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Understanding Social Media

In this digital age, social media has become a common way to interact with friends, family and even employers. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be important tools in your job search. In essence, social media can play three important roles as it relates to your job search - the first is to connect you with employers, the second is to display your job skills and abilities, and the third is to broaden your job search network.

Checking out employer social media pages will help keep you up to date on current hiring needs and recruiting events - it’s common for employers to post job openings on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Following employer social media pages also gives you a way to get a feel for the company’s culture, determine their core purpose and objectives, and stay current on relevant news and information. Many employer social media accounts can be found by searching for social media icons on their homepages.

Using social media to display your job skills and abilities is also important in that companies will often do a thorough social media inspection on prospective employees to determine if they are a good fit for their company. You should look at each of your social media profiles with the expectation that an employer will scrutinize every post, comment, and photo. For some tips on maintaining a professional online presence, visit Clean Up Your Digital Footprint.

It’s called "social" media for a reason. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn can be invaluable resources for broadening your job search network. Use these platforms to engage with friends and with new contacts at businesses of interest to you and to improve your chances of obtaining the job of your choice. To learn more about networking strategies, visit Identifying and Building Your Job Search Network and Networking Conversations.

LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are the social media platforms most used by employers to both communicate with the public and screen potential employees, and they are the platforms most conducive to networking. Read on to learn how to best use these social media platforms to obtain your desired employment.

Using LinkedIn to help your job search

LinkedIn is the best known social media platform focusing on business and professional networking. The built-in job search engine allows jobseekers to find openings. LinkedIn also allows jobseekers to see if their connections are affiliated with businesses of interest. When using LinkedIn to help you land a job, consider the following tips.

  • Your experience section should highlight your main job functions at your previous/current jobs in general terms; this section should not provide bulleted details about job functions, as might be done in a resume.
  • Use specific keywords that employers in your field will be searching for when you generate your list of skills. Read job postings to find terms associated with the skills most sought after in your industry.
  • Ask your connections to endorse you for your top skills, and have previous coworkers and employers write recommendations for you.
  • Join alumni groups and other groups in your field. Contribute to discussions as a way to network and exhibit your subject knowledge.
  • Decide who to connect with, with the emphasis being on quality connections.
  • Follow influential people in your targeted industry.

If you do not currently have a LinkedIn account, you can set one up by visiting their website and completing the "get started" form on the homepage. You will then be directed to complete steps to set up your professional profile. Follow these steps while taking note of the tips in this section.

Using Facebook and Twitter to help your job search

The other top social media platforms to tap for job search and networking purposes are Facebook and Twitter. Both platforms allow you to follow, and impress, companies, as well as broaden your job search network.

On Facebook, you can connect with friends and let them know you're looking for work. Even if you keep tight privacy settings, make sure your work and education information is public. You’ll also want to provide a brief description about your professional background in the "about" section of your profile. Consider following recruiters and companies in your targeted industry for current information that may impact your job search.

Twitter's platform allows you to receive frequent updates on employers, recruiters, and industry insiders. As on Facebook, you’ll want to keep your profile up to date and provide a brief description about your professional background in the "about" section of your profile. After choosing relevant accounts to follow, you can participate and make yourself stand out by tweeting to people, re-tweeting posts that are interesting, and commenting on content. Posting links to pertinent articles and other online content while providing your own professional opinion is another way to stand out as an enthusiastic jobseeker.