Modern day job hunting has changed. Social media sites such as: Facebook and Twitter are now more than just venues for entertainment. These sites are being used by employers for recruiting potential employees. So if employers and recruiters are on social media sites then this is where you need to be. Here are my tips to get you connected and engaged in the world of social media.
- Course – If the whole social media thing is over your head then now is the time to start learning. So many people tell me they don’t use social media because it’s too complicated. You won’t know until you try it. Forget whatever negative judgements you have about social media. Approach it with an open mind. Chances are you will be pleasantly surprised. Take a course on the different social media sites or get a relative or friend to show you. The three most popular social media sites are: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. They all have a purpose that can be used to highlight your skills. Yet, the sites are very different and need to be used properly. You can do more damage than good if you don’t pay attention to what you post on them.
- Online Identity – Check your online identity to see what employers, recruiters, and hiring managers find when they Google your name. It’s not just famous people who turn up through a Google search. Try it now – Google your name and see what comes up. Do the results paint a consistent picture of your strengths and expertise? If there is something you don’t want a future employer to see, find out if you can delete the information. It is important that you keep your social networking sites appropriate and/or private because today a lot of employers screen the candidate based on their online appearance, attitude, and appropriateness.
- Polish your profile – If you have a profile on any social media site or have any type of online presence then be sure to polish your profile. Promote the image that you want potential employers and contacts to see. Fill your profiles with keywords.
- Personal Branding – Determine your personal brand to see what makes you stand out from others. What are your strengths? Once you know your strengths convey them through your online profiles like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Also join groups or become a fan of certain pages to show what you are interested in and find people with similar interests.
- Stand Out – If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, build one now. Think about people who you’ve worked with and if they are on LinkedIn ask them to recommend you. Also follow on Twitter companies you might like to work, as well as a few people that work for those companies. After you follow them, reach out, explain your situation and skills or experience, provide a link to your LinkedIn profile, and ask about available job openings. Next, on your Facebook account edit your profile to include your education/work situation and job interests.
- Email and Picture – A professional sounding email address is important. It tends to look better when filling out online applications. Don’t forget to include your picture in any of your social media profiles. People don’t do business with the faceless.
- Status updates – Most Social Media sites, including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn allow status updates. Status updates are another smart form of networking. Update all social media accounts regularly but keep it professional looking.
- Blogging – social media sites are important but so is blogging. A blog shows how you think and allows your network to understand the depth of your expertise. While there are downsides to a blog (time commitment, writing quality, etc), it can improve your profile significantly. A simple blog where you write 3-4 paragraphs weekly will help you gain benefits. Share your ideas with the world and let your blog enhance your personal ‘brand.’
- Research – Social media allows you to research any company before going into an interview. Use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to find out the professional history of the company, their likes and values. Having this extra research will help you stand out from the crowd.
- Time – Social media sites are great but don’t get too distracted by them. It isn’t productive to spend every hour of the day on a social media site. You need to be getting out into the world and networking with people in person.