Take Your Job Search to the Next Level With Social Media

Twitter bird_3Guest blogger Brittany Berger is a senior mass communications student at the University of Delaware and public relations specialist at eZanga.com. She serves as publicity chair for a campus honor society, is technical chair for the campus dance marathon and is in a sorority. She loves tweeting and blogging at brittanyberger.com.

You use social media for a lot of things: You may use Facebook to talk to friends and keep up with their lives and you may use Twitter to follow your favorite celebrities and brands. But have you ever thought about using social media to find a job? Used the right way, social media can be one of the most essential tools in your job search.

If you are new to the world of social media and want to use it in your job search, I suggest you focus on Twitter and LinkedIn.

What it is: Twitter is a social network based on microblogging – sending posts of 140 characters or less, known as tweets. You can mention other users, use hashtags, and embed links, pictures, and videos. Twitter’s Help Center has a glossary of Twitter lingo where you can learn more.

How to use it:

  • Put your best foot forward – Make sure your Twitter profile is ready by choosing a Twitter handle, uploading a professional profile picture, crafting your Twitter bio and tweeting consistently. Tweet to the people you follow, about your intended industry or specialty, and take a cue from those you follow.
  • Connect with people – To start making connections, you can use the ‘Find People’ and ‘Search’ tools to look for professionals in your industry and location. Whether or not they can help you find a job, you can still learn from them. You can also follow people that post job/internship listings or career advice.
  • Utilize hashtags to find communities – Hashtags are links created by typing # followed by a word or phrase (e.g. #jobhunt). In a way, they categorize the tweet. They’re also used for Twitter chats, where people meet on Twitter at a pre-arranged time and use a specific hashtag to discuss a topic. For job searchers, I recommend #internpro hosted by YouTern, #jobhuntchat hosted by Corn on the Job, and University Chic’s own hashtag, #uchicjobtips.

What it is: LinkedIn is a professional networking site and is now the first place most recruiters go to find talent. Your LinkedIn profile is an online summary of your career and connects you with other users to build a network. LinkedIn also has apps, recommendations, groups, company profiles, job postings and more.
How to use it:

  • Complete your profile – A strong LinkedIn profile is the most important step in networking on LinkedIn. It should contain all of the information on your resume and then some, since there’s no need to limit length. You should also ask for recommendations and recommend others.
  • Build your network – Add to your network by connecting with people, joining groups and following companies. When connecting, you have several search options. When sending someone an invitation to connect, always change the default message to something more personal. You can also join groups to get information and meet people from your area of interest, region or school. Lastly, you can follow interesting companies to see company news and job information.
  • Search for jobs – Once you have a solid profile, you can begin searching for jobs. You can search by keyword or location and LinkedIn even shows jobs you may be interested in. When you click on a description, you can see if you have any connections with the job poster and even apply.

If you have or plan on using social media in your job search, do you have any more tips?

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