LinkedIn is a social media site where thousands of professionals and companies come together to network and make strategic connections. Many companies utilize LinkedIn’s diverse database to find job candidates – even passive candidates who are not actively seeking employment opportunities are contacted by interested employers seeking specific skills and qualifications.
Start by creating your profile making sure to use industry related keywords and terms relevant to your industry throughout. This makes it easier for those in your particular field to locate you. Search out old employers and colleagues to connect with. This is the basis of networking on LinkedIn. You never know who someone else knows. Finally, take time to join a few industry-related groups on LinkedIn and contribute to the conversations that get started by weighing in on discussion or offering information and/or advice when requested.
Many people think of Twitter strictly as a promotional tool for spreading random information quickly; but that’s also what also makes it a smart job search tool when used correctly. Like most social media websites, the objective is connecting with others and building relationship. This becomes especially beneficial when you’re searching for a job.
First, make sure your profile is powerfully written and represents your objectives. Include industry keywords if possible. Remember – Twitter only allows you around 140 characters to build your profile, so make sure every word counts. Tweet strategically, meaning with the purpose of attracting the attention of people who may be hiring in your field. Use hash tags to make it easier to narrow in on and connect with others in your industry. Finally, use Twitter’s search engine to see what’s out there by experimenting with industry-related keywords and hash tags to find viable leads.
Google+ has emerged as the latest mainstream social networking platform and is impressively reaching similar popularity levels as Twitter and Facebook. Networking with Google+ starts with creating a strong profile. Next, start connecting with others and growing your network. What I like about Google+ is that you can create “circles” of contacts that are separate from one another – sort of like the “lists” on Twitter. Don’t forget to let your connections know that you’re looking for work.
Facebook is another social networking platform that can be used as a job searching tool. Start by sending out a status update letting others know you’re looking for work. Try searching through the Facebook marketplace for relevant job listings. As with LinkedIn, you can also join groups on Facebook and build relationships with others by interacting. Who knows – you’re extensive knowledge on a particular subject just might stand out enough to someone that they might offer you a job.
It’s important to remember to be responsible when using social networking sites as part of your job search. You have to be careful not to post controversial or inappropriate content. Don’t engage others in heated debates, and be careful about the links, photos and other content that you share. Your online profiles represent that you are in real life to prospective employers, so always put your best foot forward.