DO’S AND DON’TS OF A SOCIAL MEDIA JOB SEARCH

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May 19, 2011

DO’S AND DON’TS OF A SOCIAL MEDIA JOB SEARCH

Filed under: Job Search — admin @ 8:15 pm

DO’S AND DON’TS OF A SOCIAL MEDIA JOB SEARCH

Article by Cheryl Palmer, M.Ed., CECC, CPRW







No doubt you’ve heard of LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. And you’ve heard that some job seekers have landed new positions in the midst of a bad job market using social media. But before you jump into the social media stream, here are some general guidelines to keep you from making costly mistakes as you search for that next position.

Do

Have a complete profile for all of the social media sites that you participate in. You need to be thorough on LinkedIn in terms of filling out your work experience as well as education. Some LinkedIn members’ profiles are so bare bones that the profiles don’t give the recruiter a compelling reason to call the job seeker for an interview. You should also make it easy for recruiters to get in touch with you. Include your email address on your LinkedIn profile, for example, so that recruiters can contact you directly without having to go through InMail.

In addition, it is a good idea to have a blog or other URL that you can refer people to. If you don’t have a blog, you might create a web resume and use that URL on Twitter and LinkedIn where hiring managers and recruiters can learn more about your background.

Learn about the etiquette that is expected on each different social media site. LinkedIn is a professional site, so you should conduct yourself accordingly. Facebook is often a mixture of personal and professional, and because of the brevity of your posts (or tweets) on Twitter, you can use a lot of abbreviations. It’s recommended that you observe interactions on the different social media sites before you start participating so that you get a sense of what is and is not appropriate.

Give as well as get. Be willing to share your expertise so that social networking is a two-way street. For example, if someone posts a question that you know the answer to, respond to the question so that you can be generous with your knowledge. If you do not share on social media and you are only interested in receiving, you will come across as a user, and that will push others away from you.

Be open to connecting with a lot of different people to extend your reach on social networking sites. The more people who know about you and what you have to offer, the more you open yourself up to potential opportunities. And the more people you are connected to on the different sites, the broader your reach is. So if you want to connect with a certain hiring manager at a certain company, being connected to a lot of different people increases the possibility that someone in your network will be able to put you in touch with that hiring manager.

Find groups of likeminded people that you can join. Groups are a great way to find out what people are talking about and join the discussion. You can answer as well as ask questions, and in the process become better acquainted with group members. And remember, participating in groups can raise your visibility so that you become a known quantity.

To find groups on LinkedIn, search by keyword in the search window at the top right of the page under Groups. (You may have to click on the dropdown menu to get to Groups.) On Twitter you can find groups on sites like twibes.com and twittgroups.com. And you can find groups on Facebook by hovering over the word Groups on the menu on the left.

Don’t

Don’t expect to find a job immediately just because you are using social media. Social media is powerful, and you can land a new position more quickly if you know how to leverage it. But you have to be realistic in your expectations. You have to build relationships with people, and that takes time.

Don’t simply fill out your profile and expect to be found by a hiring manager. There are literally millions of people using social media. In order to distinguish yourself from other job seekers you need to become involved with each site that you are a member of so that you can get the most out of it. It is useless to complete a profile if it is never seen. Give people a reason to visit your profile by contributing useful information on social media. That will not only increase your visibility, but it will also give other members a very positive first impression of you.

Don’t wait for people to connect with you. Connect with them. Actively seek out people in your field that you can connect with. Most people will connect with you because they are on social media sites to network. Reach out to thought leaders in your field, former colleagues, friends, and even recruiters as well as hiring managers.



About the Author

Cheryl Palmer is a certified executive career coach and a certified professional resume writer and is President of Call to Career, a career coaching and resume writing firm. She has been featured on the Wall Street Journal, CNN, MarketWatch, The Ladders, ExecuNet, and Yahoo HotJobs.

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