For the job search, social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and more) has become almost as common and expected as the resume. Over 90% of hiring managers and recruiters utilize social media in the hiring process—so you should, too. If you use it effectively, social media can make you stand out, communicate your value, and even help you combat negative circumstances that may be holding you back. Related: Why You Need Social Media In Your Job Search
Help Employers Find YouRecruiters and hiring managers don’t just post jobs and wait for resumes; according to a Harris poll, 52% of employers actively go online to look for candidates to fill positions, and that number is growing. If an employer gets your resume first, chances are that they will then look for you online to find out more. If you aren’t already, get on at least the big three (LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter), make sure you are presenting a professional image, and participate. Then, consider establishing a presence on Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, or other sites as appropriate.
Make Employers More Interested In YouIt’s easy to highlight your knowledge and talent on social media in ways you can’t with a simple resume. You could make an ‘elevator pitch’ video about yourself and post it on YouTube or Vine. You could show pictures of your projects on Pinterest or Facebook. You can participate in discussions and offer thoughtful insights on Twitter and LinkedIn. Engage, even if you’re only pointing to an interesting article. All of these things help to paint a more complete picture of who you are and what you can do.
Correct Negative IssuesIf there’s anything negative about you online, it will show up in a Google search of your name. This could be anything. I’ve spoken with candidates who had arrest records and candidates who tried to find themselves but saw someone else show up (not a great someone). The way to fight these problems is to expand your social media presence. The most recent stuff is what shows up first; so add some current activity to push down things you’d rather employers not focus on. Google your own name to see what shows up and take steps to correct any problems you find. You are in charge of what others see about you.
What Social Media Platforms Should You Join?
- LinkedIn is the #1 place to be for career networking and job searching. There is no excuse for not participating here. Join industry-related groups and participate.
- Facebook is more socially-oriented than business-oriented, but the sheer numbers of people participating means that you can’t ignore it. Plus, these social connections may connect you to someone in your field that you may not otherwise have access to. Let everyone know you’re searching!
- Google+ tends to be populated with men, and some say that it gives you a greater ‘found’ factor when you’re being searched because it’s owned by Google. Whether that’s true or not, having another place to be is a good thing. It does offer Hangouts, which can be good for panel discussions.
- Twitter is useful for following thought leaders in your arena, and for catching corporate tweets about job openings, expansions, new projects, and more.