Don’t be the last on the list. Start sending out applications and resumes to employers as soon as possible.  Spend at least an hour a day researching the types of jobs you want to pursue. Look for work in growing industries such as government jobs, healthcare, the retail industry, and the service industry.


  1.        Use your Networks
    Networking is not only for getting that full-time career opportunity. Ask your family and friends for help brainstorming job possibilities. If you have previously had a job, ask your former employer if they are hiring, if not, ask for business contacts to find other job openings. Send a professional email to others in your network stating your skills and specific areas you would like to work in.


  1.        Prepare for the Interview
    Mock interviews are a great way to prepare. Get interview tips and set up a mock interview at the Career Center (while most of our services are walk-ins mock interviews must be scheduled with a staff member). Dress appropriately, overdressed is better than underdressed. Show up early to your interview, bring your resume, turn off your cell phone, have a strong handshake and make eye contact when meeting the employer.


  1.        Be honest about your time commitment
    Do not set hours that you know you will not be able to fully commit to. If you are also taking classes this summer employers will be understanding. On the other hand do not take every Friday off. Employers will figure out that your family emergency is really a trip to the beach.



Here are some sites to use for your job search.
Tampa Job and Career Fair:

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