Thursday, September 22, 2011

Job Hunting With Social Media 101

Job hunter's guide to using social media effectively


Whether you’ve been laid off, fired or you’re looking to upgrade your current job, social media networks and tools make it a whole lot easier to get a job online. Not only do you have the potential for using your own network to find something, you can use your extended network to help in your search and use social media tools to find the right places to look. Now instead of mailing out resumes blindly you can take a pro-active approach. Use attraction based marketing by building a personal brand on-line that pulls the jobs to you.

Your Social Media Presence

Social media also makes it a whole lot easier for HR to research who you are and get a little background. Maybe more than professional background, so it’s very important that you get out there and see what your social media profiles and presence looks like through a recruiters eyes. As a job seeker this is definitely key! Do some searches on yourself. Try Google first because it’s the most common. Dig more than a few pages down and see what comes up. Then give Yahoo and MSN a try too. You very well may find different information.

Make a list of the positive and negative references out there that impact you as a job applicant and make a plan to deal with them. Ask your college room-mate to take down the picture of you dancing on the bar in a toga with a beer bong. Some things may not be correctable. Have your explanation ready so you’re not caught off-guard. Odds are you won’t need it but be prepared.

Balance out negative things said about you on sites like MySpace and FaceBook by asking your friends to post referrals or positive comments. “Just checked out Anna’s portfolio and she positively ROCKS!!!” can’t hurt you, especially if it’s true. If you have enough positive comments and information about you, the one bad reference will dissapear under the avalanche of positive information.

Check your credit score and clean up those records too. It’s quite common for an employer to run a credit score.

Your profiles

If you’re new to social media this is a good time to get involved as an online job seeker. There are a host of options out there to help you put your best foot forward and land a job. Creating Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin profiles allows you to reach a variety of people. Create the profiles carefully and choose the people you connect to with an eye for professionalism. I can’t get into friending strategy here, but remember you want to focus on quality not quantity and make sure to build your relationships so people are in a position to recommend you for a job.

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