Social Media Tips for the New Job Hunter
In January 2012, Microsoft released data from a study they commissioned about consumer behaviors online. After polling more than 5,000 respondents, the study found that 14% of adults surveyed report negative consequences resulting from their online activities. Of those reporting negative consequences, 21% say they were fired from a job, 16% say they lost out on getting a job, and 14% reported getting passed over by the college they wanted.
A December 2009 study commissioned by Microsoft interviewed over 1,200 hiring and recruitment managers and 1,200 consumers in the U.S. and Western Europe to determine that 79% of those surveyed reviewed online information about job applicants. 70% of those surveyed reported rejecting candidates based on the information found online.
Help yourself get ahead of your online persona and turn social media into a tool to land that dream job with these tips.
Google Thyself: It may sound a bit narcissistic, but if a potential employer is going to do it, you should too. It can be surprising to find entries tied to your name, but as data is cataloged and stored these days just about everyone has a few entries. Whether it’s the time Jane got her name in the paper for winning the town spelling bee, or the time she was involved in a DUI, nothing dies on the Internet. If knowledge is power, make sure you know what anyone with a WiFi connection can find out about you in a few clicks. Better yet, sign up for Google Alerts so that you’re notified when something new about you hits the web.
Build Your Own Buzz: If there’s not a lot of noteworthy news about you on the web, or worse, there’s something you wish was hidden a bit further down in the search results, consider establishing a positive business like online profile. Sign up for LinkedIn, a professional networking site, and complete your profile with as much detail as you can muster. Potential employers utilizing advanced search to screen potential candidates want to know if you can make magic in Photoshop. It won’t take that long to create a free profile and it will allow your online resume to join the rest of the information swimming about the Web. This is one search result you can manage, so make it glow.
Present Yourself Professionally: Social Media can be so much more than just a forum to post your picks for the next American Idol. If there’s a field you’re looking to get a foothold in, join online communities. Post thoughtful commentary. And for goodness sake, use proper grammar. Just about any job hunter is going to want you to be capable of writing to a client, customer or co-worker at some point. If your posts are rife with incorrect word use and punctuation errors, it will be hard for them to see you as a solid representative of their company.
Network… Socially: Many companies maintain a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, even Twitter. Find the fan pages for the companies that you’d like to work for one day, “like” the page and contribute to discussions. Glean what you can about the people in key positions to hire into the job you covet. Before you check your news feed for the photos from last night’s party, check out the job finding resources available through Facebook. From BranchOut to Simply Hired, there are a bevy of job hunting tools that link with your social self.
Consider two FB Pages: If you already have a Facebook page, consider making another more “professional” page. The new professional page should be the one on your resume, LinkedIn and other profile pages. Keep your personal FB page private for those trusted family and friends. Making sure to evaluate and post your pictures and comments accordingly. Thus filling your pro page with work, academic and professional comments and pictures. That's what the pros do!
If you’re more scared than inspired by the information you find about yourself online, there are companies that specialize in scrubbing your “Internet-self.” Get in touch with Andrea at her computer repair website for more ways to help you get the most out of social media.
Photo by Law H8r
Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, an on-site computer and laptop repair service for consumers and businesses. Andrea is the writer of two weekly columns, Computer Nerds On Call a nationally syndicated column for Scripps-Howard News Service, and Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She regularly appears on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, The CW, and CNN on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, Good Morning Arizona and MORE Good Day Portland, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, and gadgets.