In today’s increasingly competitive job market, social media in a job search is an essential arrow in your quiver. It is just as crucial to present yourself to future employers with the skills related to your industry as it is to present your online presence in a positive way. According to a recent study by CareerBuilder.com, 37 percent of companies use social networking sites to research candidates. To peak the interest of potential recruiters, it is important to use social media sites and apps to get -and stay- on their radar. Here are a few social media tools and tips that you can use on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus to put you at a better advantage:
Use LinkedIn effectively
The most essential first step of every professional, whether young or old when using social media in a job search is to get on LinkedIn and create a profile; however, very few people know how to set up their LinkedIn effectively to promote their personal brand or to network with companies and colleagues. When you are setting up your LinkedIn profile, make sure to fill out all of the required information and include popular search terms and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) phrases in your descriptions. Additionally, join as many groups as possible on LinkedIn that apply to your skill set or desired career. Whether it be your college or high school alumni group, or even large national organizations like a fraternity, there are always job and network opportunities and career tips posted on group forums. Plus, employers like hiring people with a shared experience or connection.
Engage in online conversations and interactions on Twitter
Twitter has expanded far beyond defining people in 140 character spurts and can be crucial as a tool when using social media in a job search if it’s approached in the right way. Like LinkedIn, make sure you have an effective biography, stating your past experience and future ambitions, with a professional headshot as your display picture. Once you have set up your account, make sure to follow not only just corporations you may be interested in, but job boards, career experts and HR professionals who work for the companies that you want to work for. Employers like to see that people are active on social media, so once you have established a solid base of followers, make sure you tweet often (ideally a few times a day if not every other day). Some tweets can be as simple as posting relevant and interesting articles online, but others should be more engaging. Make sure your profile is public and try to join Twitter chats with relevant hashtags such as #careerchat or #jobhuntchat.
Transform your Facebook page from personal to professional
With the site’s mission to make the world “more open and connected,” what better way to further enhance using social media in a job search than on Facebook? Virtually everyone is on Facebook, and for many people just graduating college, it is easy and quick to transform your profile to a more career-focused page. The advantage of this site compared to LinkedIn and Twitter is that you are connected on Facebook with your friends. Since they know you personally, they are more likely to help you or keep you in mind if they hear about an available position later on down the road. Make sure your statuses are effective as well. Do not just post, “I am looking for a job, please help,” but rather state what industries you are interested in and a link to your LinkedIn profile. If you make the decision to use your Facebook for professional purposes (which is not the right or easy choice for everyone), make sure you cleanse parts of your profile that you may not want future employers to see. You should also utilize the “list function” which can divide friends into groups and limit what access they have to your account.
Google Plus not only links all of your social media accounts but allows you to interact with recruiters on a deeper level
In recent months, Google has been making a big push to identify where Internet users work, online presence, contact information, and other personal and professional information, through the Google Plus profile. By joining this social network, you will come up in search results more easily, and you have the option to link your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to your profile, as well as other blogs and online work. If you do not want to use your Facebook for professional relationships, Google Plus is a good alternative social media site to create and divide friends and acquaintances into “circles” of contacts. Lastly, if you are applying for jobs outside of your city, the Hangout feature on Google Plus makes it easy for companies to interview you online without having to worry about traveling.
Regardless of your profession, social media in a job search is something employers are more frequently looking for. It shows off media and tech savvy traits for purposes of networking and job functionality. Because of this shift, it is important to maintain an active online presence. For the best results, it is good to join all four of the above sites. Even if you are not active online or do not know much about how to be an effective poster or tweeter, it is good to show recruiters you are open to learning new programs and adapting. Regardless of your industry, it is a great skill to know how to effectively communicate and present yourself online.