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The 3 Benefits of Social Media and Your Job Search

Posted by Rob Riggins

Cat videos. The Kardashians. Inappropriate tweets by The Onion.

It’s understandable why some cleared job seekers still shy away from social media. There is a lot of chaff in the wheat and we’ve all seen or heard examples of individuals over-sharing information and making themselves potential targets.

But there are benefits to using social media in your job search. You just need to be smart about it. Think of social media in three categories for your job search.

1. Expands your networking and information sharing options. This is the obvious benefit of using social networks. Networking has always been critical to a successful job search. The Wall Street Journal printed an enlightening article about job search tips from the Depression which focused on the importance of networking. It’s still true today, only we have much more efficient tools to work with than we did in the past. You can reach and communicate effectively with many more contacts online than you can offline.

2. Provides reputational information about your skills and abilities for potential employers. Various studies show that recruiters will most likely vet you online at some point in the interview process. We survey the employers attending our Cleared Job Fairs as to whether they review job seekers’ online presence before scheduling interviews. We’ve found there aren’t standard company policies. Some recruiters at a company are vetting job seekers online, while other recruiters at the same company are not. Assume you will be vetted.

View this as another opportunity to showcase your talents to employers. Make sure you have a robust LinkedIn profile with substantive recommendations. On Twitter your profile should be employer friendly and list some of your skills. Establish yourself as a thought leader by actively participating in groups on all social networks you belong to.

3. Offers a rich database of information to aid in your search. This is the point that many cleared job seekers overlook. There is a treasure trove of information available about the companies you want to work for and those companies’ recruiters and current employees, particularly on LinkedIn.

Trying to find a connection at SAIC? Search the company on LinkedIn and see the connections in your network who are employed there. You may be surprised with what you find.

No good connections? Search to see if any SAIC employees attended the same school(s) that you did. Or are they from the same branch of the service? Foreign language speaker? Search for the SAIC employees that have indicated on their profile that they speak the same language.

Do you belong to groups whose members work at your target companies? Don’t ask them for a job, ask them for advice. What’s it like to work at the company? Do you have any information that might be helpful to them? Network!

Follow Your Target Companies and Make Connections

Follow the companies and recruiters that you target in your job search on the social media channels that you use. Arm yourself with as much information about the company and the employees as you can find. Network with those individuals. Ask their advice.

It’s been working since long before the Depression.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 8:17 am

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