When it comes to job searching, most of us quote this saying “It is not what you know, it is who you know,” especially in this age of social media where we’re more connected than ever before. More job seekers are using social media to find and research new opportunities – while employers are using it to find good candidates for employment.
But many people are still making small and preventable mistakes. We’ve all heard of the dangers come with posting on Facebook and Twitter. Just take a look at our post Top 10 Disastrous Social Media Campaigns and you will see what I mean.
But other smaller mistakes could be harmful. Not updating a LinkedIn profile or not separating private and professional social networks can damage your career opportunities. And few people use the full power of their social networks.
A surveydone by Kelly Services Inc. found that less than 25% of American job searchers were more likely to use social media than traditional methods, such as newspapers, job boards and recruitment firms. And many people aren’t aware that well-known companies such as Starbucks, Citibank and UPS use Social Media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to recruit.
This article highlights top 10 suggestions for social networking that will help you when you’re job searching, trying to market yourself effectively, and connect with people who can help with you find a job.
Let us know what worked and what didn’t and whether you had success.
- Keep the information you publish on your personal social media profiles clean and professional, you do not want to follow in the footsteps of the American Red Cross employee who used the company twitter account to make a not so funny joke. This may increase your chances of getting hired when your profile is seen by potential employers.
- Reply to and follow up in a professional manner with individuals in your social media audience who rebut or challenge your opinions or argument. This will demonstrate to potential employers that you are open to constructive criticism feedback and can effectively handle negative comments without coming across as defensive or unprofessional.
1. Create Profiles
Build marketable, professional profiles for yourself. Include your job history going back no more than 15 to 20 years as well as your education and skills. LinkedIn is an obvious place for such a profile, but Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are just as good for this type of information. These profiles should demonstrate not only what you’ve accomplished, but where your strengths lie and what you can offer future employers. Leave the ball in your hands and make a compelling argument, one that an employer cannot refuse.
Connect with others in your industry. LinkedIn’s Groups is the perfect place to start. Search the directory to find the relevant groups for your industry, join those that appear active and have numerous followers and then make sure that you introduce yourself to the other members so that they know who you are. Most importantly, be sure to build your social capital and become known as the source for quality content.
3. Add pictures
If you do not have a picture, make sure you add one and that represents your in a professional manner! Never include images that are unprofessional and something that you would not want to show your own mother. Be weary of what you post on Facebook and Google, because with the advanced search options, your information may easily spread beyond your friends and into the hands of unintended parties. Check out Facebook new social graph info.
Tip: Use a single photo, which identifies who you are. You’re imagination is the limit, but be careful with what you post. You don’t want to reveal too much info.
4. Show your expertise
Do not be afraid to show your expertise. Every time there is something to report, report it. Link it and feed it onto social media platforms.
Be careful with what you post, you may want to double check grammar, spelling and make certain that there is nothing offensive.
5. Meaningful connects
Connect with people, but make certain that you are upfront about it. Don’t send a default message; that’s unprofessional! Give your connections a reason to network with you. If you really want an in, tell them you’d love to learn more about their company and any positions they have opening. People love to talk about themselves and you can find more ways to get an in.
It is equally important to engage with individuals who are already working in your field, even close friends. This will help expose and promote your skills and content to potential employers. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter all have a side bar, which suggest relevent user.
6. Follow Industry Leaders/Human Resources
Follow the people that interest you most. Find the industry leaders and the Head of Human Resources and add them. Watch what they are doing and find the right time to engage with them in a professional manner. It doesn’t necessarily work to bombard them on a Friday night at 11:22pm about how you want a job.
7. Cold Networking
Cold networking is easier than you think. A good way to connect with new people is by helping them out. If you find a typo or a bad link on their website, send them an email about it. Those always get a reply. If you find content that you think they’d like, tweet the link to them. In other words, establish the best relationship social networking can buy.
Announce in your status update that you are actively looking for employment or new job opportunities. The larger your connections, the more likely one of your coonnections will know something about your industry and job opportunities.
While I do know everyone I am friends with on Facebook and Twitter, I don’t necessarily know or remember where each person works or what each friend does for a living. So, when I first was laid off, I posted a note on Facebook, explaining my situation, and what I was looking for. A note tends to stay on people’s screens longer than a status update and you can write much more. Try it and see if it works magic for you as well.
9. Become an Active Member
Become an active member of the social networking sites. Write blog posts, update your Facebook status and posting updates to Twitter on a regular basis using unique hashtags. In other words, do everything you can to help establish your online presence and demonstrate to employers that you know how to gain a following. Update and post new content to your social media profiles several times per day or at least daily.
10. Be Informed
Stay informed of news and updates in the social media industry. Your knowledge of the social media industry will demonstrate to employers that you are very interested in and passionate about social networking. You may want to even subscribe to the blogs and news updates from your favorite social media platforms. You will then have the ability to stay informed about new features, new competitors and new applications being used in social media.