Friday, April 22, 2011

A Job hunter's guide to using social media effectively

If you are looking for an internship or full-time position, you have likely heard that social media sites can help a lot. Many students who I talk to set up accounts on LinkedIn and Twitter, but don't know how it can help. New Grad Life is a great blog to subscribe to! It has helpful and effective job search advice. They just put out a job hunter's guide to using social media effectively. Enjoy!

A Job hunter's guide to using social media effectively

Whether you’ve been laid off, fired or you’re looking to upgrade your current job, social media networks and tools make it a whole lot easier to get a job online. Not only do you have the potential for using your own network to find something, you can use your extended network to help in your search and use social media tools to find the right places to look. Now instead of mailing out resumes blindly you can take a pro-active approach. Use attraction based marketing by building a personal brand on-line that pulls the jobs to you.

Your Social Media Presence: Social media also makes it a whole lot easier for HR to research who you are and get a little background. Maybe more than professional background, so it’s very important that you get out there and see what your social media profiles and presence looks like through a recruiters eyes. As a job seeker this is definitely key! Do some searches on yourself. Try Google first because it’s the most common. Dig more than a few pages down and see what comes up. Then give Yahoo and MSN a try too. You very well may find different information.

Make a list of the positive and negative references out there that impact you as a job applicant and make a plan to deal with them. Ask your college room-mate to take down the picture of you dancing on the bar in a toga with a beer bong. Some things may not be correctable. Have your explanation ready so you’re not caught off-guard. Odds are you won’t need it but be prepared.

Balance out negative things said about you on sites like MySpace and FaceBook by asking your friends to post referrals or positive comments. “Just checked out Anna’s portfolio and she positively ROCKS!!!” can’t hurt you, especially if it’s true. If you have enough positive comments and information about you, the one bad reference will dissapear under the avalanche of positive information.

Your Profiles: Check your credit score and clean up those records too. It’s quite common for an employer to run a credit score.
If you’re new to social media this is a good time to get involved as an online job seeker. There are a host of options out there to help you put your best foot forward and land a job. Creating Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin profiles allows you to reach a variety of people. Create the profiles carefully and choose the people you connect to with an eye for professionalism. I can’t get into friending strategy here, but remember you want to focus on quality not quantity and make sure to build your relationships so people are in a position to recommend you for a job.

LinkedIn: One of the best possible tools for networking with fellow business people. Set up your profile before you do anything else. Get a picture and your resume up to date. If you have a visual CV, link to it. Use the tools available on Linkedin to show off your Power point slides through Slideshare. Import your blog rss feed or your twitter stream.

Now go through your contact databases and start connecting with people. Once connected, take the time to look for the real gems you’ve worked with and give them a recommendation on the site. Do not expect they will automatically recommend you back–but if it’s appropriate–ask for a recommendation. If a former employer or co-worker turns up, connect first, ask for a recommendation second. Not everybody responds to requests like this quickly. It can take a week or more to hear back from some, so be patient. If you’re in a hurry and you have their contact info email them directly and tell them you’re on the market, what kind of job you’re looking for and ask them to post a recommendation. Don’t be shy.

Read the complete blog entry here!and good luck on your job search! Remember that we are here to help too. We will be open during finals week and ALL summer!

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