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Social Media and the Job Search

October 21, 2010

We have all been told this before: Being social media savvy is going to move us to the top of the resume pile when we are applying to jobs. So how do you show employers that you are, in fact, an expert? One great way to do this is to use social media effectively to find job openings and interviews. What better way to show off your skills than by telling your interviewer that you heard about the company and the job through social media?

Here are some strategies for finding a job using social media:

1. Conduct a people search instead of a job search. Studies show that 80 percent of jobs are obtained through networking. In other words, it is who you know! Start by identifying the top five companies you would like to work with. After you’ve made up your mind, use the amazing social media tools available to you to find people who work for those companies. You can do a company search on LinkedIn as well as an advanced search to find people. On Twitter, search for people who are talking about topics related to the company. Twellow is a great Twitter application that allows you to search people’s bios for key words. Search for the company name and find people who work there. Now that you’ve found the people you need, do exactly what social media is meant for- connect with them directly.

2. Attract employers to YOU rather than going directly to them. This part is all about personal branding. It shows that you are dedicated, interested and an expert in the field you want to work in. In order to attract employers you need to become a content producer, a true asset to the company’s team. The best way to become a content producer is by creating a blog about what you are great at, what you are interested in and what you are passionate about. Some great blogs to get started with are WordPress and Tumblr.

3. Be proactive on Twitter. Start by making sure your Twitter page is complete. Upload a professional photo, have a complete bio and state your location. Start following people in the field you are interested and share industry news with them on occasion. Build relationships and a following that values the information you share and what you have to say. If you used the previous tip, share a link on Twitter to your blog.

4. Use LinkedIn. Recruiters love using LinkedIn because it is free and the industry’s top professionals are only a mouse click away. The only way you will benefit from this, though, is if you use LinkedIn regularly and have a complete profile. Make sure you complete the summary section using key words that recruiters will search for, upload a resume and ask two people to provide professional references on your page. On LinkedIn you can conduct company searches, browse job listings and connect your blog to your profile. It is an invaluable networking tool that will get you in touch with key contacts and help you land the job that you want.

5. Use Facebook Ads! This may seem a little ambitious, but it’s a great idea! Creating a Facebook Ad will show employers that you know how to use the tool and help you target specific groups. You can also share links to your ad on your blog, Twitter and LinkedIn which will allow you to make sure that people who are interested in your expertise will see your ad.

6. Create a video resume. Not only will this show recruiters that you are tech-savvy, but will really impress them and show that you are willing to think outside the box. A good video resume is short, describes the value you can contribute to a given position, explains why you’re the best person for the job and talks about your background in a story-like format. If you are not outgoing, the video resume won’t be the best option for you. Once you are done, upload the video to YouTube using tag words that are related to the field you are interested in.

7. Subscribe to blogs that have job listings. This will make your job search more efficient.

Good luck!

This blog post was compiled using information from Mashable and About.com.

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