Although most advice circulating around using social media and job searching falls within the “scrub your profiles” category, Forbes contributor Andrew Arnold offers a few tips on how to leverage it to your advantage.
- Let people know you’re looking
Social media is first and foremost a platform to have your voice heard. Use it as an opportunity to let people know you’re looking for a job. This simple gesture can go a long way for your job search. Letting people know you’re available might help you learn about job opportunities before they’re advertised.
- Use Facebook Lists
Facebook lists are a way to build your social network beyond just your family and friends. You can add professional contacts without worrying about them seeing personal things you post. To create a list, just go to ‘Account,’ then ‘Friends.’ Then you’ll see an option to create a new list. Make sure you set custom privacy settings to keep people from seeing your regular updates. Facebook lists will broaden your reach beyond your current social network. That said, you shouldn’t disregard your current group of friends. A Facebook friend of yours may know someone who’s hiring in your industry. Getting a recommendation from a current employee is an easy way to get your shoe in the door.
- Join industry conversations on Twitter
Twitter in particular is a great platform to start building a network of influencers in your industry. Find and follow people who work in your area so you can join in conversations and make yourself known. This increases your chances that you can find a new job through referrals, rather than applying. The last thing you need is to have your application one in a stack of hundreds.
- Look professional in search
Have you ever Googled your name before? You might not like what comes up. “If your online footprint is a problem for your job search, then a LinkedIn profile will be the solution,” said social media agency CEO, Giovanbattista Cimmino. “Create a complete profile on LinkedIn, filling out your employment information and putting up a professional photo. LinkedIn ranks very well in search results, so your profile will move up to the top of results.”
- Add your social profiles to your resume or website
Whether you have a personal website or just a physical resume, you should include links to your social profiles as part of your contact information. Having an active social presence can make you look appealing to potential employers in a lot of ways. First, your website is a great place to flaunt your qualifications and certifications whether that’s a leadership degree, a fellowship or a some other bragging rights like authoring a book or keynoting a popular conference. Second, your social profiles serve as “social proof” for your value and integrity as person. Think of them as like informal recommendations.
Getting the word out and remaining a professional on social media are keys to not only landing the job you want, but maintaining your professional reputation in the job you are in. Although there are myriad stories of social media abuse destroying once polished reputations, you can use these tips to use it to your advantage and get the job you want.