myFOX Job Shop - Social media has become much more than just a way to connect with old or meet new friends. The networks today offer a professional way to meet literally hundreds of millions of people for professional and personal relationships.
Not only is it effective in gaining professional contacts but it is an excellent opportunity to introduce yourself to potential employers and showcase your value to their organizations. There are countless social networks, blogs, websites and discussion groups for job seekers to utilize in their job search; however, three that stand out above the rest are LinkedIn , Facebook and Twitter . If you have never used an online networking site I would begin with these three.
Why is it important to use social media networking platforms as part of your job search?
It is not enough to complete your profiles for LinkedIn , Facebook and Twitter and then sit back and wait. You have to grow your network and maintain a presence within your networking sites. Many people get side tracked with the latter two which can be used both in professional and personal capacities; using them only for visiting with old friends. If you are on these sites and are only using them for personal chatter you are missing a huge opportunity and you could even jeopardize your hire-ability.
When a potential employer finds you and is interested in learning more about you, they will ultimately Google you or look for you on these networking sites to learn more about you. What you put in cyberspace…stays in cyberspace. Everyday people are hired and fired for what they share on the internet. So make sure you understand the ramifications of your tweets or status updates, and make your words work for you!
The profile areas on these top three sites have different amounts of space but all can be used to describe you, what you do and your goals. Even with Twitter's 160 characters profile, you can still promote your professional expertise and passions. If you're not sure what to say, start simple and read profiles of your friends and some of the big users to get a feel of what will work for you.
The same holds true for LinkedIn and Facebook . The profiles here allow for much more detail so use the space! Include a summary, your education, work experience, accomplishments, association or affiliation memberships and anything that you'd want your potential employer to know about you.
The Groups areas in LinkedIn and Facebook are also extremely helpful for job seekers to gain targeted contacts and company and industry knowledge. You can get noticed by participating in these groups to demonstrate your skills, knowledge, expertise, and value. Find several groups relevant to your career goals and answers questions, ask questions, and become involved in conversations. Reach out to those looking for additional support, information, or ideas and work to grow those relationships. You don't have to shout to the world that you are looking for a job, you can let them know your value and they'll come looking for you.
I have only touched the surface of the value of online networking but I strongly suggest if you are not on these sites or are only using them for personal interactions that you get books or use the tutorials to become familiar and confident and then really make them work for you. Work to grow your contacts on each so you can be found when someone is searching for your qualifications. This is how jobs are being found because it is where hiring professionals are looking for qualified candidates.
Shine On Job Seekers!
Kris Plantrich, Career Management Authority and Owner/President of ResumeWonders. As a professional and executive resume writer and career coach I have been instrumental in providing top-quality, laser-focused resumes for hundreds of clients.