Guest Post: Using social media to find your next job

Today’s guest post is from about harnessing the power of social media for your job search, by Adrienne.

Social Media likes

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot

Social platforms have become a primary source for keeping in touch, reading the news and being entertained. Why, then, shouldn’t social media be a source for job leads and referrals? For many job seekers, it already is.

In my last set of posts for Queen of the Random Job, I wrote about how entrepreneurs can make social networks work for them. In this post, I’m going to explain how you can use some of these outlets to find your next job or paid gig.

You present yourself differently when you’re looking for a job, such as replacing your funny voicemail message with a serious one and cleaning up your social profiles to look more professional. However, it takes more than deleting raucous party photos to make social media the path to your next position. Here are a few ways to leverage the most popular sites in your job search.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the only widely-used social platform dedicated to professional networking, which also makes it the best platform for job seekers looking for a good position. If you’re not on it, register now. If you are, now’s the time to be more proactive in your job quest.

In addition to listing past jobs and employers, connect with groups and companies that interest you. If you’d like to work at an alcohol rehab center in Florida, for example, join groups related to healthcare or addiction counseling and regularly participate in the discussions. Bonus points in they are in Florida, or at least on the southern coast.

Professional groups may exist for the location you are looking for, or even for your college or Greek affiliation; it doesn’t hurt you to join any groups where you might meet valuable connections. If you join too many, you can always leave them later. Follow dream companies as well, and connect to anyone who works there who you meet through your discussion groups.

Facebook

Don’t let the endless political rants and privacy warnings fool you – Facebook can be a great place to find a new job. However, this means you’ll have to transform it from an online diary and photo album into a virtual portfolio of your career. Yes, this means digging through confusing privacy settings and perhaps deleting a few embarrassing posts. But it also means you’ll have to change the types of things you share or talk about on the network.

Use status updates to talk about news in your industry, share professional accomplishments and let friends know you’re looking for work. If you post job openings that would interest some of your friends, they might return the favor next time they spot a position that is right up your alley. Plus, while Facebook doesn’t list job openings as a part of the network, liking your dream businesses could give you faster access to new jobs on the market.

Twitter

You’ll never be able to tout your professional strengths in 140 characters or less. However, Twitter’s just as useful for sharing content as it is for making pithy observations. That why it pays to start following tweets from the right people and organizations.

Follow the bigwigs in your industry, and retweet their most valuable posts. Also, make sure to use hashtags that attract the most relevant traffic to your tweets. A marketing expert looking for a manager position might post a link to his portfolio with tags like #marketingpro or #marketerforhire. Finally, start following reputable job sites, which can post as many as 20 new jobs a day.

YouTube

Some jobs require a creative flair or technical knowledge with different types of media. For aspiring graphic designers, filmmakers and public speakers, YouTube is a more effective way to showcase their talents than a plain text resume. In recent years, though, even non-creative types have start using the site.

If you feel comfortable in front of a camera, consider making a video resume to complement your traditional CV. Technical writers can demonstrate their know-how with a tutorial of a new product. Educators in every subject and grade level can take advantage of the popularity of TED talks and produce video lectures that represent their knowledge and talent.

You already use social media for other tasks in your life. Why not make it part of your job search as well?

Adrienne is a freelance writer and social media marketer who loves sharing tips and tricks about the industry. If you’re looking for more of her work, look no further than @adrienneerin on Twitter or her blog Pongra.

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