Social Media and the Job Search

By Victoria Perlak (Intern)

It would be ideal to click my ruby slippers together and say, “There’s no place like freshman year,” three times and be able to travel back in time to start my college career all over again. Unfortunately, I am no Dorothy and I have to face the reality of senior year and the dreaded ‘G’ word (graduation). The end of college signals the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new one; but the only way to start the new chapter is to begin the job search. Before this year ends, I’ll be searching for jobs, sending out resumes and scheduling interviews. In my time here at Fusion, I’ve learned just how crucial social media is to the job search, especially in PR. Not only is it a tool to find jobs and network, but it’s a tool for employers to gain insight about you professionally and personally. Here are a few tips I’ve learned on how to make the most of social media while on the job hunt.

1. Get on LinkedIn – This is the top social media network for professionals. It’s a great way to showcase skills and experience; it also offers the ability to network and find job opportunities through your connections. Constantly updating your profile will only help to exhibit your expertise and activeness. Many students at my university don’t have one, which shouldn’t be the case. The site is easy to use and beneficial in many ways, it’s definitely a must have for the up-and-coming professional.

2. Follow or like companies you would enjoy working for – Many times social media is used by companies to post new positions. Following companies you are interested in on Twitter and liking them on Facebook allows for the ability to catch job openings as soon as they are posted. This is also a great way to learn more about the culture and the company itself!

3. Keep your profiles classy – Employers have started to look at personal social media profiles. When you are hired, you are representing that company both in the workplace and out. They have the right to hire you or fire you based on your public display on the Internet. Be careful of what you post, if you have to hide it from your grandma on Facebook, you probably shouldn’t be posting it in the first place.

4. Stay up to date with the latest industry news and professionals – This is very helpful, especially on Twitter. Creating a separate Twitter list with the bloggers/writers/reporters and other professionals you follow will help keep your professional and personal life on Twitter separate. When you favorite a tweet of your favorite blogger or tweet at your favorite writer when they ask about a good sushi place, you gain a bit of credibility with them. It’s important to not overdo it, but definitely use Twitter to your advantage. Also, just following accounts providing industry news will keep you well informed and knowledgeable on interviews.

5. Network, Network, Network – What could be more important than the art of networking on social networking sites? Many of these tips include some sort of networking because it is such a significant aspect in the job search. Social media allows you to connect with millions of people from different areas, many of whom you would never know existed otherwise. Many times employers already have an idea of who they want to hire before the position even opens because they know of someone in their network. Using a site like MeetUp.com is helpful to meet others who have the same interests or professional goals as you.

With the job searching process right around the corner, I have already started to perfect my social media profiles and use them to my advantage. So many people have used social media to network and land jobs, I can only hope to do the same in the next few months.

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