If you spend all your time submitting resumes to job boards or checking out job listings on Craigslist, you may be missing out on all the ways that social media can help you find the job you want.
Your first stop on social media-ing your way to a job is LinkedIn. If you’re not familiar with the site already, basically it brings together the two things you need to restart your career: networking and job listings. You sign up to the site and create your own mini-resume, listing your job experiences, skills and the companies for which you’ve worked. Make sure your profile is succinct, catchy and readable. It’s your online calling card.
Now get to networking. LinkedIn will provide you with a regularly updated list of people with whom you may want to connect. They could be people you know, future bosses or companies you like. As your circle of contacts expand, your opportunities will grow. Also check out LinkedIn’s job listings to see if there’s a match for you.
You may already be on Twitter, the social media site that lets you tweet your thoughts to the world in 140 characters or less. But Twitter is a valuable professional tool, too. If your current Twitter feed is too “personal,” create a new one that you’ll use solely for professional networking. Write a catchy one-line description for your bio and use an avatar that shows people the ready-to-work side of you. Tweet your skills. Tweet links to what interests you in your area of expertise. Follow the experts in your field and send each one a message asking them their advice on how you can get ahead in your career.
Facebook for work
Sure, your Facebook friends may include your family, your best friends and your college classmates, but it has the potential to serve you in your job-search quest as well. Search your Facebook friends by location and see who lives in your area. Reach out to anyone who works in your field or may have a local lead and email anyone you think could have a connection that may lead to an opportunity for advancement.
Create regular — but not spammy — updates about how your job search is going. That way, you’re gently reminding those you know that you’re looking for work. Of course, if you’re currently employed and don’t want your co-workers or managers to know you’re seeking new employment, you may have to relegate your work pursuits to email.