Most people know how to use social media in their personal lives. But how about for your professional life? Or to tap into searching for jobs? Here are five ways to use social media to help you land that job.
Refine your online brand
Don’t open an account on every social media platform possible. It’s much better to have an up-to-date account on one or two platforms than to have multiple accounts that haven’t been used. Every job seeker should have a LinkedIn account, and if possible Facebook or Twitter.
Make it a priority to clean up your social media profiles. Make sure you have a consistent brand including name and photo. Have a clear, friendly and recent professional image across all platforms.
While it is advisable to keep most of your Facebook profile restricted to friends and family, some parts of it should be public if you’re searching for jobs. Employers will search for you there to learn more about you, so any public profile photos or material should reflect the image you are happy with. Restrict most of your photos, wall posts, likes and personal info like relationship but keep your main photo public along with your employment and educational info.
Create relevant profiles
Build compelling professional profiles to create a great representation of yourself. Create a SEEK profile where hiring managers can view your skills, experience and get in touch with job opportunities. LinkedIn is another obvious choice. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are also sites to include this kind of information.
Your profiles should demonstrate not only what you’ve accomplished, but where your strengths are and what you can offer future employers. On all your social media accounts, include a link to the projects you’re working on from current jobs or past jobs, your personal website, your blog or anywhere else.
Connect with others in your industry. If you’re a job-seeker, LinkedIn’s Groups can help you connect with new professionals and get more engaged with discussions in your industry. Search the directory to find Groups in your industry, join those that appear especially active and vibrant, and then introduce yourself to the other members. Mostly you should only send people requests to connect on LinkedIn if you’ve interacted with them in some other way before.
If you’re going to a conference or other big networking event you can use Twitter to connect with people at the event. Many events will have a hashtag that will allow you to see who else is talking.
Few people check LinkedIn every day in the same way they check Facebook or Twitter, but it’s helpful when searching for jobs to be updating it fairly regularly.
Follow organisations in your field on LinkedIn and Twitter so you’re automatically notified about new positions and other news. ‘Like’ organisations you’re interested in and join the conversation about industry trends on Facebook. This will also give you talking points if you’re invited for an interview.
Make a plan
Have a game plan in mind when you set out to use social media as part of a job search. Don’t do too many disparate tasks all day, every day. Be organised and disciplined. Plan on working on your profile one day, joining groups another or following organisations a third. Use tools to allow you to schedule, get ahead, and share things directly from your browser.
And a last note – put your Twitter handle on your CV, mention your industry-specific network in your cover letter and tell people where to find you on your business card or your email signature. Good luck!
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