How to Optimize Your Job Search with Social Media

Gone are the simple days of walking into a business with a résumé and asking to speak with the manager. It might have worked for your dad, but we live in an age where most hiring managers scour the internet for prospective applicants. Luckily, there are tools in place you can use to increase your exposure online and connect with professionals in your career field of choice. Social media is one of the most effective ways to find a job in the 21st century. Why not learn how to make it work for you?

Create an Online Presence

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Image credit Flickr

If you’re not already on one of the major social media networks, now is the time to do it. There are three major social media sites most job recruiters will use (or at least require their employees know how to use): Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. If finding a job is at the top of your list of priorities, joined LinkedIn; it’s an entire site dedicated to working professionals and career searchers to connect with one another. It’s like a massive 24/7 job fair online. In fact, 93 percent of recruiters report using LinkedIn to look for new talent.

Cultivate a Professional Appearance

Chances are you didn’t create your first social media profile because you were looking for a job. Most people flock to sites like Facebook and Twitter for the social aspect, and thus treat it with the same level of formality they use with their close friends and family (i.e; none at all). However, employers use social media to gauge the character of their potential hires.

It would be in your best interest to expunge any and all incriminating photographs and controversial status updates. After all, would you hire somewhere who had a red Solo cup in every one of their Facebook photos?

Showcase Your Skills

Many people use social media profiles as a showcase of their talents, accomplishments, and capabilities. No matter what field you work in—or even if you’re still in school—you can use social media to illustrate what you’ve done with your talents and free time recently. Did you volunteer in your community? Post a picture of it! Was your workplace featured in the news recently?

Post a link to the article! Do you work in graphic design or audio production? Show off your latest projects. Recruiters want to know whether you’d be a valuable asset to their company, so take every opportunity you can to show off your job skills for the world to see.

Follow Trends in Your Field

Once you’ve established yourself in the realm of social media, take time to ‘like’ and follow pages that give the latest updates on happenings in your career field. You’ll want to learn as much as you can about your target profession during your job search. For example, how will new technologies affect your future occupation? Who are the big mover and shakers in your industry?

The benefit here will really shine through during your interview. If you can sit down and have an intelligent, nuanced discussion with your potential new boss about the latest news and events, you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of your competitors.

Connect with Established Professionals

Maybe you’re in a position where you’re not quite sure if this new job is what you’re looking for. More often than not, new job seekers are sold on the mythos and superficial glamour of a chosen occupation without knowing much about it. Take time to reach out to workers who’ve been in the industry for years. They can tell you about what your day-to-day job duties will be like, what interviewers look for in applicants, and other tidbits of valuable information you won’t likely find anywhere else. If things go well enough, these individuals can actually serve as references or connections during your search. In fact, a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed referred candidates were twice as likely to get interviews than people who applied through more traditional routes.

Social media is a powerful tool that changes the way we view our lives and business relationships.

 

About Elliot Martinez

Elliot Martinez is a Business graduate of the University of South Florida. He is currently working towards his graduate degree. As a freelance writer he covers all tech topics and is a self proclaimed social media fanatic.