Using Social Media to Get the Job You Want

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More employers than ever rely on social media to find potential candidates for open positions. Why not use some of their tips and tricks to improve your profiles and get their attention?

According to Miriam Salpeter, a social media mentor, consultant and principal at Keppie Careers, the first thing to understand is how social media can benefit your job search. While building and maintaining an online presence may appear daunting, it can pay off in ways a traditional job hunt may not.

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“When done well,” she said, “it will allow you to demonstrate your expertise, magnify what you know and help you to meet new people who you could anticipate meeting in person. It will expand your network.”

Tell Them Who You Are

Start by determining what you want an employer to know about you. “To leverage social media and use it well,” Salpeter said, “you do need to think about and identify what kinds of words and what kinds of ways people will be looking online to find someone like you.”

For example, if you want a potential employer to pinpoint you for your expert data-analytics skills, it could help to list “data expert” or “data analyst” as part of your Twitter profile.

But it doesn’t end there. Take a look at the Twitter feeds, Dice company pages, LinkedIn profiles, Facebook pages, and even Tumblr pages of firms for which you’d like to work; all that content can provide vital clues as to what those companies are looking for, and you can adjust your own social-media profiles accordingly.

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Social media is “a great tool to keep up with what’s new and hot in your industry which is really important to employers,” Salpeter added, “The result of all of this is to be discovered or found by employers without necessarily always having to apply for things.”

Create a Social Media Trajectory

Your social-media profiles should be more intuitive and casual than a formal resume, while still utilizing key words and phrases that will attract employers. You can also use your profiles and postings to highlight and link to information that gives a fuller portrait of your skills, motivations, and passions.

Whether you’ve been out of work for a while or are looking to switch jobs, having an online narrative is critical. “Social media is a great way to articulate that you’ve been active and involved in keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s happening,” Salpeter said. “Your profile can be a way to prove you’re not disconnected from the news in your industry and that you’re aware of problems and solutions.”

She also recommended: “Show, don’t tell. It’s one thing to say that you’re aware of what’s going on in your industry it’s another thing to have an entire stream of updates and comments and commentary demonstrating that point.”

Every time you post updates on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other platforms, and respond to other users with likes, comments, favorites and retweets, it shows potential employers that you’re in the loop, engaged, and ready to face new challenges.

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