Job Hunt with Social Media
Over the past several years, social media websites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Meetup have become an increasingly important part of an effective job search.
In this module, you'll learn how to use social media sites to expand your network and build new connections. We'll also talk about different strategies for using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites in your job search.
This lesson will focus on general strategies for using different social media websites in your job search. We'll talk more about using LinkedIn, the most popular career networking site, in our LinkedIn Basics module.
Approximately 15 percent of U.S. job seekers in 2011 found their current position through social networking sites, and that number is only expected to rise. Social media websites have made it easier than ever to share information and build new connections, which are essential components of any successful job search.
As more and more job seekers are turning to these sites to network and find new opportunities, so too are employers. Approximately 40 percent of employers currently use social media sites to recruit or screen potential employees, so maintaining an active online presence will be especially important when searching for a job.
As social media networks continue to expand, there's almost no limit to how you can incorporate them into your job search. Review the techniques below to learn general strategies for using social media in your job search:
In the past, keeping up with many different connections could be a challenging task, but social networking sites have greatly simplified the process. And while it's easier than ever to organize your contacts, you should also use these resources to reach out and forge new connections.
Whenever you make a new connection, it's important to follow up and stay in touch. Even if you only have the opportunity to meet someone briefly in person, connecting with this person on a social media site allows you to continue the conversation and develop a relationship. Try sending a quick message to some of your contacts every few weeks to establish a regular pattern of communication.
It's important to remember that you're not the only person looking to make new connections online. As more and more employers turn to social media for recruiting, you'll need to make sure you have a visible online presence. It should be easy for employers to find and connect with you across a variety of social networks.
Don't be content simply following the conversation. Work hard to become a known voice in different communities. Start meaningful discussions on your social media networks, participate in online forums, or share your knowledge on a question-and-answer site like Quora or StackExchange.
Whenever you apply for a job, there's a good chance your employer will try to learn more about you through social media. Remember to practice discretion when sharing online. Someone might be less likely to hire you if he or she finds embarrassing photos or negative comments about your current employer.
Most social networks also allow you to control who sees your posts and updates, so be careful to share personal or sensitive information with your close friends rather than make all of your posts public. Taking the time to modify your privacy settings will also prevent you from sharing photos and personal information with potential employers.
We'll talk more about building a better online presence in our module, Personal Branding 101.