Social MediaFor the new college grads of 2013 and those just looking to land their next gig, finding a job can be an overwhelming and time-consuming experience. #Help

According to Nielsen’s Annual Social Media Report, the United States spent approximately 121 billion minutes on social media in July 2012 alone (The Nielsen Company, 2012).  Typically, social media is used on a personal and social level to share photos, news, and opinions with one’s network.  Since social media is a source for sharing and exchanging information, why not also use it as a tool in your job search?  More and more companies are now using social recruiting as a way to find candidates for opportunities, so go ahead and build an online presence!  Get discovered through this medium that is already so familiar to you!

Here are a few tips on how to make the most out of social media during your job search:

LinkedIn:

If you haven’t done so already, create a LinkedIn profile!  Use your profile to list your professional experiences and highlight your successes.  Add a professional photo of yourself and insert the link to your online portfolio for employers to view your creative skills.  Building an online resume is a great start, but don’t leave it at that!  Although LinkedIn can serve as a great online resume, use it for what it is made for — networking!

Ask your colleagues (current and former) for recommendations to enhance your reputation and build credibility.  Follow hiring managers and the pages of companies your are applying to as they may put job postings up.  Finally, join and contribute to groups that are related to the industry in which you would like to work.  Use them to reach out for advice and let them know you are looking for new opportunities.  Reconnect with old contacts, form new ones, and watch your professional network grow!

Twitter:

Similar to LinkedIn, Twitter allows its users to follow companies and institutions for which they may want to work.  Fulfill its networking purpose by retweeting posts by the companies and people you are following.  Even better, build a relationship and communicate with them personally by using the “@” symbol before their Twitter handle and send them a note!  Let them know that you have been following them, you like what they do, and you would love to be a part of their team.

Since, for most people, Twitter is a social media tool that is used for personal reasons, many may be hesitant to make it available to his or her professional network.  If this is the case for you, go ahead and make two accounts — one for personal use and the other for professional!

Facebook:

 While LinkedIn is strictly professional networking, Facebook tends to be used on a more personal and social level.  This can cause a dilemma of separating your personal life from your work life.  Should you decide to use Facebook as a source of networking, please use caution.  Make sure your profile looks as you would like it to look to an employer.  Be aware of the content and photos you post, as well as what the rest of your network may post about you.  Create statuses that contain information that is relevant to your job search rather than using this feature as a personal diary.  With Facebook, you have the capability of representing yourself as a whole person as it allows employers to see the individual behind the resume.  Take advantage of this and let them see how great you are!

Pinterest:

Yes, even Pinterest can be useful in your job hunt!  Amongst your boards dedicated to food, home decor, and fashion, create one (or multiple) to showcase yourself and your talents!  Post your portfolio pieces that link to your personal website.  “Pin” all of your blog articles and writing samples.  Post your creatively designed resume to grab attention.  In addition, use Pinterest as a learning tool by following people in your industry that set trends.  You may even find that the companies you follow “pin” job opportunities!  The more you give yourself an online presence, the closer you get to finding opportunities or getting discovered.

As you make connections via social media, it is what you make of the connections that really count.  Reach out to them!  Ask to meet with them for coffee or lunch to ask questions and get advice.  “Shadow” them at their job to get a better taste of the industry (and make even more connections!).  In the end, you never know who knows who in your industry — it may just land you the perfect opportunity!

Be sure to follow Melinda Holm & Associates on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest!

Sources:

(2012, December 3). State of the Media: The Social Media Report 2012. The Nielsen Company. Retrieved May 5, 2013, from http://www.nielsen.com.

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