Social media has “grown up” in recent years. Now, it is one of the most productive ways to get your qualifications and resume in front of as many corporate eyes as possible. In addition to helping you expand the reach of your job search, the concept is also cost effective, measured only by the time you invest. Networking accelerates your position search exponentially, helping you reach far more people than traditional socializing.
If you think about the concepts of branding and marketing yourself, social media is the ultimate tool for building your brand. You select what you want to spotlight for prospective employers, and you control what values are accented in your online presence. Gaining more exposure produces extra opportunities. Social media is the key to opening the door to the hidden job market.
Engaging in a quick Internet search can produce a big number of social networks, online communities, blogs, websites, and discussion forums for job seekers. In addition to posting on job boards and working with recruiters, social websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can significantly accelerate your job hunt. In case you aren’t still certain about the importance of social media in your job search, let’s examine a few particular advantages:
1. Use of social media sites demonstrate your knowledge, skill, and familiarity with the capabilities of modern technology.
2. Social media helps create your personal “brand.” You will become “known” to the parties who read your profile without ever having presented a formal resume.
3. This ultimate networking tool can effectively put you in touch with individuals who are in a position to make hiring decisions about jobs that may never get posted. Better yet, an interest connection might be stimulated to invent a job for you based on your unique qualifications.
4. Any of these sites can help you obtain information about companies or industries of interest to you, making you an even more valuable applicant as you expand your knowledge and become known for your contributions.
Once you create a profile for yourself, you have to pay attention to it and develop it further. The more active you are, the more you establish a positive reputation for yourself. Don’t become discouraged, if you don’t get immediate results. Building a professional network takes time.
You may want to avoid personal chit-chat entirely. Make sure you are patient and professional while building up your network. When an employer decides to take action, you can be certain the hiring manager will run a Google search or review your social media pages. Be smart and make your profiles and tweets work for you!
Most sites, including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, each has different limits on the amount of information and the format in which you post. LinkedIn is designed primarily for professional contact, so you have sections for education, work experience, and your intent for setting up the profile.
Twitter has the most restrictive space limit. At 140 characters, you may not think you can say much about yourself, but if you think of your tweeting habits, considerable information can be included in very little space. This space could become even more valuable than the traditional resume space. Provide contact information and a few keywords that define your response to an insightful discussion, your professional skills, or current trends.
Many people think of Facebook as a personal site, but if you research a bit, you will see just how many companies are using Facebook to strengthen their online presence as well. Have you been asked to “friend” a corporation? Those requests are an evidence to the power of Facebook for professional use and profit. Put its power to work for you by focusing on your credentials rather than your leisure activities. Include memberships in professional associations, a professional summary, pertinent work experience, or cutting edge professional development activities.
As noted, maintaining a social media network takes just as much effort, consideration, and attention as personal networking. Once you have your profile established, take some time to examine additional features of the sites and reach out to others. Venture with social media and watch your job search take off!