How Can Social Media Help Your Job Search and Career?

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How Can Social Media Help Your Job Search and CareerFacebook. LinkedIn. Twitter.  Can they help you to land a job? Or advance your career? Do you “have to be” on social media?

Yes, a recruiter might find you on LinkedIn. And yes, a potential employer will check out your social media profiles to see who you are, especially LinkedIn. These are important reasons to make sure you create professional social media accounts.  It serves as a 21st century online resume.

Yet, you can get even more value.
 
What makes social media a proactive and potentially even more powerful tool for your job search is something else. It helps you connect. These are tools that help you identify contacts and maintain or develop relationships. And these online relationships can then help you in the real world.
 
These relationships can you out of the pile of anonymous resumes and into the pile of trusted insiders. You can even find jobs that are never posted.
 
Every social media platform has a different core purpose. Facebook helps you be in touch with friends and family.  LinkedIn helps you be in touch with professional connections. Twitter lets you connect with everyone in the world who might share an interest with you.
 
And while there are many other social media sites, like YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, they aren’t as relevant to your professional pursuits.
 
So how could I use these three platforms to help me on my job search? Or even to help me land new clients, new donors for my nonprofit, new suppliers or any other value-add partners ?
 
Here’s an example:
 
Let’s say I want to get a job at Google.
 
I could use my Facebook account to post a message to my wall and to send a message to my friends that says, “Hey everyone, I’m super excited about the idea of working for Google. Does anyone have any connections there?”
 
Now, if I’m lucky a friend of mine will have a connection and introduce me, and that conversation can help me have more conversations, get my foot in the door and eventually get a job. I can also use Facebook to look for Google’s recruiting page and perhaps for a Google job seekers group.
 
With LinkedIn, I can search specifically for Google under people. I can also search for it under companies.  Then, I get back a list of people who work for Google. Even better, I can see which people know someone that I know already.  And I can see which people are part of a common group with me.
 
Now, I can ask the people I know to introduce me to these connections. Or I can try reach out to these individuals directly to ask for a brief conversation.  And these conversations can help me build more relationships, educate me, prepare me, and eventually land me a job.
 
With Twitter, I can search for #Google and #recruiter or #jobs. And I can find the online conversation related to this topic. I can find postings from recruiters or connect with recruiters. By reading the tweets on these topics, I can learn from the experience of others. I can even join into the conversation and ask my own questions. If I am lucky, I might get even a connection and introduction.
 
All three of these platforms can help me get connected to other people who work for, or recruit for, or just applied to my target company or industry. These individuals can then supply me with information and potentially connections to land a job.

It starts by creating your professional profiles. If you don't have one yet, jump over to LinkedIn and create your account. Or take a few minutes to update your proflle and connect with a few more former work colleagues, family, and friends.

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Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 40,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.