Monday, 3 December 2012

Using Social Media to your Advantage.

One thing that has always (and by always, I mean the past few years) interested me is the power of social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Linked In and blogging. The power of social media can be a good thing, even a great thing, but it also has a dark side. Yes, posting those hilarious photos from your drunken escapades last weekend can be great to laugh at with your friends, but what happens when a potential employer searches your name and those same now-not-so-hilarious photos appear at the top of the Google search? What you need to think is "would I like my boss to see/read this?", and I know you may be a student and employment seem such a long, long way away, but anything that you post on the internet is there forever.

So how can you use social media to your advantage? How can you show your potential employers that you're not only a social media whiz but that you can use your skills in a work environment? Here's my top 5 ways to use social media in a positive way:

  1. Make a Linked In profile - "But Linked In is only for professionals, I'm just a student". That's not true, more and more students are joining Linked In in order to create an online CV , to make connections in the area of work they wish to pursue and even to job hunt! 
  2. Follow your potential employers on Twitter - These days, most companies use Twitter. Follow them, if only to find out a little more about the business. However often, especially in Marketing/Advertising/PR, companies will advertise jobs or work experience opportunities on Twitter first, keeping you ahead of the game.
  3. Network, network, network - So you're following you dream employer on Twitter, now what?  Tweet them! Reply to something that they've tweeted or simply tell them why you like their company. So you've connected with a friend of a friend on Linked In who is in your dream job - message them, tell them why you wanted to connect with them! Chances are that they'll be more than happy to answer any questions that you might have.
  4. Customise your Facebook privacy settings - As I mentioned above, would you really want a potential employer to see a picture of you rolling in the gutter? The answer is no, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't post it! Just make sure that your privacy settings mean that only your friends can see your updates. 
  5. Advertise yourself - Whether it's your Linked In headline or your Twitter bio, make it known what kind of work you want to get into or what you want to get out of using social media. For example, my Linked In headline is "Language, Literacy & Communication student at University of Manchester aspiring to pursue a career in Digital Marketing". It says what I'm doing now and what I'm looking to do in the future, not saying that I love going out with my friends and getting absolutely sloshed.

So there you have it, my top 5 tips on how to use social media in an opportunistic way. Of course there are many other ways to go about using social media, but for a student looking to enhance their online presence, these are the tricks that I've learnt and appear to be beginning to work. Building up a strong online presence doesn't happen over night so it's no good throwing together a Linked In profile the night before an interview, so get started as soon as you can!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Happy 20th Birthday Stacy!

As you may have read in my previous post, this weekend I city-hopped over to Liverpool for one of my best friend's birthday and I must admit I love being a tourist! We rode the Liverpool Eye, we went to Central Perk coffee shop (yes, like the one in Friends!) and we danced to a Beatles tribute band in Albert Docks, all in the lovely Liverpool sunshine.

#1 - Everyone by the Liverpool Eye.
#2 - Emily and the Birthday Girl (Stacy).
#3 - Standard Instagram "look what I did" shot.
#4 - Coffee and a sandwich from Central Perk.

After an extremely busy day in the 'Pool, we got ready and hit the town. It wasn't my first night out in Liverpool but hadn't of course been to every bar so was pretty excited and after almost 12 hours of drinking, 4 different bars and clubs and 1 kebab, we finally crashed on Stacy's bedroom floor. (Sorry about the bad quality of photos!)

I took loads more photos on my film camera and hopefully I'm getting a negative scanner soon so will be able to post some on here, but until then iPhone photos will have to do! Since being at uni I haven't felt at all homesick, but after seeing my friends from home I've decided to visit my family for a couple of days next weekend.

In other news, I've started to take Pole Fitness classes in an attempt to keep fit. It may sound like a bit of a cop out but seriously it is quite a work out! At £5 a class it isn't cheap but it is honestly the most fun I've had exercising as I hate the idea of going to the gym - definitely reccomend giving it a go.

That's it for now and if you only take two things from this post, let it be #1 - go to Liverpool (if you haven't already of course!) and #2 - give Pole Fitness a go.

Ellen x

Monday, 1 October 2012

Outfit for Liverpool.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I'm off to Liverpool this weekend for Stacy's 20th birthday, which of course calls for a new outfit..

I ordered this dress from Motel Rocks which with 25% student discount only cost £26 - bargain. I intend to pair the dress with these shoes which I bought from Office for £30. I'm still unsure as to how to accessorize the dress but with most likely keep it simple with my silver hoops and necklace.

Today during my Social Media in Education class we were told that for part of our assessment we had to keep a reflections log of our experience on the course and logging our social media usage. Turns out it is recommended to keep a blog in order to keep track of our reflections and as you may or may not know I like any excuse to try a new Social Media platform. I chose to use Posterous as I had never even heard of it before today and if you are interested, here is a link to my reflections blog. I know the content may not interest you however take a moment to appreciate the layout - better than your average progress journal.

I also had to part with 4 months rent today which really made my bank balance ache - £1300 - ouch! Looks like I could be living in my overdraft for a while..

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Instagram - week #3.

Being the first week of lectures I haven't had much time to blog however I have had time to compile this weeks Instagram photos..

#1 - Sophie enjoying the view.
#2 - Pretty Manchester.
#3 - Barbie pink nails.
#4 - Friday night wine with Nancy.
#5 - Glee, cookies and blogging - student life.
#6 - My reasons to be happy, coffee is number 1 of course.
#7 - My face which you will have probably already seen in my side bar.
#8 - Empty bottles of wine - oops!

The first week of lectures has been very successful, I even enjoyed the modules that I thought I'd hate with is a;ways a good start. I haven't been able to go out at all this week due to lack of funds however I have a trial shift at the Manchester Museum Cafe on Wednesday so I have everything crossed - always wanted to work in a coffee shop and really could do with the money.

I tried a new approach to food shopping this week, I wrote a shopping list. I do love making lists but have never really thought about making a food shopping list and turns out it made my life so much easier! Despite spending almost £30 on food (eek!) I ended up avoiding picking up anything and everything that took my fancy. 

That's about it for this week, apart from the fact that on Friday I'm city hopping to Liverpool to visit Stacy for her 20th birthday (blog post to follow) which I am so looking forward to as I haven't seen my friends from home since moving back to Manc.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Primark haul.

So I had the perfect winter boots, but no other wintery clothes to go with them. I knew I wanted some chunky knitwear that I can wear with leggins or skirts and tights however wasn't prepared to pay Topshop's £36 for one jumper. In this situation, every student knows that there is one answer - Primark. I managed to pick up two jumpers and a skirt, all for the price of just one knitted jumper from Topshop.

 Jumper #1 - Primark £12

Jumper #2 - Primark £12

Skirt - Primark £12

I love the minty colour of jumper #1, and the contrast of the body and sleeves in jumper #2. The pleather type silver skirt is a bit edgier than my normal style however I picked it up anyway and love it! I can dress it up with heels and a jacket or down with one of my jumpers and tights. I find that Primark can be quite hit and miss but definitely a hit this time - I recommend browsing the huge collection of reasonably priced knitwear.

I had my first 9am lecture this morning and it was hell getting up at 7am, I can't remember I last saw that early! But it was nice to see the girls on my course properly and the coffee break between lectures certainly made up for the early morning. I was nicely surprised when I arrived back home to find that Beccy and Nancy had made me pancakes - perfect timing as I was shaking from too much coffee and no food.

This afternoon it's stopped raining (touch wood) for the first time in 3 days and I feel like I should be out making the most of it, however the magnetic pull of my duvet and CSI is a little too strong today.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Perfect winter boots.

Anyone who knows Manchester will know that it rains approximately 364 days a year (okay maybe that's a slight exaggeration but it rains ALOT) which means that small shoes just don't cut it. So before I completely ran out of money I went in search of the perfect winter boots which turned out to be quite a task as I'm very picky with my shoes. However I stumbled across these beauties in Office, and with my 10% student discount they we're actually affordable!

                   shoes - office | the picture really doesn't do them justice

And here is my outfit of the day (ootd) paired with none other than my perfect winter boots..

                      jumper - primark (old) | disco pants - river island

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Simple & Casual.

First of all, sorry for the photographs. I appear to have left my camera at home in Sheffield meaning that the only way I can take half decent photos is with my iPhone. The quality isn't too bad it just means that I can't take full length shots until I get my camera back!

top - topshop | jeans - zara | shoes - converse | bag - ebay | watch - river island

With it being a Sunday, I haven't done much. However I did get dressed for the sole purpose of getting another couple of free Domino's pizzas (thank you Freshers Fair!) before the vouchers run out tomorrow. 

Last night for the first time since coming back to uni I was a little homesick which probably had something to do with it being the first night that I wasn't busy. Luckily, as per, my friends from home came to the rescue with phone calls and Skype conversations which cheered me up no end.

My lectures start tomorrow and however nerdy it may sound, I'm quite looking forward to having some structure in my life again! My first class is a module that I chose called "Social Media in Education" which sounds right up my street but with it being a 3rd year module and me only being a 2nd year, I'm filled with apprehension. 

That's enough rambling for now. I guess I need to find a way to sign off blog posts but for now a simple until next time will have to do..

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Instagram - week #2.

This past week has been full of packing, unpacking, sorting, drinking and general organisation leaving barely any time for picture taking and blogging. However, I have managed to document a few moments of this busy week with my favourite app; Instagram, and here they are..

#1 - Onesie twins (feat. younger cousin Imogen).
#2 - Fried chicken and sweet potato.
#3 - Moustache mirror.
#4 - Starting freshers with a game of Ring of Fire.
#5 - Nail art.
#6 - Plait hairband.
#7 - Off for a walk round the Freshers Fair.
#8 - Killing time in the uni.
#9 - Costa with Nancy and Alex.
#10 - Shopping in town with Beccy.

Friday, 21 September 2012

New Year, New House, New Room.

So here I am, back in wonderful rainy Manchester and finally, after almost 2 weeks, we have internet!

It feels good to be back in Manc; I've missed the rain, the occasional sun and the overly tempting shopping, however I know that this year at uni is going to include lots of hard work (not that I didn't work hard last year, it's just that this year really counts!).

So I'll christen the internet at the new house with an introduction to my new room I give it approximately three days before it's an absolute tip, but I'll enjoy the cuteness and tidiness for now! Cue Instagramified pictures:

#1 - Desk in the bay window.
#2 - Homemade "to do" chalkboard.
#3 - Bed with my pictures from Paris and Whitby.
#4 - Pretty new laptop and notebooks.
#5 - Shelves and fairy lights.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Instagram - week #1.

I'm a self admitted Instagram addict and yes, I do truly believe that by adding a hipster-esque filter to my photos that I am a fully fledged photographer. But everyone's using Instagram these days and you must admit that the photo filters do make the photos look that bit prettier.

Anyway the point of this post was to sum up my week using my photos from none other than Instagram, however I've been neglecting Instagram a little over the past week so instead I'll post a few Instagram shots from the summer.

#1 - My new love, disco pants.
#2 - My trip to Paris with the family.
#3 - A very windy trip to Whitby with my friends.
#4 - My very lovely fox tattoo.
#5 - A new found love of film photography.
#6 - Very summery nail varnish.

I guess that'll do for now, there'll be plenty more Instagram photos in later posts!

Standard Introductions.

I've tried blogging so many times and failed due to lack of time, getting bored etc. but thought I'd give this yet another go, a fresh start on a new platform. The main reason for me doing this is so that I can get my thoughts down, I don't particularly intend for this to be read by anyone.

So as a quick introduction, here are 10 things that you may (or not) want to know:

#1 - I'm 19 and dreading turning 20 in February.
#2 - I'm from Sheffield which I love almost as Manchester.
#3 - I can play multiple instruments but tend to stick to the piano.
#4 - I have a tattoo of a fox on my ribs, which is my mother's maiden name, as the line of Fox's has died out due to too many girls!
#5 - I'm only a shorty, 5"3 and no sign of getting any taller.
#6 - I could eat curry forever which is possible as I'll be living right by a mile of curry shops this year.
#7 - I have the best group of friends anyone could ask for.
#8 - I'd quite like to work in digital marketing when I've finished my degree, but who knows how I'll feel in another year or so!
#9 - I tend to get completely obsessed with something for a while then one day wake up completely uninterested.
#10 - I am perpetually tired.

I think that'll do for the introductions - now that I've got that out of the way I can start the proper blogging!