For a long time, people focused solely on job search websites when it came to looking for a job online. However, social media is an effective way to search for a job these days. If you’re trying to figure out how to use social media to find a job, make sure you know these great tips for using social media to enhance your career.
Make Your Profile Professional
Even if you haven’t been using social media to job hunt, potential employers often look up candidates on social media these days. It gives them a glimpse of who they are hiring, beyond the resume and the interview. Make sure you don’t have a Facebook page full of party pictures and profane shares from different pages. You want a squeaky clean profile from top to bottom. Showing your professionalism through your Facebook page can land you the job over another candidate who has drinking photos and inappropriate content.
Use Your Real Name
One mistake people make is choosing a silly nickname for their social media profiles. When Facebook started letting people use nicknames, many people took the bait and changed the name on their profile. If you’re using it for your career, it’s never a good idea. First of all, employers and business partners will have trouble finding you. Second, it’s just not professional. It’s difficult for a business to take you seriously when you have a nickname as your name on your page. Save the nicknames for private family-only pages.
Be Consistent With Your Image
Don’t use Facebook to be professional, Twitter to be a comedian, and another social media platform to let out one of your other personalities. It’s confusing to the companies that you are trying to get into good graces with. You want people to be able to browse all of your social media pages and know you are the same person. It’s okay to have a bit of humor on your pages. Having a personality is just as important as being professional. Just make sure you don’t take it overboard, and you keep your personality consistent for each page you manage.
Make a LinkedIn Profile
When you think of social media, you might not think about LinkedIn. A lot of people either forget about it, or they don’t consider it social media. LinkedIn is social media at its finest when it comes to professional pages. It allows you to build a resume and a portfolio all in one place for everyone to see. If you upgrade your LinkedIn account, you can add a lot of different types of extras such as SlideShare and many other helpful apps. CEO Jason Hanold has an excellent LinkedIn profile with SlideShare that you can look at as a point of reference.
Go Beyond Social Media
One common mistake people make is beginning and ending with social media. You shouldn’t disappear without a trace beyond your social media platforms. Social media should be your jumping off point. Make sure you have a personal website for people to look at. Start a blog and blog as often as you can. Write content about niches that you specialize in. If you’re trying to get a job as an IT consultant, write blogs that give tips and tricks related to technology. Rate cell phones, talk about computers, whatever you can do to drive traffic to your site and make your blog popular. Your personal website also gives you a great place to bring all of your social media accounts together in one central hub.
Don’t Use it For Follow-Ups
One thing you should never do with your social media account is use it for job follow-ups. Don’t message a potential employer through Facebook or Twitter to check on the status of your resume. Chances are, a social media manager is taking care of the page and they have nothing to do with the hiring. There are many other reasons why you shouldn’t use social media for follow-ups, and you can read them all here.
Make Personal Connections
When you connect with people through social media, don’t use stock messages for invitations. People get tons of emails from LinkedIn with potential connects. Most of them say, ”I’d like to add you on LinkedIn”. The stock messages don’t tell anyone anything about you. People who get a lot of them might just skip them all together. Make sure you add a personal message about who you are and why you want to connect. Also, don’t only shoot for people that could help you land a job now or in the future. Make connections with people who work in the same field as you and other professionals in your area. If you have tunnel vision with your connections, you will end up with a lot of missed opportunities.
Groups on Facebook and LinkedIn are both great ways to get to know like-minded people. Just make sure you’re careful about the groups you join, especially if they’re not set to secret. Anyone can see which open or closed groups you are in, and you don’t want a group you joined to give anyone the wrong idea. Join groups that will help you connect with other professionals and market your brand.
Social media is a fantastic way to branch out in the professional world, land a job, and improve your current career. Make sure you use social media smartly so you can grow as a professional.