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As social media has emerged as the newest form of networking, job seekers must be aware what is exposed about their personal lives online. Utilize these tips to find out how you can use social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter as a practical networking tool.
What is LinkedIn?
A social networking tool that allows you to strengthen and extend your network of contacts by exchanging knowledge, ideas and opportunities with a broader network of professionals.
Why Use LinkedIn?
- It gives you the keys to controlling your online identity. Have you Googled yourself? LinkedIn profiles rise to the top of search results, letting you control the first impression people get when searching for you online.
- It allows you to market yourself and create a professional brand.
- It enables you to establish, build, and maintain a professional network.
- It lets you share and gain information about career fields, companies, industry experts, and job leads.
- Employers use LinkedIn to find candidates for their positions.
How to Use LinkedIn?
- Check out six short videos about how to get started with LinkedIn.
- Check out this guide: Finding a Job Using LinkedIn
- Create a complete and specialized profile by entering all your skills and qualifications along with adding a professional photo.
- Grow your network by connecting to friends, family, supervisors, co-workers, classmates, professors, advisors, and others with similar interests or skills; ask them for recommendations on your work.
- Join the Beavers Careers Group and connect with other students, alumni and employers.
- Use status updates to let your connections know you are looking for a job. Post a link to your portfolio on group pages and put yourself out there.
- Post group discussions and engage with others to build connections.
- Ask your connections to introduce you to people in their network from whom you are interested in seeking information.
- Follow and conduct research on companies of interest to you.
- Search the job postings, but before applying, see if you have connections to the company and ask them about the position and any knowledge they can provide like whom to address your cover letter.
Additional LinkedIn Resources:
- Network and Find a Job with LinkedIn - from the Career Services blog
- LinkedIn Strategies: Don't Be Afraid to Show Your Whole Self - Show a complete version of yourself and don't be afraid to let your qualities shine using the Interests field on LinkedIn.
- How to connect with employers via LinkedIn - There are some useful guidelines in this article about to help you use LinkedIn effectively to connect with potential employers.
- Why You Should Use LinkedIn BEFORE Graduation
- Why Just Joining LinkedIn is NOT enough
Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. People use Facebook to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, post links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet.
Recommendations if Using Facebook in Your Job Search
- Temporarily deactivate your account or adjust privacy settings where only friends can view your profile.
- Create a Facebook page to showcase your skills, which is similar to your normal profile but slightly less personal and better suited for a public persona and indeed a job seeker.
- Remove EVERYTHING not job related.
- Do not include information that could be used to discriminate you such as religion, politics, sexual preference, birthday, etc.
- Include a link to your resume, professional photo, and fill in professional details.
- Plug in your blog RSS feed straight into your Facebook page and showcase your work through various entries.
- Quit the games. The fact that you are on Facebook all day playing games could reflect poorly to an employer. It’s best to refrain during your job search.
- Join groups in your field area like professional organizations.
- Network with organizations and engage on their walls and comment on their posts.
- Utilize your network through status updates. One of the best ways to get a job is word of mouth; let your network know what you are looking for.
- Apply for jobs through Facebook Marketplace, or connect with hiring managers that are posting the positions to inquire about other opportunities.
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".
Why Use Twitter?
- Instant access to other professionals in your field.
- Provides exposure and credibility as well as personal and professional relationships when you connect to others in your industry.
- Offers you a venue to demonstrate your expertise and share information in quick, pithy bursts of wisdom. This is perfect if you don’t have the time or energy to create a blog.
- You’ll find an array of people on Twitter, including CEOs, top-level executives, hiring managers, recruiters and everyone in-between! It’s one-stop shopping for your networking needs.
- Unlike Facebook, where it is kind of creepy if you start trying to “friend” people who are connected to your contacts, it is acceptable (and expected) to follow people on Twitter because another friend or colleague does.
- It forces you to be brief. Coming up with your “Twit-Pitch” – what you have to offer in 140 characters or less – will help you clarify your value proposition.
How to Use Twitter?
- Brand yourself professionally. Choose a professional Twitter handle using your name or combination of your name and profession that sounds good and is easy to remember.
- Take time to create a professional profile that will attract your target market. If you don’t have a website, link to your LinkedIn profile. Upload a professional image, and use your bio to describe what you’re looking for.
- Before you follow anyone, start posting tweets! Tweet about an article, an idea or share a link of professional interest to your targeted followers. Do this for a few days. It may seem strange to be tweeting when no one is following, but you may be surprised to gain an audience before you even try. Once you have a great profile and a set of interesting tweets, start following people in your industry.
- Continue to build your network by using Twitter Search and Twitter’s Find People tool.
- Follow companies and lists and communicate with them! (RT, @reply, #trendingtopics)
- Take note of public events and engage your network at tweetups and other social events through twitter.
- Give, give, give! Think about what you can do for others. Don’t blatantly self-promote. Instead, help promote others. “Retweet” (pass along information someone else shared, giving them credit) – you will earn followers and friends this way.
Not sure who to follow? Then check out Top 25 Twitter Accounts to Follow for Job Seekers
A good way to increase your online presence is to start a blog. While writing a blog takes more time and effort than maintaining a Facebook or Twitter account, it could be worthwhile. If you write about a field you are interested in, there's a chance that employers in that field will see it and get in contact with you. Also, if employers Google your name before an interview and see you have an insightful blog, they may be more inclined to hire you.
- Problogger has many tips on how to start and maintain a blog
- Blogging as a Branding Tool…for Non-Bloggers
- Build a More Beautiful Blog
More Information on Social Media in the Job Search:
- Blog Basics: How a Blog Can Boost Your Career - Before you start typing, read these hints for putting together a memorable blog and getting employers to notice your presence in the blogosphere.
- 5 Ways to Use Social Media in Your Job Search - No matter where you are in your career, using social media outlets can enhance your chances of being a top-notch job candidate.
- Should You Use Facebook as a Job Seeking Tool? - There are many pros and cons of using Facebook as a job-seeking tool. Find out where you stand in the debate.
- On the Hunt: How to Spot a Job Using Twitter -Twitter can be used as a powerful career tool, but before you begin tweeting up a storm, make sure you're up to date on Twitter etiquette.