The Importance of Using Social Media in Your Job Search

Though many of us typically use social media sites for connecting with family and friends, these same sites can be used to assist you in finding a new job. When searching for a job, the more resources you take advantage of, the better; you can never have too many options.

With the advent of social media, a huge mechanism for searching and finding jobs is available to you, the Seeker. Sometimes you can even find job listings on social media that you won’t find anywhere else. Most experts agree that the top sites are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Choose the one(s) you like and learn how to utilize them to find the job you seek.

Brad Schepp, co-author of How To Find A Job on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ offers 7 ways to use social media to land a job. Following his advice may provide just the leverage you need.

1. Create Relevant Profiles

Build compelling, professional profiles for yourself that include your job history, going back no more than 15 to 20 years. LinkedIn is an obvious place for such a profile, but Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, among others, are also sites where you can include this kind of information, Schepp says. These profiles should demonstrate not only what you've accomplished, but where your strengths are and what you can offer future employers.

2. Network

Connect with others in your industry. LinkedIn's Groups are an excellent place to do this, Schepp says. Search the directory to find Groups in your industry, join those that appear especially active and vibrant, and then introduce yourself to the other members. Build your social capital by becoming known as a source for provocative content.

3. Be Engaged

Schepp recommends that you follow companies in your field on LinkedIn and Twitter so you're automatically notified about new hires, product developments, and other news. “Like” companies you’re interested in and join the conversation about industry trends on Facebook. This is a great way to demonstrate your expertise and value to a potential employer, he says.

4. Be Known As A Resource

Help out others by answering questions, making introductions, and linking to provocative content, Schepp says. It's very apparent if you have a one-sided "what's in it for me?" mentality. People know to expect that sort of thing from you--but if you regularly answer questions on LinkedIn and provide links to great content on Facebook and Twitter, you are again building that social capital. As a guide, try to give four times for every time you take.

5. Don't Ask For A Job

Keep your name in front of people in a position to help your career. And no, even though you're hidden behind a screen, you still shouldn't ask people outright for a job. Make connections with the right people and let them see you are an intelligent, qualified candidate by updating your statuses several times a week, providing content to the groups you join, and tweeting about that interesting article you just read, Schepp suggests.

6. Search For Jobs

Turn over those virtual rocks to find job postings, Schepp says. Most people know about sites like Simply Hired, CareerBuilder, Monster or Indeed. They provide access to millions of job postings and are used by a proportionate number of job seekers. Improve the odds in your favor by looking for jobs on company Twitter feeds, on their Facebook pages, and in LinkedIn Groups.

7. Make A Plan

It's also important to have a game plan in mind when you set out to use these sites as part of a job search. In other words, plan on working on your profile one day, joining groups another, or following companies a third. The point is not to try and do too many disparate tasks all day, every day. You'll waste too much time and not do anything as well as you could have if you were more organized and disciplined, Schepp says.

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