Job Hunting, or honing your e-marketing to optimise employability: an innovative course by Professor Marvin Wilkinson

 

Today, looking up a candidate’s profile on professional social networks is a recruiter’s first move. So how do you make the right first impression, one that accurately represents who you really are and who you want to be? For four years now, Professor Marvin Wilkinson has taught final-year Bachelor students how to manage their online presence and successfully convince recruiters when looking for an internship, apprenticeship or job.

A Londoner by origin, Marvin is the founder of the training centre LearnEnglish.fr and is a well-known professor at Montpellier Business School. A huge fan of new trends in cutting-edge technology, he teaches the Job Hunting course to get students thinking about who they are, what they want and what they might contribute to a company, but above all how to convey it in a personalised way on social networks. “First, I want them to ask themselves who they are and what skills they have. To talk about themselves from a different angle, by presenting themselves as young professionals already,” explains Marvin. “Sometimes it’s difficult for them because they have to distance themselves from the classic tools they’re accustomed to working with, such as CVs and letters of intent. And just to make things harder, we work entirely in English, which isn’t their mother tongue!”

The first stage of the course involves maximising the impact of their profiles on LinkedIn, the most popular network in the professional sphere. “It’s like a first interview. You have to prepare for it properly, spend time on it. Choose the kind of photo that will make the recruiter want you, and manage to be yourself while standing out from the crowd in a positive and ethical way,” explains Marvin. “I then teach them to use the video tool. How to present themselves freely in a few minutes, by developing additional points that can’t be explored in depth in their profiles. I help them distinguish between what should appear in writing (education, experience) and what might be striking in a video: their personality, their manner of speaking, their conciseness, because the video can’t be longer than two minutes. That way, they learn to communicate spontaneously from a strategic perspective.” Of course, students are somewhat hesitant at first to step in front of the camera. “It’s new for them! Using examples made in previous years, I coach and evaluate them. All of them receive individual comments in order to improve. And contrary to what you might think, the ones who are the most proficient in English don’t necessarily make the best videos!”

The prospect of boosting their personal branding is motivating for students, and they’re better year after year because they are digital natives. “I’m continuously challenged by all this and it makes my role absolutely fascinating. I’ve even decided to create a prize for the best ones.”

 
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