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A Jobvite social recruiting survey revealed that 92 percent of recruiters and Human Resources professionals use social media as part of their recruiting strategy. If you’re not incorporating at least some of these channels into your job search, you’re missing out. The goal is to help you understand the best ways to incorporate social media to build up your personal brand, expand your network, and uncover additional job leads.
In short, Twitter allows you communicate and absorb tidbits of information in 140 characters or less. While you can use Twitter to extend your personal brand by building a professional account and tweeting articles and opinions related to your line of work, I don’t think it’s the right move for everyone.
I like to use Twitter for reconnaissance. Create an account that’s not associated with your professional brand and use it to gather intel on recruiters, hiring managers and companies you’re targeting in your search. For instance, companies like Verizon and GE (and of course, Twitter) have feeds set up to blast out their latest openings. You can also follow job search experts like me to get tips throughout the week.
Pretty much everyone's on Facebook. While it’s a great place to socialize with friends, I don’t think it’s the best way to promote your professional brand to prospective employers because you have to be really careful with security settings. In fact, I recommend using your first and middle name on your account so outsiders won’t find it during a general search.
That said, there are ways to keep your Facebook account hidden from recruiters and still reap benefits for your search. Fill out the “Work and Education” section to align with your resume so friends can view your career to date. You can also use the Branchout app to find out if any of your “Connections” work at your target companies. This is a great way to identify people for informational interviews or employee referrals.
LinkedIn is a great way to grow your professional online presence and utilize your network. When you meet someone at an event, send a thoughtful connection request that references how you met and when. Build out a robust profile that aligns with your resume and highlights the skill sets, certifications and professional memberships most relevant to your job goals.
Join and actively participate in LinkedIn groups related to your line of work – recruiters are notorious for trolling these groups in search of candidates to fill their roles. If you’re interested in switching careers, search for former colleagues who’ve moved on to see where else their experience was accepted. Similar to Facebook, use the advanced search features to find connections for informational interviews and employee referrals.
Pinterest is a visual learner’s best friend. It allows you to “pin” images found online and organize them into different “boards” to help you organize anything from a big event to a house improvement project. Each image is connected back to a webpage. If you’re in a creative role, consider developing a professional account to display your work to others.
Recently companies like Sodexo and Aon started using Pinterest to promote their products and careers. Search for your target companies (make sure you’re searching by “Pinners”) to view boards with that will provide insight into corporate culture and job opportunities.
Looking for some more information on different social media channels? Check out these free social media tutorials by GCFLearningFree.org. And check out the entire Countdown to New Year, New You series on the TheLadders.com