The Best Ways to Use Social Media in Your Job Search

Today’s job seeker would be wise to take a good hard look at using social media sites as part of their search process. Sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google + have become major players in all aspects of an effective job search. That’s why over half of all job seekers use social media daily, and one third of companies actually screen potential candidates using social media sites.

Happy and attractive young woman using a tablet computer on couchColleges and universities are among the most connected organizations, always at the forefront of the adoption of new technologies and are naturally most likely to use social media. If you are seriously considering working for a Canadian university, you are strongly advised to start thinking about your social media persona.

Companies want to know more about you than just what you’ve written in your resume and cover letter so will go to the sites you’re active on to get a broader picture of who you are. They’ll do research on your skills, look to see if you present yourself professionally online, how you’ll fit in to their business culture, and whether there are any reasons not to hire you.So developing a solid social media strategy as part of your search is becoming more and more important.

Here is how a social media presence can help you if you use it properly.

  • Dramatically expand your professional network
  • Build your knowledge base
  • Build your credibility – especially if you blog about your field
  • Allow you to explore companies you are interested in, in real time
  • Connect with former and current employees
  • Find out about job openings as soon as they happen
  • Get in touch directly with the hiring manager

Your presence on social media sites can also hurt you. So make sure you do the following:

  1. Guard your privacy: If you are looking for a job or want to build your career don’t even think about posting those party pictures you took last week. Know what to share, when to share it and with whom. Ask yourself the question “Would I be comfortable if this opinion, action, behavior or associate was broadcast on national TV?” If the answer is no, don’t go there.
  2. Pay attention to who your “friends” are: Prospective employers will also look at who you are interacting with on your social media sites. Don’t be brought down by old friends who haven’t matured since they were 16.
  3. If you join it, maintain it: It is not a good idea to join a number of social media sites but not maintain your profiles. It sends the message that you don’t finish what you start. So if you don’t have time to maintain a social media presence, don’t start one.
  4. Beware of the time stealers: It’s easy to get sucked in to spending hours online. This can take away from your job search. Your social media presence is important but so is getting out there and networking. So don’t hide behind your computer.

A word about working the social media sites.

If you do go the social media route, it’s not enough to make sure you don’t have incriminating information about yourself on your site. You need to focus on building strong networks that demonstrate your skills, and experience, share in discussions, get great references up there, demonstrate your communication skills, and help others throughout your network. Employers want well balanced, strong communicators who know how to build, and maintain networks.

If you don’t have a social media presence yet, start with and perfect your profile on LinkedIn for your job search. It is currently the most used social media site by your potential employers.

 

Visit EduJobsCanada.com to find a job in higher education or post a job!

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Wednesday January 1st, 2014

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