HFC_enhance_job_search11 Tips for Using Social Media to Land a Job

Traditional job application techniques aren’t enough to keep pace with new methods being used by social media-savvy applicants.

Social media platforms – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – offer job-seekers the ability to leverage the power of their connections to generate leads for employment, extend their professional network and build their own personal brand.

Since employers are also turning to social media to research potential employees, job-seekers should spend time building positive personal brands. This includes editing social media profiles to remove controversial posts and compromising photos, editing privacy settings to limit sharing personal information to only close friends and family, and dedicating time to building additional profiles on the aforementioned social media sites.

1. Using LinkedIn, build a complete profile, which includes a professional headshot, and generate recommendations from contacts who work in various fields. Their recommendations translate to “I’m a credible applicant.”

2. LinkedIn populates your profile with job opportunities that may be of interest, based on details listed in your profile.

3. Join LinkedIn groups related to your field and contribute to discussions. Link your Twitter account to your LinkedIn account to stream your professional expertise throughout the day. Keep tweets professional and/or create a professional Twitter handle for LinkedIn.

4. Create an online résumé. Online résumés are more succinct than traditional résumés and should be written for search engine optimization.

5. Create a Twitter résumé. Limit your credentials to 140 characters and tweet to your followers.

6. Follow hiring managers and companies on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to gain exposure to job openings. Ask about job opportunities, tweet using the @-mention feature and use hashtags (#) to generate exposure for yourself on Twitter chats and searches.

7. Produce a video résumé and host it on YouTube. Dress professionally. Include links to your other social profiles. Share your video résumé on your blog, as well as Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

8. In Google+, differentiate your circles of contacts: family, friends and professional connections. Host video chats called “Hang Outs” with your professional connections to discuss current trends and issues in your field.

9. Pinterest, a social media pin-board, allows you to “pin” images of your résumé, media clippings, different projects you’ve worked on/are currently working on to different “boards,” which can be shared with your professional connections. Pinterest’s value is in its visual nature. It allows you to display and organize your interests and portfolio elements.

10. Include your Twitter handle on your business cards and add your LinkedIn profile URL to your email signature.

11. Keep your social media profiles updated by maintaining them regularly. Also, educate yourself on social media trends. An excellent source is Mashable.com.

– Chelsea Pizzi