By Kelsey Correia Social Media Directed Study Candidate
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs are all social media networks that allow us to keep in contact with friends and family. We use these sites for entertainment purposes but now more than ever people are using social media sites to find jobs. LinkedIn is a professional social networking service. With over 120 million members, LinkedIn connects you to people you know and allows you to exchange ideas, knowledge and opportunities in your field.
How do you use LinkedIn? First and foremost, establish a profile by visiting LinkedIn and creating an account. Add a professional picture and add information about your industry, current position and for what company. Also add in other companies you have worked for, degrees you have earned and other schools you may have attended. After establishing an account, search for a company you are interested in. By doing a company search you may find people who you are connected with or someone who may be connected to someone you know. What does connected mean? Being connected in LinkedIn terms is like friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter. However, these connections are professionals, so subjects of discussions include: graduate degree programs, job openings, field research, and such.
Another way to stay connected and find a job through social media is through none other than Facebook. People think that Facebook is non-professional, but being professional on the site can help a candidate stand out. Someone looking for a job should post status updates letting their “Friends” know about their current job situation. This could be whether a person is out of work and looking for a job or looking to transfer to a different field. Keeping your Facebook friends in the loop could potentially help you find your dream job. All those friends you have on Facebook may come in handy one day when you are trying find a job. Plus, more than ever now potential employers are doing background searches, and these include Facebook. Make sure you have your privacy settings set properly or avoid having any material hurtful to your image publicly available.
The good thing about Twitter is that you can “Follow” and stay connected with people who have similar interests without even knowing who they are. You can stay connected with your favorite sports team, celebrities and… businesses you’d like to work for. Just like in LinkedIn perform a company search. Search for a company, field or position you are interested in. When you find a person or business you like, read their biography and follow them. Be proactive and let your followers know about your situation just like on Facebook. Inform your followers that you are looking for a job in a certain field or what company you are looking to get into. Don’t be afraid to the companies you follow as well. Compose a professional tweet suggesting the company look at your experience, and link to your LinkedIn profile. You never know who may read that tweet.
Social media is a great tool for keeping in contact with family who may live miles away or friends you haven’t seen in years. But in today’s technology age it is being used for job hunts. Remember, stay connected with college friends, professors or alumni. One of these people could help you out in your job hunt too. Browse, edit, network online and use those profiles to advance your career.