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Tips for Using Social Media as a Job Seeker
Facebook: Be sure that your activities on Facebook won’t give prospective employers “red flags” about you as a candidate. Check your photos, videos, wall posts and comments for professionalism. Use Facebook's privacy settings wisely. If you're unsure about content on your Facebook, think about it from the point of view of your potential employer. SimpleWash can help you identify potential problem areas on your Facebook (and it's free).
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the most widely used professional social outlet on the internet. According to a recent poll, 45% of employers indicated they use social media to check out applicants. Having an up-to-date, honest LinkedIn profile can be a strong counterpart to your physical resume. For instructions and tips on how to build and maintain your LinkedIn profile, see our LinkedIn FAQs page.
Twitter: Employers are increasingly using Twitter to promote jobs and internships. Use “hashtag” searches (e.g. #jobs or #internships) and “follow” organizations to check out opportunities. Goziak is also helpful in finding jobs through Twitter. Creating a Twitter account that's simply for professional use can be a great tool. You can even link your professional Twitter to your LinkedIn profile. Start tweeting about interesting things in your industry or field of study. Show your followers that you're knowledgeable about topics that are relevant.
Balance your time: Social networking can be a powerful tool in your internship/job search arsenal, and you may find yourself presented with opportunities you hadn't even considered. Be sure, however, you don't find yourself getting sucked into the social media vortex. Spending hours online trying to track down new contacts on LinkedIn or writing blog content will not typically have the same results as putting in your time as a volunteer or an intern. Seek hands-on, practical experiences in your chosen field. Connections online are great, but face-to-face connections are still best.
Blogging: A well-maintained, thoughtful, professional blog can help you enhance your online image, and can showcase your knowledge, your commitment to your field, and your portfolio, if your discipline requires one. Employers will not generally contact you as a result of reading your blog, but a blog can make you a stronger candidate once you're already being considered for a position.
Professional blogs need to be just that: well written (grammar and spelling count!), focused on a single field or interest area, and clean. Photographs and images should be your own or copyright-free; always ask permission before you post another's work. Comments should be handled respectfully, even if they come across as negative. If you are unsure whether or not to post something, that's often a sign you shouldn't.
Social Media Today: A comprehensive site with up to the minute information about the world of social media.
Name Check: See if your preferred name is available on dozens of social networking sites!
In The Door: Find jobs where you already have an inside connection (uses Facebook)