How Social Networking Can Help Land a Job
By Amelia Maness-Gilliland, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Lead Instructor, General Education
Social networking can be an integral part of your job search, but only when used effectively. If you use it ineffectively, simple photos and comments can negatively affect your career. Here are some social networking do’s and don’ts to follow before starting your job search.
- Create an online presence. Use social media platforms to showcase your skills and experience and connect with people who can help with your job search.
- Share articles, videos, blog posts and other content that people in your target industry or your target employer may find useful.
- Be consistent with your social networking profiles. It’s called “personal branding". Your online presence should match the content of your resume. Inconsistencies create red flags for potential employers.
- Google your name to see what’s there. Content that you post on various sites can be discovered by employers who search for your name. Be prepared for what they might find.
- Be careful what you post, tweet, blog, etc. Talking negatively about co-workers, bosses or employers on a social networking site poorly reflects on you.
- Network before you’re desperate. Make connections in your industry and career field before you’re in need of an opportunity. By building your network now, you won’t have to scramble for connections when you’re hit with an unexpected need to find a job.
- Give to get. Networking is a two-way street. The more you are willing to help others, the more likely others will help you. Reach out to your network regularly, endorse them on LinkedIn, be willing to introduce them to connections that may be useful to them.
- Spend time online while on the clock. Some companies monitor employee computer usage, so it's not wise to use your work computer or email account for job searching.
- Connect with everyone. Quality is more important than quantity. Before connecting with someone think about what you have in common and how the connection could benefit you both. Make your connections wisely.
- Overlook your Facebook privacy settings. Be sure you completely understand them and set your privacy setting accordingly.
- Get fired as a consequence of posting content on a social networking site that doesn’t belong there, such as sensitive information about your employer.
- Share too much, especially information of a personal nature.
- Neglect to proofread your social posts just as carefully as you would your resume.
- Forget that people may have a different sense of humor from yours. It’s best to avoid posting anything humorous that could be misinterpreted.
As you get started with social media and your job hunt, be sure to keep these do’s and don’ts in mind. Has social media led to job search success for you?
Amelia Maness-Gilliland, Ph.D. serves as the Lead Instructor in General Education for Colorado Technical University where she teaches career development courses. Amelia has a background in corporate training, human resources, career development and distance education. Connect with Amelia on LinkedIn.
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