Social Media Job Search

You already know that posting too much personal information on social media can trash your career or keep you from getting the job of your dreams. But, you can also leverage social media and use it to your advantage when hunting for a job. Here are eight ways to put social media to work helping you find a job.

Highlight professional networks

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Facebook is great for showcasing your professional network memberships. But, be sure the groups you belong to are sending the right message.

"You should belong to professional and appropriate groups on Facebook as well as groups related to where you went to college," said Rachael Wachstein, social media creative director at Fishman Public Relations. "Any working or networking groups are all great things for potential employers to see."

Display your social media savvy

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Social networks can also be a great place for users to show their own social media acumen. By showing how you can use its tools to promote yourself, you can also show how you can use it on behalf of your employer.

"You want to show quality engagement within the social media ecosystem," said Chris Dessi, founder and CEO of Silverback Social. "A blog is good, but a video blog is better. On LinkedIn, having a profile is great, but having recommendations are exceptional."

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Show your personal interests

Social media is a great way to show potential employers what you're all about outside of work.

"When people are a part of charities, sports or other organizations, it shows passion and drive," said Katy Lynch, president of the social media agency, SocialKaty. "It also shows that they are proactive and passionate in a cause. Employers want to see that because if you are passionate about those things you will most likely be passionate about your job also."

Use more than one social media platform

Use more than one social media platform
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Although Facebook may be the most popular social network, developing a presence on other networks is important, too.

"Employers love to see individuals with a professional online résumé presence," said Jonathan Nafarrete, director of social outreach at BLITZ Agency in Los Angeles. "Profiles at sites such as LinkedIn and show a level of professionalism and seriousness about your career."

Just being a part of those platforms, however, is not enough to develop your online identity. Social media users must also share and update their profiles, Nafarrete said.

"Employers love to see that you are sharing content on social platforms like Twitter that may be relevant to the respective industry," Nafarrete said. "Yes, you can share links to that funny cat video but at the same time sharing business-related infographics or news shows a certain level of professional participation as well."

Fill out your profile completely

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Social media users should make sure their social media profiles are complete. Hiring managers will more than likely not go searching around if information is not clearly listed and easy to access. Additionally, having a fully completed profile has numerous other benefits particularly in improving the search results of your social media profiles.

"Sites like LinkedIn display users in results at a higher rate if they have 100 percent profile completion," said David Carrillo, manager of social media at The Search Agency Inc.

Make friends

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Becoming friends with any company that you are looking to work for or already working for is another smart use of social media. Not only will this show interest in a particular company, but it will also help to show a commitment to the company as well.

"Follow or 'like' the companies you have applied at and comment on posts or re-tweet them," said Joe Cockrell, associate professor at Brandman University, a private, nonprofit institution in California. "Share interesting or popular posts from those companies, but don't overdo it. Show that you know the company and are engaged with their presence on Facebook and Twitter."

"If you are applying at a company that sells products or services, demonstrate that you know those products and services through posts and photos," Cockrell said.

Showcase your work

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Another way to stand out from the pack on social media is to show off some of your work. Posting samples of work and, more important, posting accomplishments and experience on social media profiles is a great way to distinguish yourself and show what you can offer.

"Job seekers should include work history, experience and accomplishments in their Facebook profile," said Brady Lowe, communications and community relations specialist business instructor at Globe University-La Crosse. "Create an album for work-related photos. If you develop Web pages, include screen shots, if you design marketing materials, include samples, and if you manage events, include photos from the events. This is a great way to use Facebook as a visual portfolio of your work!"

Don't try to hide anything

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It's good to keep a certain level of privacy on social media, but overdoing privacy settings can also be a potential red flag against users.

"One thing that I love to see when hiring is an open Facebook profile," said Michael Maguire, director of marketing at Private Flight Advisors. "With younger generations increasing their privacy settings, including changing their last names and blocking pictures, it appears they are trying to hide something from a potential employer. It is important to not appear secretive."

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