Using social media to your advantage

Over the past decade, the Internet has revolutionized the job search in many ways.  One of those ways is by making it easier for people and groups to find each other and communicate.  The rapid growth of social media tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter has been particularly beneficial when it comes to helping people stay in touch with colleagues, contacts, family, and friends, as well as providing an easy way to  seek out and expand their connections.

To say that social media sites have become an essential tool in the successful job search would be a gross understatement.  Not only are these sites critical in helping you build and maintain your network, but employers and recruiters have come to rely on access to candidates’ social network as part of the due diligence process.

Now, this last aspect of social media’s growing presence in recruiting process may be disconcerting to some, particularly those who have been lax about the content they have posted or allowed to be posted on their profiles.  Undoubtedly, many job seekers have been eliminated from consideration based on Facebook content.

One way to address this concern would be to use the many security and privacy controls offered by social media sites to protect users’ privacy to prevent employers from accessing their pages.  Alternatively, one could abandon social media altogether.  However, either approach would most likely prove to be detrimental to one’s job search.Instead, job seekers should take advantage of employers’ reliance on social media screening and provide access to content and information that enhances your candidacy rather than detracts from it.  With this approach, job seekers want to boost their online presence and make it even easier for employers to find you.  The easiest way to do this is   the same technology that allows job seekers to search for, find and analyze your social by including key words indicating experience and work history.

Why include KEY WORDS?

Employers and recruiters are not using any special technology to find you.  They are using the same type of search engines that you might use to find restaurants or car dealers.  These search engines rely on key words to find their targets.  Employers might use job titles, certifications, specific job skills, etc., when searching for candidates or screening existing candidates.  By including job-related key words in one’s profile or updates; that job seeker’s profile is more quickly “found” among millions of others out there because their profile automatically stands apart.

Following are some additional tips related to specific social media sites:

FACEBOOK

Facebook offers a new feature called “Timeline.” This feature allows users to provide a history of what they have done in the past and present, such as jobs and schooling. With Timeline installed, users develop a professional history by adding information through the option “Add Life Event”.

If well done and managed, this feature can help job candidates to enhance their  credibility, build theiron-line presence and sell their abilities to prospective employers.

EASY TO ADD:  Go to www.facebook.com/timeline. On this page you can review the features of Timeline and download it to your Facebook page.

Once downloaded, and from the Timeline profile page, you can select Add Life Events to share your professional background including employment/job history, schooling, keywords and accomplishments.  You can also review all your older posts, and remove or add anything you would like. You are also in control of who can see your timeline.

While there are many other situations that could be posted under Add Life Event, our focus in this message is on job search only; to help you to sell your work background, skills and accomplishments to your network and prospective employers.

LINKEDIN

LinkedIn is the number one Professional Networking tool on the internet; which allows its members to develop and expand their professional network, seek a position, get back in touch with contacts, join professional groups of interest, and apply for jobs.

As in Facebook, LinkedIn allows members to manage their privacy settings by giving them power over their LinkedIn Profile Page content and visibility to others.

After signing up for a LinkedIn page, we recommend going to the option “Profile” in the tool bar. From this option, members can upload an up-to-date professional-looking photo of themselves, a Summary Statement, a Bio, Job History, Accomplishments, Interests and other members’ Recommendations.

In addition, under the LinkedIn Headline of your “Profile”, include KEY WORDS in your headline.

Those LinkedIn members who use key words have a better chance of being been selected for review, either manually by a recruiter, or by the search engine.

TWITTER

Twitter is an information network meant to provide the most up-to-date reports from friends, industry experts, and celebrities as well as for micro-blogging.  It is important to exercise caution with the comments you post on Twitter, because it is much more difficult to remove them once they are out there, particularly if others re-post your comments.  While Twitter is very inviting when it comes to sharing opinions, the limited space of 140 characters or less does not give one much room for providing context, often leaving your post open to wide interpretation.  Even the most innocent post can come back to haunt you if it is misinterpreted by a prospective employer.

While there are pitfalls in using Twitter, there can also be many benefits.  One of the best ways  to use Twitter is to demonstrate that you closely follow issues and trends related to the occupation or industry in which you are seeking employment.  For example, if you are seeking a job in information technology, posting links to recent articles about the latest developments in network security shows that you are staying connected to your field even while in between jobs.

Advertisements

About CGC Coaches

The latest workplace news/trends/issues from global outplacement and business coaching consultancy Challenger, Gray and Christmas.
This entry was posted in Job Search Strategy, Special Issues and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s