Image source: Jason
Nowadays you don’t have to stick to pounding the pavement with your resume to find a new job – social media has opened up whole new avenues for job hunters, and used carefully, it’s a powerful weapon in any job seekers arsenal. However, you need to be cautious using social media to find employment, as you’re effectively showcasing your personality and skills for potential employers to see. The following tips will help you to make social media work for you, whether you’re looking for Alberta jobs, or jobs in any state.
LinkedIn is a great way to communicate with prospective employers, network and make a solid catalogue of contacts in a more professional setting than Facebook. This also allows you to keep your personal Facebook account and business identity separate and can help you create a more professional appearance when hunting for a job.
Twitter is one of the most popular social networking sites and whilst it might be tempting to use Twitter to tweet at hundreds of potential employers across various industries, you need to use Twitter with caution. Unlike traditional job applications where you can write hundreds of application letters and nobody will know, everything you do on Twitter is public and tweeting multiple companies can give off a negative impression to potential employers.
It’s a good idea to use different platforms or sites for different sides of your personality. If you’re lucky enough to work in a relaxed, creative industry, you may get away with showing off your personality to the full on Facebook or Twitter, but bear in mind that if you’re applying for more corporate roles, they may take your personal life into consideration, so it’s a good idea to tweak your privacy settings and limit what is publicly view-able on Facebook, whilst maintaining a professional LinkedIn profile as your main social media page when hunting for a job.
Be prepared to put in a lot of hard work if you’re looking for your dream job – there’s a lot of competition out there! With unemployment rates rising, you can use social media to your advantage to gain visibility and leverage. Work out who the key people are in your target companies, then network and introduce yourself; let them know you’re interested in a role and why you’d be a great employee. You can also use social media to keep an eye on potential vacancies, who’s who and what is happening in the industry, as a well-informed applicant looks far more enthusiastic than somebody who doesn’t have the first clue! You can even use websites such as Wrangle.ca where you earn cash by referring friends – sometimes, it’s who you know that helps you to land that job!
You can make Twitter work for you in your search for a new job by making it employer friendly. Choose a professional looking Avatar and include a link to your online resume and your job pitch in your Twitter bio. It’s also a good idea to follow as many relevant people and organizations as you can, and tweet about your job search – who knows, you may even get head hunted! Be wary of over-using Twitter to tweet at companies about potential vacancies as many corporate organizations consider this type of behavior unprofessional – it’s best to limit your tweets to a specific niche.
There’s no denying that social media has changed the way we work and apply for jobs forever. Whilst it’s now easier and cheaper to hunt down vacancies and apply, the internet has meant it’s also easier for everyone else too, which means more competition for each role. The key to using social media to hunt for a new job is to make yourself stand out in the crowd – so when you’re creating or editing your Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn profile, think about what potential employers in your chosen industry would want to see.
Don’t be afraid to use social media to promote yourself online, particularly if you’re in a creative industry – if you’re a writer, use it to promote your writing, and if you’re an artist, link to your online portfolio. LinkedIn is a great place to showcase projects you’re working on, and don’t forget to link your social media accounts and ensure that each one is giving a positive impression of you to potential employers.
Ben Grant is a freelance journalist and social media guru from Alberta who has spent 20 years working in the media industry. The rise of social media has changed the way he works, and he knows for a fact it can be a useful tool for job seekers.
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