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Using Social Media to your Advantage to Find a New Position

marc-belaicheBy Marc Belaiche

Social media is here to stay, and when it comes to searching for a job, more people are finding opportunities through these channels.

This article will give you some tips on how to use social media to your advantage when it comes to searching for a new position.

LinkedIn
This is by far the most effective of the social media channels to finding a new position.

–    In a previous article, I wrote about a three-step process to finding your perfect job . Using LinkedIn to “Go After It” (see step 3) is a very effective tool for finding out who the people are that you should reach out to.
–    Find connections to contacts who know the people that you’d like to meet and ask for an introduction.
–    If you are openly looking for a position, post updates to your status indicating what kind of job/career opportunities you are looking for so that your connections can be aware.
–    Join or start relevant LinkedIn groups in your career area, invite others, connect with group members, post discussion topics and post comments to group discussions.
–    Connect with recruiters who specialize in the types of opportunities that you’re seeking.
–    Stay in contact with your connections regularly, even if it’s just to say hello.
–    Make sure your profile is complete, up to date and has all the pertinent keywords that recruiters might search. Many recruiters will search prospective candidates using keywords.
–    Do research in advance on anyone you’re meeting for an interview. What is their background? What are their responsibilities? This research will help generate ideas for questions to ask during the interview.
–    Request recommendations from former managers or peers.
–    Understand what the organization does by reviewing their LinkedIn profile page. Ask yourself whether this is the industry that you want to be in.  What is your perception of the organization?
–    Do a search on people who are currently working for the company or have previously worked there. Is there high/low turnover?  Are employees being promoted from within?
–    When you receive connection requests respond to them on a timely basis and reach out to inquire why they wanted to be connected with you.
–    Keep up to date on who who has reviewed at your profile and connect with them.
–    Make sure your resume and your LinkedIn profile, such as titles and dates, are consistent.
–    Don’t be shy ─ if your goal is to get into a specific organization, ask to meet staff there, perhaps in an informational interview/information gathering format.  Engage people.
–    Apply to positions posted on the job board section.

Facebook
Often overlooked in your job search as a tool to find a position, this can be an effective way of finding opportunities.

–    Update your status regularly to let your friends know what types of job opportunities you’re looking for.
–    Check your privacy settings to ensure that you know what prospective employers can and cannot see about you.
–    Search for and attend upcoming events posted in Facebook related to your career direction.
–    Generally, it’s not recommended to be friends on Facebook with prospective employers or recruiters.

Twitter
This has been gaining popularity and in particular when searching for a job.

–    Follow recruiters, employers and contacts who might post leads about opportunities.
–    Take note of articles, awards or events in the industry or organization that you’d like to be involved with.
–    Search hashtags for relevant postings to your career path.
–    Build a following and tweet about the types of opportunities you are looking for using relevant hashtags and @mentions (provided you are openly looking for a new position).

YouTube
Create a short introductory video of yourself ─ potentially this can be a very effective tool. You can then include the link with any job applications you send or on your resume and your social media profiles.

Blogging
Blogging about current events or posting relevant articles within the industry you’re looking to work in can be another avenue for recruiters to find you. Create a free blog with www.Blogger.com.

Conclusion
Consistency is important when using social media to find a new position; use it regularly ─ ideally daily. Have a plan as to how you will incorporate it into your job search. Build your brand, and link your social media presence to your resume as much as possible.

While using social media to find a position may be an effective strategy for many job seekers, it may not work for everyone. It’s important to also job boards, recruiters and networking as part of your overall strategy.

Marc Belaiche is a CPA, CA and is President of TorontoJobs.ca, an Internet recruitment business and recruiting firm located in the Greater Toronto Area. Visit www.TorontoJobs.ca.

Human Resources, Social Media, Uncategorized Tagged with: ,
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