Enhance Your Job Search Using Social Media

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With the national unemployment rate resting at 7.3 percent, traditional job application techniques aren’t enough to keep pace with new methods being used by social media-savvy applicants.

Social media platforms, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, BranchOut, Google+, YouTube, and even Pinterest, offer you the ability to leverage your connections to generate leads for employment, extend your professional network, and build your personal brand.

Ninety-four percent of companies use social media for recruiting, according to the 2013 Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey. Some hiring managers agree that retention rates are much higher when a candidate is sourced through an internal referral or networking.

Since hiring managers also are turning to social media to research applicants, job-seekers should spend time building positive personal brands. This includes editing social profiles to remove compromising pictures and posts, editing privacy settings to limit the sharing of personal information to close friends and family, and dedicating time to building additional profiles on some or all of the primary social sites noted above.

12 Tips for Using Social Media to Land a Job

1. Using LinkedIn, build a 100-percent complete profile, which includes an attractive headshot, and generate a few “recommendations” from a variety of contacts who work in varying fields. Recommendations translate to “I’m a credible applicant.”

2. LinkedIn populates your profile with job opportunities you may be interested in based on the details you’ve listed in your profile.

3. Join some LinkedIn Groups related to your field and contribute to discussions. Link your Twitter feed to your LinkedIn account to stream your professional expertise throughout the day. Keep tweets professional, or create a professional Twitter handle for LinkedIn.

4. Like LinkedIn, BranchOut is a Facebook application for job-seeking professionals. The app imports professional credentials and education information from your Facebook profile and allows you to upload your résumé.

5. Build an online résumé. Online résumés are more succinct than traditional résumés and should be written for search engine optimization.

6 . Create a Twitter résumé.  Limit your credentials to 140 characters and tweet to your followers.

7. Follow hiring managers and companies on Twitter and Facebook to gain exposure to job openings. Ask about opportunities, tweet using the @-mention feature and use hashtags “#” to generate exposure for yourself on Twitter chats and searches.

8. Produce a video résumé and host it on YouTube. Include links to your other social profiles. Share your video on your blog, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles.

9. In Google+, differentiate your Circles of contacts— Family, Friends, and Professional Connections. Host video chats, called Hang Outs, with your professional contacts to discuss current trends in your field of interest

10. One of the fastest growing social media sites is Pinterest—a social pinboard. The site allows you “pin” images of your portfolio, including: your résumé, media clippings, different projects you’ve worked on, etc., to different “boards,” which can be shared with your connections. Pinterest’s value is in its visual nature. It allows you to display and organize your interests and portfolio elements, offering potential employers an opportunity to get to know the “real” you.

11. Include your Twitter handle on your business cards and add your LinkedIn profile URL to your email signature.

12. Keep your social profiles fresh by maintaining them on a regular basis. Educate yourself on trends in social media; an excellent source is Mashable.com, @mashable.

Connect with Victoria College on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TheVictoriaCollege and follow VC on Twitter @VC_Texas. You can also find Victoria College on YouTube and Photobucket.

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