College Graduate Tips: Using Social Media to Find a Job
The ritual of circling help wanted ads in the classifieds section of your local paper is quickly becoming extinct, and the paper resume has been placed on the “endangered species” list. Many recent graduates are finding that, if they are not using social media to find a job, opportunities are sliding by.
What comes to mind when you think of social media? Facebook? Sure, that’s relevant—but not for finding a job. Facebook is important because it can prevent you from being hired. Is there anything inappropriate on your Facebook page? Go take it down. Your future boss does not need to see that. Is your page squeaky clean now? Good, we can proceed.
One of the most important social media sites for job hunters is LinkedIn, which has over 44 million members in 200-plus countries. Most of LinkedIn’s features are available for free, and creating a profile is simple. It’s good to get a recommendation or two from friends or past employers, as this will give you a “thumbs up” graphic when people search for you. Uploading your address book brings your personal network onto the site and puts it to good use. Once you’re set up, go to the search box and search for companies or types of jobs you’re interested in. Likely, you will be pleasantly surprised by how much is out there and how easily accessible it is.
Twitter is also a great job-search tool. The simplest way to use twitter is to develop an account with hundreds or thousands of followers, and be generous in following people that interest you. That way, a simple tweet like “Anyone know about openings at the ice cream factory?” will reach tons of people, and may put you on the road to a career as a professional ice cream taster, assuming that’s your goal–I know it’s always been one of mine. Following twitter accounts like @BCforward and @Tweetmyjobs can be an excellent source of leads and tips for job-seekers. Last, make sure to choose a professional looking avatar and embed your job pitch in your twitter bio.
Blogging is a social media variant that broadcasts your intelligence, writing skills and general personality better than almost anything else out there. It is especially good for people in creative fields, blogging is a fun and effective way to widen your social network and increase your chances of finding your dream job.
Blog entertainingly about something related to your career or field of interest and you could make worldwide professional connections while challenging yourself to think more deeply about your chosen field.
Whatever variety of social media suits you best, just start using it. Even if it feels uncomfortable at first, social media is the future of employment hunting. While you are waiting for that paper resume to come off the printer, hop online and get started on finding a fantastic new job.