Social Media: It Can Help You Find a Job if You Use It Correctly

When you apply for a job, you probably already know how important it is to represent yourself well in an interview, as well as have a resume and cover letter that are professional. But don’t stop there. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram can give potential employers another glimpse into what kind of candidate you are.

A survey found that 37 percent of employers use social networks to screen potential job candidates. And whether you log on to social networking sites every hour or rarely check them, you will want to scan your profiles to see if any red flags will show up to recruiters. Look for things like inappropriate photos where you appear to have been drinking, statuses that say bad things about a former employer and even misspellings—anything that will make them doubt how you’d perform on the job. If you just don’t want to take down the photos of your senior year spring break, make sure you set your privacy settings to limit what outsiders can see.

That said, there is good news when it comes to social media and looking for a new job. You can actually use social media sites to your advantage as a way to connect with different companies and expand your network. These four pointers will help you get started:

  1. Add professional facts to your profiles. LinkedIn isn’t the only place to list where you’ve worked, what industry groups you’re a member of and volunteer experience. Include this kind of information in your Facebook and Twitter profiles, too. The more times a potential employer sees your strengths, the better.
  2. Don’t be afraid to network. There are more than 1.5 million LinkedIn groups to help you connect with relevant people in your industry. Search for potential groups by using keywords based on your interests and career goals. Facebook can also serve as a good resource. Let your friends know you’re looking for something new—you never know who might be able to help you land a new job.
  3. Be active. Comment on posts, ask questions and share relevant content that will potentially catch a recruiter’s eye. Talk in a way that promotes your personal brand and industry expertise so that you look like a thought leader.
  4. Look for openings. Searching beyond career-focused websites for positions broadens your search and possibilities. For example, many companies share new job postings on their Twitter feeds, LinkedIn accounts and Facebook pages, too.

For other job-hunting advice and insight, check out these blogs from both this blog as well as A Healthier Michigan:

Photo credit: Elvert Barnes

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