It is important to use all the helpful and available tools when actively looking for a job. In general, job search tools are useful resources. However, networking through social media is actually considered one of the most effective ways to find work.
Despite the fact that various businesses have utilized social media to great success, there are plenty of applicants who have a hard time imagining social media as anything but a socializing tool.
Most job seekers have social media accounts for personal use, failing to develop an account for professional use. Overall, creating a professional social media account allows you to connect with prospective employers and peers in the industry.
Using social media to connect with other professionals in your field is one of the best ways to find employment. To learn more about where and how to set up a professional account on social media, read below.
Understand the Different Sites
The most recognized professional social media platform is LinkedIn, because it was designed specifically for businesses and job seekers to network, sort through resumes and explore job postings. Unlike other social media sites, the information you provide is exclusively about your professional work history.
Starting with LinkedIn to develop a professional social media presence is a good start, since it is the most commonly used platform for professionals to socialize and find jobs online. Even if you do not use LinkedIn to develop and maintain a professional network, it is nice to have a profile on it, which will essentially act as your online resume.
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LinkedIn is not the only social media platform you can use to develop a professional network. Despite being built as a personal social network, Facebook has evolved and is one of the largest networking sites, even for professional purposes.
Because Facebook is not as formal as LinkedIn, many users make the mistake of acting unprofessionally. However, Facebook is a great way to find job listings and develop a presence in professional groups or networks.
When it comes to professional aspirations, Twitter is not as effective as other social media sites. Instead, the primary professional use of Twitter is to look for job openings and research different businesses. For example, if you are preparing to interview with a company, take at least a few minutes to look at the latest tweets shared by the company. It is a good way to learn about recent accomplishments or get a feel for what values are important to the company.
Building a Professional Presence Online
Professional social media networks are good sources of information. However, having information only helps if you are getting called for job interviews.
If you want to utilize your professional social media network to the fullest, you need an online presence. A common mistake that many job seekers make is creating a professional social media profile, but only using the profile when they are looking for a job.
If you only use your profile for job searching, your information quickly becomes outdated as time goes on. Your social networks become weaker as well, since anyone you previously interacted with will likely forget about you.
It usually takes no longer than 10 to 15 minutes a week to update your social media networks and stay relevant within your professional circles online. As such, you can take the time to occasionally comment on discussions groups. Moreover, if you complete any training or certification, you should update your LinkedIn accordingly. Lastly, if you see a business that you are interested in posting a survey on Facebook, take the time to provide them feedback.
One of the strengths of using a professional social network to find work is that you do not always have to apply for jobs. Instead, if you build a strong online presence, you may attract the attention of job recruiters.
When a company needs to fill a position, it is much easier to recruit someone directly rather than posting a job listing and waiting for candidates. With a general job listing, hiring manager have to sort through hundreds of resumes, schedule interviews, run background checks and contact references.
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Instead of going through this time-consuming process, businesses use job recruiters to find ideal candidates on a more direct basis. The stronger your online presence is, the greater your chances of being recruited are. Among the several details that job recruiters check for on your social media profile, consider these:
- How well you communicate. This includes your ability to convey ideas, as well as your general spelling, punctuation and grammar.
- Your general skills, work history and education.
- Your knowledge of the industry.
- Your level of professionalism. Certain potential red flags for job recruiters include your use of profanity, whether you post about drinking or smoking, and how you spend your time outside of work.
Other Social Networks
The internet is ever-changing. However, as of now, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are the primary social media networks that can be used for professional reasons.
With that said, there are a few other websites that you can use to build your professional network. If you are confident in your skills to expand your professional presence online, you may consider creating a YouTube account to highlight your work. YouTube is a great way to highlight your communication skills and showcase your work through video.
While YouTube is largely used for entertainment purposes, there are consultants, trainers and teachers who post professional videos discussing serious subjects or sharing new ideas that pertain to a particular industry. If you want to show potential employers that you are an expert in your field, make a few YouTube videos discussing relevant topics.
Instagram is another mostly social platform that can be used to build your professional network. Unlike most other social media websites, little information is exchanged verbally on Instagram. However, you can still develop an Instagram profile to highlight some of your work and further your image as an industry professional. For example, sharing a picture of you giving out a presentation or attending an industry-specific conference can go a long way.
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