Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are all avenues that can be either your friend or enemy when it comes to job search and networking. It can be a great friend if done correctly, but an enemy if it isn’t up to date or showcases a lack of professionalism. How can you use social media to your advantage? Why would you want to use social media? This is a great way to find out about those hidden job markets I mentioned in Step 3. If you are looking for a new employment opportunity, sometimes who you know is weighed more heavily than what you know.
Social media is not just a good place to network. It also provides a platform for you to be able to showcase your best self. Consider first impressions; most people want to show themselves in the best possible light when they initially meet someone. It may not always be possible to meet people face to face, and that’s where social media can become a great friend. Social media is a tool for engagement, especially in situations where there is limited access to transportation, or limited time or ability to be out in the community having face-to-face interactions. Recruiters may search your name on LinkedIn, and if they are impressed by your profile, it could improve your chances of being selected as a promising candidate for the job.
In an ever-changing and technology-dependent society, I understand the lack of enthusiasm when it comes to using social media for work or work-related purposes. I experienced this lack of enthusiasm, too. When I first signed into Linked In, I didn’t know where to start. But, I did my homework on job search and social media, and I found a number of articles that provided basic instructions for using LinkedIn that were broken down into small digestible chunks.
These are the basic (and I mean basic) steps:
- Create a profile
- Complete your profile
- Start connecting
- Continue to grow your connections and increase your group engagement
- Maintain your profile and connections
Tutorials on the Job Hunt
Goodwill Community Foundation, Inc. (GCF), has a great tutorial on using Job Hunt with Social Media. The GCF tutorials review LinkedIn basics, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. You can also find some useful social media suggestions in career guidance sections of universities such as Columbia University Center for Career Education, and University of Buffalo’s School of Management.
Each time I sign into LinkedIn, I think about these suggestions. I’m now beginning to see the value in using social media as a tool for job search and networking.