Finding a job, especially in today’s economy, can seem overwhelming. But by investing the time in learning how to use social media effectively for your professional needs, you can make networking a little easier. After all, according to a 2011 survey conducted by Jobvite.com, 1 in 6 workers used online social networks to find their last job. With a further 1 in 3 workers claiming a professional or personal contact found them their latest position, it’s time to think about how your Facebook profile can work for you.
Why use social media in your job search?
Networking has long been considered the holy grail of job hunting success (for more tips on networking, see “Networking Really Works”). Social media allows you to leverage your network rapidly, while making it easier than ever for others to help you in your search. Prior to the social media revolution, your cousin’s girlfriend probably would never have known you were looking for work; now, she not only knows but can refer you to the perfect opening in her company seconds after she hears of it.
Using social media for an effective job search: 3 great tips
Create a Professional Profile: Before you start sending out your social media feelers, make sure potential employers will see your good side. Make one professionally-attired photo your avatar in all your social media outlets – at least the ones attached to your real name! Make sure your Facebook feed isn’t a long list of college buddies detailing their recent bar exploits and consider choosing privacy settings that will keep your Flickr account or your Facebook albums, well, private.
Use Your Network: Let people know you’d like their help. Although it can be intimidating to ask people for their time and energy, posting an update or tweeting to all your followers can feel like less of an imposition. You still need to be clear and specific, explaining exactly what you’re looking for: job leads in your specific field, career advice, or introductions, for example.
Expand Your Network: A quick way to get an inside line on a company is to follow the company or an employee via Twitter. You can also search through your network’s network to find useful contacts and then ask for an introduction. Look through alumni groups for a person who is more advanced in your field; having a natural connection like the same alma mater will make that first contact much easier – and more likely to bear fruit.
Although all the standard networking rules apply, such as politeness, clarity, and specificity, using social media will make your search go further, faster, and you can do it all in your pajamas – which, let’s be honest, is absolutely the best way to find a job.
Did you know it’s social media week? Discover the impact of social media – check it out! http://socialmediaweek.org/