Many job seekers, especially mature workers, struggle to understand the role social media can play in a successful job search. Back in the day, resumes were printed and sent by mail and jobs were found in the local paper. Today it’s Twitter, LinkedIn and more. Ignoring these “new fangled” methods can greatly hinder a job search. So, for those of us born before 1970 (and some of you born after) here’s a quick rundown of the most important social media channels for your job search.
What it is: The largest professional network online, used by professionals around the country and the world to share background, current status, insights and expertise.
Getting started: Post your professional profile. This profile becomes your “home page”, a way recruiters, hiring managers and your network can learn more about you. Your LinkedIn profile is a critical part of your job search.
Making Connections: Invite professional contacts ranging from former co-workers to those you meet through networking to join your LinkedIn network.
Sharing: Join groups in your area of interest or expertise. Participate in discussions, sharing your insights and professional opinions.
Finding job leads: Follow the company pages for companies of interest. Join groups related to your profession, field and job type. Connect with leaders in your field and build your network.
Added bonus: You can see who is in the professional network of those in your network, making it easy to connect with people two or three degrees of separation from you. When applying for a job, you can reach out to company insiders, or get a warm introduction from a friend of a friend.
What it is: Newsfeed that allows you to ”follow” people, companies and news sources as well as share your thoughts in 140 characters or less.
Getting Started: Follow several companies of interest or leaders in your field. Get a feel for how Twitter works by simply reading your newsfeed before you start “tweeting” or putting out information to others.
Making Connections: You can reach out to people directly through Twitter, if they are following you and you are following them. . This is known as Direct Messaging or DM. It’s an easy way to make contact with someone you might not be able to get an email address or other contact information for. However your messages are limited to 140 characters.
Sharing: Fill out the profile with your professional qualifications and interests. Make it keyword rich so you can be found. Then start “tweeting”, sharing valuable information and insights that help others and show your expertise.
Finding job leads: Follow recruiters. They often tweet about job openings. Many company executives and other leaders are now on Twitter. Follow as many as you can for clues about new opportunities.
Added bonus: Twitter is an easy way to track information and insights related to your job search. Jobfully tweets helpful, informative advice regularly. Follow us! www.twitter.com/jobfully
What it is: A social network originally designed for college students. Facebook has become a global connecting place for millions and is now also being used for professional contacts and by companies looking for customers and potential hires.
Getting Started: Create your own Facebook page. Decide if it’s going to be personal or professional and set privacy settings accordingly.
Making Connections: Locate companies of interest and “like” them. Let your social network know about your job search and ask for help with making new connections.
Sharing: The Facebook status space provides an obvious way to share expertise, brand and value.
Finding job leads: Some companies and recruiters are posting job leads on Facebook. It’s also becoming common to share leads with personal network. A partnership with Simply Hired allows you to see any Facebook friends who work at a company where you’re pursuing an opening.
Added bonus: Facebook is famous for reconnecting old friends, making it a fun and easy way to build your network by tracking down former colleagues and classmates.