Networking is one of the key aspects to finding a job. In recent years, social media sites have become one of the best avenues to use when starting a job search. Three of the most common social media sites to utilize when networking for a job are LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
LinkedIn is probably the social media site most used by employers when searching for job hunters and vice versa. To improve your chances of finding employment via LinkedIn, you need to make sure that your profile is complete with your work history, education, and credentials. Once you have a completed profile, you can start building your connections. Use the search function to look for colleagues, former colleagues, or classmates. The more connections you have, the greater your chance to find employment. To really increase your odds of finding employment via LinkedIn, you need to interact or network with others on the site. LinkedIn Groups allows you to establish new business relationships with others by joining groups that share your interests, such as alumni, industry, hobbies, desired employer, etc. Members in these groups often share advice and leads on job searching. You can also be active on the site by using LinkedIn Answers. This feature allows users to ask business-oriented questions for the LinkedIn community to answer.
Twitter has become an excellent online networking tool when searching for a job because it allows you to connect directly with hiring managers and companies of interest. When completing your Twitter profile, be sure to keep it professional. Use a nice headshot for your profile picture. Use the bio section to promote your work skills. In the website section, you should link to your professional blog or LinkedIn profile in order to give hiring managers more information about your credentials and work history. As mentioned previously, Twitter offers a convenient way to interact directly with hiring managers. Many recruiters post job opportunities via Twitter, so just follow the tweets of companies for which you would like to work and reply to tweets that catch your interest. Briefly express your interest in the job position and how you may be an asset to the company. Twitter has a character limit of 140, so you'll have to be concise in your replies and feedback. To stay abreast of topics or job opportunities related to your industry, consider using Tweetdeck. This tool allows you to search for a specific term, such as graphic design jobs, and you get notifications each time someone tweets on that topic.
Facebook is more of a social environment for family and friends, but it still may help you find leads on potential job opportunities. Use your status update to let your Facebook friends know that you are looking for work. Hopefully, you will get a few people to post about possible job opportunities available. You can also use the search feature on Facebook to find job leads. Type your industry into the search box and see what comes up. You will probably find many articles, career links, and even job postings related to your field.
When using social media sites to network and find employment opportunities, it's important to remember that everything you post becomes public. Don't post pictures or comments that will make you look bad in the eyes of a recruiter. Keep it professional!