Using Social Media in Your Job Search

January 11th, 2011 | Job Search | No Comments »

We’ve talked before about using social media in your job search, and while this maybe second nature to some, many of you are still baffled and bewildered by it. So this is our quick-yet-in-depth guide to using social media in your job search.

So, why should I use social media in my job search?

It can be uncomfortable to leave the bubble that is job boards and classified ads, but the truth is, the majority of open jobs are not posted online.

Through social media, you can find unofficial job postings, or you can find out about them through online connections you foster at the companies you’re interested in. Ultimately, you can get your name out there and be known by the people who matter.

LinkedIn in your job search

  • • LinkedIn is a professional social networking site, where your profile focuses on your work experience.
  • • Start by completing your profile. LinkedIn will tell you what percentage complete it is, so aim for 100%.
  • • Many people’s profile simply reflect their resume, but while it’s a good idea to summarize your profession and previous positions, you should let some of your personality show, instead of dryly defining yourself with your resume.
  • • Use keywords, but be readable.
  • • Connect to everyone you know, including friends, family, and previous co-workers, to expand your network.
  • • Search for companies that interest you and their groups, as well as job seeker groups, local networking groups, and groups for your skill sets and interests.
  • • Watch for indirect connections you have to anyone in the companies and groups you find, or try connecting with people indicated as new hires, as they may be willing to share their experiences with you.
  • • Participate frequently in group discussions, providing valuable commentary and opinions.
  • • Ask questions in the Q&A section, or become an expert at answering questions in a topic relevant to your profession and skills.
  • • Keep an eye on job listings within groups.

Twitter in your job search

  • • Choose a professional username (@username), preferably one that incorporates your name.
  • • Include your full name, location, and link (to your LinkedIn profile, online resume, or professional blog) in your profile. Choose a professional-style photo of yourself so people can put a face to the name.
  • • You have 140 characters for your bio, so be concise and clear, mentioning your profession, main skills, and ultimate career goal. Keep details relevant.
  • • The key to starting on Twitter is following valuable connections, listening to what they say, and interacting with them.
  • • Build your community slowly, and follow higher-ups in companies, industry icons, recruiters, and other job seekers.
  • • Respond to people’s tweets by using the ‘@’ sign and their username (“Twitter handle”).
  • • Avoid asking bluntly about open jobs.
  • • Post valuable links to articles and news you find, share your knowledge and opinions, and build connections based on trust.
  • • Become familiar with @mentions, RT’s (retweets), DM’s (direct messages), #hashtags, and more.
  • • Treat Twitter as more than just a job search tool, and that next tweet might bring you one step closer to your dream job!

Facebook in your job search

  • • While Facebook personal pages are just that – personal, company and business pages are great sounding boards for company news, updates, discussions, and connections.
  • • Set your privacy settings so that only friends can see your profile.
  • • Start “liking” companies and organizations of interest.
  • • These companies’ statuses will pop up in your homepage newsfeed, so you can easily track what’s going on.
  • • Click “like” on relevant statuses or post comments with constructive feedback and opinions. Participate in discussions with other employees, so that the right people begin to get familiar with your name.
  • • Again, avoid being blunt about asking for jobs, as you don’t want to appear desperate.

Overall

  • • Participate frequently in discussions and conversations.
  • • Make valuable connections based on trust.
  • • Don’t bombard people with job requests.
  • • Be persistent and make gradual progress – go at your own pace.
  • • Be personable and friendly.
  • • Cross-post between your active social network sites, blogs, etc.
  • • Follow your connections’ blogs and leave comments often.
  • • Consider starting your own blog, where you can showcase your resume, portfolio, and professional posts.
  • • If you want to be innovative and aren’t afraid of the camera, look into video resumes, as video is becoming a bigger part of social media.
  • • Social media isn’t about making a profile and sitting back to wait and see what happens. Be pro-active.
  • • Social media is not a fast route to finding a job, but it is certainly a highly valuable route to finding your dream job.

Clare Saumell – Marketing Director at Ashley Ellis

Related Links

3 Important Ways 2010 Changed the IT Job Search
5 Ways to Conquer Your Job Search
Personal Marketing: Be more than just a resume

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