Millions of people have embraced online networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, but too few understand how much influence these sites can have in accelerating their job search and career.
In my experience, we are finding a widespread use of social media—including more playful sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as the business-focused LinkedIn—is becoming a powerful force in many job searches
More and more people are finding jobs via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites. These sites aren't changing how we look for jobs; they are simply rebooting the traditional habits of successful job hunters and making them easier.
To boost your job search you need to build a better network. While people used to pursue potential employers for their business cards at conferences and mixers, now sites like Twitter offer a better alternative. Lots of recruiters, hiring managers, and industry leaders hang out on Twitter, swapping job leads and industry updates. Share evidence of your good work in your Twitter feed to garner attention from recruiters and hiring managers. Rather than dragging your portfolio to an interview, use high traffic sites such as YouTube and Pinterest to showcase your work (Pinterest, the less known of the two, is a site in which you build a profile by pinning pictures). Recruiters increasingly search the web to look for the best candidates.
Whether you’re a consultant or looking for permanence, you’re likely to land your dream job with the following social media sites:
- Indeed.com: A job search engine, yielding results from various job boards.
- Simply Hired: Another job search engine, but I sometimes find different results from the Indeed job search.
- Twitter: A way to follow your favorite businesses to learn when they’re hiring. Also, follow job listing sites and aggregators for updates. Use Twitter search to look for the jobs you’re most interested in.
- Monster.com: Lists all sorts of jobs, social media included.
- Career Builder: Lists social media jobs, among others.
- The Ladders: Features only jobs paying $100,000 or more annually. Before you flock over though, keep in mind that this is a paying job board. You can sign up for the free trial, but expect to receive regular spam if you do.
- Dice: Features mostly tech jobs but you’ll find a few social media jobs thrown in there as well.
- Beyond.com: A search on social media yields a variety of opportunities. Social media, including sites like Twitter and Facebook, can help you find a job and connect with people who can assist you with growing your career. However, it works both ways. Social media when used the wrong way can backfire and jeopardize a job offer or even your current job. It’s important to be careful and consider what you shouldn’t do, as well as what you should do, when using social media to job search.
- Craigslist: Has a bad reputation because it’s a haven for scammers and spam types. However, if you take the time to dig a little deeper you’ll find well-paying opportunities.
- Viadeo: Is a social network intended for professionals who can showcase their work experience, skills and services and possibly make powerful connections that lead to career growth and development.
- JobVite: Permits employers to tap into the social networks of its employees to find quality recruits. JobVite permits employers to create eVites that employees, colleagues, etc. can pass around via email or publish to social networks like Facebook.
- BranchOut: An original game plan on Facebook was to use the App as a tool for Job Seekers to locate information about the positions right from our Facebook page. Due to the low turnout of applicants the BranchOut App has yet to prove that it is ready for prime time, only time will tell.
When you're looking for a job or positioning yourself for career growth, it's important to have an online presence where you can showcase your skills and experience. Your online profiles will also help you connect with contacts who can expedite your job search and assist you with moving up the career ladder.
Does the employment history on your resume match what's on your LinkedIn profile? Does the information you have on your Facebook page match up with the information you have elsewhere online? It's fine if you rework your job descriptions, for example, because targeting your resume is a good thing when applying for job. What's not okay is if your job titles, companies, and dates don't jive. That's a red flag for prospective employers.
Employers are checking out candidates on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. If you post it, I guarantee someone will read it, and that very well could be the wrong person (i.e. a hiring manager). Posting company business (good or bad) and posting inappropriate information on Facebook are just a couple examples of what can get you in trouble, or even cost you your job, especially when you do it from work.
Build your network well in advance of when you need it. Make connections in your industry and career field, follow career experts, talk to your contacts on Twitter or the other networking sites. Join Groups on LinkedIn and Facebook, post and join the discussion. Be engaged and proactive in your communications. By building a network in advance, you won't have to scramble if you unexpectedly lose your job or decide it's time to move on.
In a nutshell, give to get. Networking works both ways, the more you are willing to help someone else, the more likely they will be to help you. Take some time each and every day to reach out to your connections. Write a recommendation on LinkedIn; offer to introduce them to another connection, share an article or news with them. Giving to get really does work your connections are more likely to return the favor when you've offered to help them.
There is a school of thought that says you should connect with everyone when you’re using social media. I don’t agree. Quality is more important than quantity when it comes to connecting. The first question you should ask yourself when making connections is how can the person help me? The second question is what can I do to help them? Before you ask someone to connect, consider what you have in common. That common denominator, regardless of what it is, is what's going to help with your job search.
Don’t get discouraged if there is not an immediate job offer; instead cultivate relationships and job advice from people who could give you that crucial introduction later on. Here at DNS solutions we may be looking you up soon!