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How Social Media Can Help You Get Your First Job

Apr 1, 2011 Jennifer Williamson, Distance Columnist | 0 Comments

If you’re looking for a job in today’s difficult market, you’ll have to exhaust every opportunity to get yourself in front of employers—including social media. Recruiters and hiring managers do use social media sites to find ideal candidates for positions—it’s a fast and easy way to find valuable candidates, and when done right, it can save companies thousands in recruiting fees. If you want to put your best foot forward in social media, here are a few tips.

Keep your off-hours socializing separate from your job search

Sometimes it’s hard to separate business from pleasure on social media accounts. But you always want to put your best foot forward—and present a focused, job-oriented persona to recruiters and hiring managers.

It’s easy to stick to business sites like LinkedIn for online networking—but many, many companies and people are on Facebook and Twitter, and you don’t want to miss out. To get around this, start new Facebook and Twitter accounts for work only—use a site like Seesmic Desktop to post to multiple accounts simultaneously.

Social Media

Job searchers have to do everything they can to get noticed. If you’re not using social media to the best of your ability, you could be missing out on a lot of opportunities.

Control what your work friends see

Your personal Facebook profile could be undermining your job search. Change your privacy settings to be sure people you know from work can’t see pictures that might not present you in the most positive light. By going into the “Friends” option on the main menu bar and then clicking “+create,” you can make a list of work contacts—and then choose which parts of your profile they can and can’t see.

Show off your expert knowledge

Sites like LinkedIn make it easy for you to position yourself as an expert on a particular topic. Find user forums in your field that are well-populated and well-known—LinkedIn has a wide range of forums for a variety of professionals. Answer difficult questions in your field and share your knowledge. It’s possible recruiters are watching—or might find your responses in searches.

Take full advantage on your social media sites

Do a search on Twitter for valuable contacts in the industry or company you’d like to work for. Follow them on twitter, and every so often send them a message or engage them on the site. Gradually, you can make connections that might lead to a new job. Be sure your Twitter and LinkedIn profiles are 100% complete, and get at least one colleague, client or connection to write a recommendation of you for LinkedIn. Use an avatar that looks professional.

Avoid overt self-promotion

The secret to successful self-promotion on social media sites is engaging with your audience, not promoting to it. Participate in discussions—and contribute valuable information and insight when you can. Make friends with people. As in successful offline networking, it’s about what you can bring to the connections you make—not what you can get from them. If you try to see it this way and make genuine connections, something good may come out of it.

Start a blog

If you want something strongly work-related and positive to come up when recruiters search for your name—or even for someone who does the kind of work you do—on the web, start a blog. Blogs do several things for job hunters. They give you a platform where you can demonstrate your work expertise; they let you connect with other bloggers and people in the industry; and they help your SEO rankings so you’re easily found. You can include your resume on a separate page on your job site—and use it to showcase your expertise. This can be very effective if you have decent writing skills and keep the topics work-related.

In today’s tough economy, job searchers have to do everything they can to get noticed. If you’re not using social media to the best of your ability, you could be missing out on a lot of opportunities. Open accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If you already have a Facebook personal account, open a second one for business use only. Control who sees your Facebook pictures if you’re already friends with professional connections on your personal Facebook page.  Make sure your profiles are complete—and engage with your audience as much as you can. If you do, you raise your chances of getting noticed online by the right people.

How To Use Social Media To Get A Job -


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