As you begin a job hunt in a challenging employment market, you need to use every possible tool at your disposal. One tool that some new job seekers tend to overlook is social media. If you can leverage social media well, you can improve your chances of finding the perfect job. In fact, according to the NACE 2012 Student Survey, around 41 percent of 2012 college graduates are doing just this.
How Social Media Helps
The world is increasingly online, and your potential employers are probably on the Internet regularly, using the Internet to help them fill the positions that you could fit. This is why you spend time browsing online job boards and posting your résumé to ads.
Since your potential employers are already online, you can use online social media platforms to market yourself to them. Following job seeking and industry specific hashtags on Twitter can give you inside information into job opportunities. LinkedIn and similar professional social media sties can serve as your online portfolio and résumé.
Through social media, you can find specific job descriptions, learn more about employers and their salary offerings and development programs, get word out there about your own skills and promote yourself as a professional in your industry.
Build a strong network using social media
Perhaps the most important role social media can play, however, is the role of networking. Through social media sites, you can build a strong network in your industry. Tapping into that network will prove invaluable as you look for a job.
One of the more difficult tasks you face when job hunting online is finding convenient ways to get files, such as your résumé or a portfolio, to potential employers. One way to do this is to use social media sites whenever possible to publish your files. Cloud storage gives you another way to ensure that your files are accessible whenever and wherever you need them. Combining these two ensures you will be prepared to show proof of your skills should a potential employer ask.
Tips and Tricks
Knowing what social media can do is not sufficient. You also need to know how to bring yourself success through this venue.
First, make sure your profiles are as complete as possible. Consider LinkedIn as an example. A completely filled out LinkedIn profile can serve as an online résumé, pointing out your past employer and linking to your online portfolio.
After completing your profiles, you need to optimize them so you are easily found. Remember, these sites are searchable and also can come up in the search engine results. On LinkedIn, make sure your headline is simple and direct, your experience summary highlights what it should, but is simple, and the company names listed on your work experience draw the right attention. Keep the entire page easy to scan, making the most important pieces of information prominent and above the fold.
Clean up your Facebook page
Make sure your profiles are connected across the various platforms. The image you present should be the same no matter what social media site a potential employer visits. If your Facebook page shows a side of yourself that you would rather not present to a potential HR recruiter, clean it up or make sure it’s not publicly visible.
Check to see that the information presented on your Twitter page matches the information on LinkedIn. Consistent types of images (whether they’re positive or negative) show an employer who might be considering searching for your name who you really are.
Is social media going to replace scanning the “want ads” and networking at cocktail parties? Chances are it will, if it hasn’t done so already. By making use of social media for your next job search, you help yourself find the perfect fit for your needs, both monetary and professional.
This is a guest post written by Cameron Tyler. You can contact Cameron by writing an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.