Networking has always been a key to success in the job search—and social media is a prime way to build mutually beneficial relationships while on the hunt for a new job. These relationships can lead you to unadvertised job openings, help you gain knowledge and understanding of your industry, and even land you a referral to a company you’d love to work at.
If you don’t already have a presence on the top social networking sites (LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook), set up an account on each one you plan on using for your career and job search. You might also choose to blog—so search around for the right platform for you. If you already have accounts on any of these sites, make sure that it’s appropriate for your job search. You never know when a potential employer might be looking! Delete the questionable content or change your privacy settings to make your online presence as professional as possible.
Completely fill out your biography, about me section, interests, skills, etc. Many recruiters and employers use search tools to find candidates that match the job description using keywords and phrases. Share your experience, education and accomplishments in your profile to help employers learn the most they possibly can about you.
Use a similar handle across networks. Make it easy for others to find you on whichever platform they use by using your first and last name in your unique URL or as your handle. If you have a common name, consider differentiating yourself by incorporating your skills or profession into your username. To check username availability across multiple platforms, use tools like KnowEm or NameChk.
Upload a professional profile photo. Help others get to know you by putting a photo in your profile. A close-up, professional headshot should do the trick.
Social Media & Your Job Search
Why do you need social media profiles to be successful in your job search? Well, there are a few reasons:
Networking opportunities. Eighty percent (or more) of job opportunities come through some form of networking—and I truly believe that networking is one of the most important tools in your job search toolkit. Meet new contacts from across the world by engaging in conversation on social media and participating in chats, groups and more.
Professional online presence. Employers today are screening candidates based on their online reputational data—profiles, search results, websites, photos, and anything else they can find that’s attached to your name. Proactively creating professional results shows that you’re serious about your job search and career.
Thought leadership. Show that you’re committed to your career by positioning yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Write blog posts pertaining to recent trends in your field, share advice from other thought leaders and participate in online groups and chats.
Connect directly with employers. Recruiters, hiring managers and CEOs are now active on social media. Read their blog, connect with them on LinkedIn or Twitter, and comment on the content they share. It’s easier than ever to build relationships with folks you might never meet in real life—take advantage of it!
Tips for Successful Social Networking
- Focus on building mutually beneficial relationships—don’t just connect with people that can help you. Think about how you can help them, too.
- Regularly post interesting articles, photos, videos and other content to stay visible online.
- Don’t spam your network by constantly talking about yourself.
- Look for folks in your industry and geographic area to follow and connect with.
- Dedicate a portion of your day to your maintaining your online presence, following new people, thanking others for sharing your content, etc.
Do you have a story to share about how social media helped you land a new job? What other tips would you share with job seekers?
This post is part of Career Collective. Check out the other posts written by my colleagues:
- Make Your Career More Social: Show Up and Engage, @WalterAkana, #careercollective
- You 2.0: The Brave New World of Social Media and Online Job Searches, @dawnrasmussen #careercollective
- How to Get a New Job Using Social Media, @DebraWheatman #careercollective
- Social Media: Choosing, Using, and Confusing, @ErinKennedyCPRW #careercollective
- Updating: A Social Media Strategy For Job Search, @TimsStrategy #careercollective
- Your Career Needs Social Media – Get Started, @EliteResumes @MartinBuckland #careercollective
- We Get By With a Little Recs from Our Friends, @chandlee #careercollective
- Expat Careers & Social Media: Social Media is Potentially 6 Times more Influential than a CV or Resume, @expatcoachmegan #careercollective
- Social-Media Tools and Resources to Maximize Your Personalized Job Search, @KatCareerGal #careercollective
- Job Search and Social Media: A Collective Approach, @careersherpa #careercollective
- How Having Your Own Website Helps You, @keppie_careers #careercollective
- Social Media: So what’s the point?, @DawnBugni #CareerCollective
- Tools that change your world, @WorkWithIllness #CareerCollective
- HOW TO: Meet People IRL via LinkedIn, @AvidCareerist #CareerCollective
- Effective Web 2.0 Job Search: Top 5 Secrets, @resumeservice #CareerCollective
- Jumping Into the Social Media Sea @ValueIntoWords #CareerCollective
- Sink or Swim in Social Media, @KCCareerCoach #CareerCollective
- Social Media Primer for Job Seekers, @LaurieBerenson #CareerCollective