Secrets to Getting Your Next Job Using Social Media

The Internet, and the access it provides us to people and resources, can be leveraged for your career development through the use of many social media and networking sites. This growing system of tools allows job seekers to both explore employment opportunities and market themselves to potential employers.

How to Use Social Media in Your Job Search

Here are the ways to get your next job using social media:

Keep Your Profiles Clean

The first step is a matter of common sense, but nonetheless a vital task. Do not make an idiot of yourself online. One would think this advice is hyper-obvious by now, yet it seems that all too often we encounter a new article profiling an employee’s short-sighted tweeting or a large company’s bafflingly insensitive Facebook status. A golden rule of television is, “When in doubt, your mic is always on.” The same applies to the Internet Everything you post, tweet or comment on is being recorded, and will come back to haunt you. Not to mention, if a tweet can get you fired, it can also prevent you from being hired the next time around.

Make sure your online presence is reflective of the type of job you want

Are you trying to be an accountant? A designer? A PR specialist? A management consultant? As you might imagine, these positions require very different skills and personalities. I would expect that the online profile of someone trying to get hired by an advertising agency to be VERY different from the profile of someone trying to get hired by a government consulting firm. Blanket statements like “be your most professional you” are meaningless because they mean such different things to different people. “Professional” to a government consultant is probably going.

Go where the conversations are already happening

Locate groups that are already discussing the career topics you are interested in and you may find a group that can help answer your questions. LinkedIn is one of the largest social platforms focused specifically on career networking with a range of participation options that includes discussion forums and alumni groups, and tools specifically for students.

Tip: It’s okay to “listen in” to an online group at first to get to know the flow of discussion, the topic, and participants. Don’t wait too long to join in and add your questions and feedback to the conversation.

Be You

The best personal brand is the one that best reflects who you actually are, not some contrived image that you want people to think you are. It’s going to be much better for the both of us if we’re open and honest about who we are and what we’re looking for. If I bring you in for an interview based in large part on your super creative Pinterest-based resume, I’m going to expect a super creative person in the interview, not to hear that you hired someone to create that resume for you and you don’t actually know how to do that.

Be proactive on Twitter

Twitter has become the ultimate utility to connect directly with recruiters and employees at companies you want to work for. By conducting Twitter searches, following recruiters on your account and using the “@” sign to communicate with them on occasion, you will start to learn a lot about them and their companies.

Subscribe to blogs that have job listings

We all subscribe to blogs to receive information based on our interests, at least I hope. Over time we rely on these sources for information to keep us updated on what is happening in certain industries or different trends that are developing. In the past few years, the larger blogs have started to integrate job banks into their own websites, subscribe it.

Connect With the Company You Want to Work For

This leads directly to the next tip regarding your online activity: Don’t be afraid to actively engage the company you’re courting via your tweets and status updates. Any business actively checking a potential hire’s online profile will most certainly have a social media presence of its own. Therefore, start following its tweets, “like” it on Facebook, etc. Be careful on LinkedIn, though; it’s something of a faux pas to add someone to your network if you don’t personally know him. Still, nobody says you can’t check out the LinkedIn groups and communities to which he belongs.

Is participation in social media required for your job search? No, unless of course the jobs you are looking for will require or involve social media in some way, but it is another tool at your disposal. When used thoughtfully and purposefully social media and networking tools can help you open conversations, build relationships, and find new career opportunities

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