Social Media Presence in Your Job Search
Social media has become an increasingly important resource in the job search. It provides an opportunity to explore information and current news about organizations. At times it offers some insight on the organizational culture, an opportunity for you to showcase your projects (when applicable), a way in which to engage with others in similar fields, and most importantly, to engage with potential employers you are interested in.
Social media isn’t just used by those searching for a job, it has also been used by employers who are screening for positions they are looking to fill. Be cautious on what you post and share on social media and what negative implications this could have.
LinkedIn is the premier professional social networking site which should be utilized in your job search. Once you have a LinkedIn profile established, use it to connect with colleagues, business and organization associates, friends, faculty/mentors you have worked with and even alumni in similar fields.
Make sure to include all skills you are proficient in. Employers use LinkedIn as a talent recruitment tool.
Join any number of groups on LinkedIn and take the opportunity to engage with others. If you recently read an article that relates to the group, share it with the group with a brief intro that could start a discussion. Respond to other group posts as a way to share your experience and expertise on the topic.
Ask colleagues and associates that you have a good working relationship with to write a LinkedIn Recommendation about you.
Use Facebook as a way to keep current on what is happening with employers you may be interested in working for. Often times they share current news, stories about their business/organization along with work and activities in the community. You can use information you gather and read about during other networking opportunities and even in job interviews.
Twitter is a great social media tool to interact with potential employers. Of course, you are restricted to 140 characters, but when done correctly, you can have short “conversations” which can lead to recognition if applying for a job with their organization.
- You can easily share (Re-Tweet) posts they have and use it as a way to engage with the organization.
- If they share a story or news about their organization, read it and let them know what you liked about it.
- Did you happen to read an article in the newspaper about the organization, share the story via Twitter, tag them in your post and give a little intro. For example, “Just read an interesting article about @XYZ company’s newest service.” Or, “What a great story in today’s XXXX Paper about @ABC company! Sounds like some great things are on the horizon.” Try to think of positive ways in which to engage.
For many courses here at SUNY Empire, maintaining a blog throughout the term is incorporated into the course activity. Blogs can also be useful to share your area/s of expertise with a broader audience.
What’s one of the top skills employers look for? Communication skills. Blogging is a great way to showcase your communication skills and expertise on certain topics. In addition to the popular blogging sites such as WordPress and Blogger, LinkedIn also offers a blogging feature. This would certainly be an effective venue to write about industry, skill sets, challenges and general interest. You can share your blog posts in groups you are affiliated with as a means to engage with others.
Blogs (and websites) are also a way to promote your visual/digital portfolio. You may not want to share your entire portfolio, but enough to generate interest with those you share it with so they decide to request more samples.
- If you are looking to develop and enhance your personal brand, use the same images for your profile photos on social media.
- Try to post, engage and share on social media in a positive manner.
- Maintain a professional presence. There are a growing number of individuals that maintain separate, professional and personal Facebook and Twitter accounts.
- Google yourself, often! If there are photos or posts that could be considered questionable or shed a negative light on you, it’s recommended that you delete them. If someone else has you tagged in one of their photos on Facebook or Instagram, un-tag yourself.
- Use social media as a means to continually vent in a negative manner.
- Post photos of yourself in a way which may embarrass you or have it used against you at a later time.
- Engage on social media in a way that would be considered offensive or that belittles others.
- Forget to make your settings on the various sites private. This does not guarantee others may not see the information or your activity on social media if you choose to share information that could potentially affect your professional goals.