by Bob M, ResumeEdge Certified Writer
Social media has, over the course of the past several years, become as much a part of everyday life as the World Wide Web became in the 1990s. And like the Web, many more employers are opting for social media to both post jobs and to use it for screening candidates.
Given that, job seekers who’ve recently graduated from college should take some important steps to find the right jobs and to improve their own online presence.
How Do You Look on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter?
A recent survey from CareerBuilder found that 39% of employers are searching through social media to find out more about their candidates, particularly to see if they are a good fit, as well as what type of skills they have. CareerBuilder also found that 43% of those employers found information that persuaded them not to hire.
Building a social media footprint that will appeal to employers should take two forms. First, and most importantly, you need to review your Facebook and Twitter profiles for any questionable material. To put it another way, do you have a Facebook post or tweet that you wouldn’t want your mother to see? If the answer is yes, you may have a problem, both with your mom and a potential employer.
To resolve this on Facebook, particularly with images, you want to manage your privacy settings so that only your friends can view this material. Also, remove any questionable posts from Twitter. Keep in mind, though, that your information may have been re-posted elsewhere. If that’s the case, be prepared to explain what you’ve divulged online.
To bolster your social footprint look to LinkedIn®, the gold standard in professional online networking. In order to position yourself as a desirable professional, you need to complete your profile.
Provide as many details as possible about your previous jobs, education, and those skills you’ve picked up along the way. In addition, write a summary that brings together what you have done over the course of your career. From there, start networking with classmates and former colleagues. Once you’ve connected with them, you can ask for recommendations that can be viewed on your profile, as well as endorsements of your skill sets.
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Where Are the Jobs on Social Media?
When it comes to searching for jobs on social media, LinkedIn® is, and remains, the undisputed leader. Not only do you want to search their job postings, join LinkedIn® Groups that are aligned with your career. Some members even post jobs directly to their groups.
LinkedIn® has also expanded their offerings to include company profiles. Pay particular attention to them, as they provide details that can be helpful when doing research prior to interviews. Plus, they provide a careers tab that allows you to view available opportunities.
Facebook, for its part, partnered with Monster to create BeKnown, an app that allows job seekers to connect with each other on both platforms. If you’re actively looking for a job, consider linking your Facebook and Monster accounts to network with your friends and family on both sites.
As for Twitter, the simplest thing you can do to help your job search is to follow a company’s account. You can also get a number of job postings through TweetMyJobs, a service that specifically targets your industry.
Social media is a dynamic tool that can either help or hinder your job search. Taking the right steps will put you in a better position to find the opportunity you’re looking for.