If you are interested in using social media to find a job, your most important step is to lay your foundation carefully. And even if you aren’t looking for a new job or new career right now, you can and should be very mindful about how you use social media. If you are smart, you can catapult your career and advance very quickly. If you ignore the potential impact of how you use social media, I guarantee that it will come back to bite you – big time.
Big Brother is Watching
You have to understand that when you apply for a new job or a promotion at your current work, the employer is going to check your Facebook and Twitter presence. According to the Investor’s Business Daily, 90% of recruiters and managers visit a candidate’s social network profile as part of the process in hiring. Rather than fear this, you can absolutely turn this into a huge advantage. How you ask?
First understand that an employer might even ask for your passwords to Facebook and Twitter. Currently, this is not against the law. You aren’t obligated to provide this information but you may feel pressure to do so if you want the job badly enough. Once the employer gets inside your account, they will investigate your posts and who you connect with.
Even without the passwords, it’s easy enough for anyone to “stalk” you on Facebook and especially on Twitter. Given this is the reality of the world we live in, start using it to your advantage.
1. Be Two-Faced
I strongly recommend that starting today; you should have one profile for the public and another for your private life. You should manage your private profile with complete anonymity and there should be no way anyone could trace that profile back to you. Your public profile on the other hand should be very open. But be very selective about who you connect with and what you communicate. Consider every single comment you make before you make it. If it’s not something you’d want a potential employer to see, don’t say it.
2. Get Professional
Facebook and Twitter are nice but if you are serious about your career, check out LinkedIn. (I do not personally own shares in this firm.) LinkedIn is a business-oriented professional site. Get involved in forums associated with your industry, become active and start networking with people. Be helpful to others and become a resource. Not only will you be helping yourself, you’ll be helping other people too. Win-win.
3. Honesty is the only policy
No matter what, be honest about your career, background, experience and credentials. It never helps to be untruthful in any forum. And in social media, the importance of honesty and transparency is even more crucial. You only have one reputation to lose. Protect it.
4. Be realistic
Social media can help you get a job leads but it won’t get you job interviews. In a tough job market you’re going to have to get out there and shake the trees a little. In my opinion there is no substitute for targeted networking to land a great job – even in a recession.
The last thing you want is to leave your job on Friday with nowhere to go on Monday morning. Start connecting with other people now. Interview people about their work and develop relationships. Be of service to others without asking for anything. In no time you’ll develop a robust stable of business associates who will be only too happy to help you when the time comes. Done right, you can network with people, use Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites to develop a support system and public presence that will help you find a job using social media.
How do you use social media? How has it helped you in your career or business?