In an age of online networking and constant social updates, there is a unique opportunity to connect with people all over the world. As employers are taking advantage of this new system of information and ability to virtually meet new connections, you can also use it to your advantage. Here are several ways that you can use social media to help you find a job.
1. Create a LinkedIn Profile: While posting “hey, I’m looking for a job” as a Facebook status may be your first thought, it should hardly be your last. Your Facebook is most likely seen by your friends and family, and creating a profile on LinkedIn is a better way to start connecting with the audience you really want to get ahold of. So go ahead and sign up for these classic business-centered networks.
2. Create a Google+ Profile: This is another way to follow businesses and create a professional image online.
3. Use Your Profile: To actually get serious about your job-hunting, taking more time to create a profile that is professional and tidy looking is the first step, but don’t stop there; find out which of your Facebook friends or e-mail contacts are also using LinkedIn and then connect with them on a business level. Search for the kinds of connections you will need to land the job you are looking for. Then write up a clear message that is expressing specifically what you’re looking for, career-wise, and send it to the people that you think will be fundamental in your job search.
4. Keep Your Social Networks Professional: Even if you have a network specifically for business connections, it is important to keep your Facebook and Twitter looking professional. More than 30 percent of employers check out candidates by looking over their social networks. You can change the settings on your Facebook so that your profile is private, and you can also create a list on Facebook for employers and coworkers so that they only see what you want them to see. If you’re serious about wanting to find a job, make sure you are careful about posting controversial content, slamming past or current employers, using foul language, or posting evidence of alcohol or drug use. Keeping up a pleasant and professional appearance wherever you go online earns you a better reputation and is good practice.
5. Proactively Follow Companies Online: With your LinkedIn account, look for companies that you are interested in following and get connected to them. Do some research on what they are looking for and the kinds of work they demand, and send them an email or message about yourself with the reasons of why you are interested in working for them. You can also follow companies or employers on Twitter and like their pages on Facebook. Post work-related information on your profiles, highlight your education, share your passion for what you do, ask questions, keep a lookout for available jobs and take initiative.
There are a number of ways that you can use your email, business sites, social networks and various other outlets to advertise your interest in a particular field and target a specific audience. So update your social media, revise your resume and get networking.
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Byline: Amy Thomson writes about technology, career success, and education. When she’s not writing, she’s skydiving over the Rocky Mountains.