Social Networking Talking Points

As the job market continues to change, it becomes more important to use multiple tools and resources in a job search. Looking for a job cannot be a haphazard, last minute race to the finish. Any job search needs to have a well-developed plan, should implement a strategy, and incorporate social networking as a tool.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the most professional of the social networking sites. More than 2 million companies have profiles on LinkedIn, including every major company and most small companies in the United States. Here are tips to effectively utilize LinkedIn.

  • Make sure your profile is 100 percent complete. This includes an appealing summary (your 30-second oral résumé), recommendation, experience, education, and professional picture. Your information should contain keywords that are relevant to your occupation.
  • When inviting someone to connect with you, personalize the invitation. Do not use the canned message.
  • Use the “Jobs” tab to search for available positions, then use your network to see who you may know at that company.
  • If you have a second degree connection, politely ask your first-degree connection to introduce you. REMEMBER: All formal business etiquette rules apply. You want to make the best first impression that you can.
  • Join groups that are of professional and personal interest to you. Follow the conversations on these groups and make intelligent comments. Potential employers may read these comments! Positions are often posted in the “Discussions” of your groups.
  • If you have an interview, research the interviewer on LinkedIn to help you learn about that person. This may prove helpful in establishing a commonality during the interview.
  • Include your LinkedIn URL in your email signature, on your résumé, business card, and other marketing materials. This makes it easy for new acquaintances to connect with you.

Facebook and Twitter

  • Share that you are currently in your job search IF you are not currently employed. Your friends may know of a position. However, don’t expect your friends to do the work of your job search.
  • Visit Simplyhired.com and IntheDoor.com (powered by Indeed) and click the “log in to facebook” icon. This will allow you to see which of your friends’ companies have openings. These are both private features and do not share anything on your Facebook wall or profile. If you find a position that you are interested in, you can contact your friend and ask about the position, the company, and how to get in touch with the proper person.
  • “Like” and “Follow” any company that you are interested in. This will allow you see current news and possibly available positions.
  • Connect Facebook and Twitter to LinkedIn
  • Review the guidelines about digital dirt (page 21) and clean up your pages if necessary.

All of these forms of social media tools can be very powerful if used correctly. Be sure to create and implement your personal brand into your networking sites, always be truthful and obey the rules of etiquette.

Information adapted from: “How to connect with an employer via LinkedIn” by Kaitlin Madden, CareerBuilder “6 tips to help you use LinkedIn more effectively” by Selena Dehne, JIST Publishing “Using LinkedIn to get a job: Lessons from the KCITP Career Fair” by Dave Greenbaum, DoctorDave’s Blog

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