Using Social Media to Get the Job

We’ve all seen the social media fails resulting in fired employees. Obviously, being rude to the boss or posting pictures that would make grandma blush is a bad idea. But if you use it correctly, social media can be your stepping stone to a new (or better) job.

Reaching Out
LinkedIn is the best place to start for a new graduate; it’s the most obvious social networking site for job seekers and professionals. You can continuously update your résumé, stay in touch with past and present coworkers and see their connections, and get involved in professional groups to share tips and tricks for your industry. Even if you generally avoid social media, make sure you at least have a LinkedIn account.

Twitter is where you make contact with people that you don’t work with but would like to. Get started by searching for a job title or company you’re interested in: plenty of Twitter profiles will pop up. Follow those who interest you and re-tweet or respond to their tweets to establish a professional relationship.

While LinkedIn and Twitter are the best sites for professional networking, don’t ignore the others. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, etc., can make or break your résumé, depending on what kind of jobs you’re interested in and who’s looking to hire. If you’re in a creative field, it’s a good idea to highlight projects you’re working on, examples of work you admire and follow people in the field whose work you like on Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube.

Who, What, Share?
Don’t just make contact with industry insiders. People you work, volunteer and go to school with all have their own networks, and you never know who’ll know someone who can help you. Once someone sees a professional side of you, they may put you in contact with someone they know who just happens to work at your dream company.

Establish yourself by sharing news, observations and pictures about stuff in your field that interests you. Include your expertise in your bio and make sure your time-line is full of professionally relevant things like awards, articles, volunteer work, etc. When you connect with someone, the first thing they’ll most likely do is check out your profile to see who you are and what you’re about. Make sure to put your best foot forward, even if your account is private.

Don’t forget to update daily or weekly at the very least. Social media isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it deal. Abandoned profiles look unprofessional and you can’t predict when someone who could help you out will take a look at your profile.

While you can use social media to broadcast your résumé, don’t forget the connection feature of these platforms. Building up and cultivating a network is the first step to making connections that can get you on your way to a dream job.

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