Be Professional in Social Media
More and more companies are using social media to meet candidates, research potential hires, and to advertise their opportunities so it is important to ensure that you are creating a professional image online. According to a survey conducted by JobVite published in Forbes magazine, 90% of employers have and or plan to use social media when making candidate selections.
In addition, the 2012 Student Survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers shows that more college students are using social media to research companies and identify networking contacts than ever before.
With so many individuals turning to social media to find / fill positions, it is important to pay attention to the image you are creating for yourself and ensure that you are branding yourself as a professional.
Social Media Tools
Using LinkedIn in your job search
LinkedIn is designed to be a professional and career focused version of social media.
Armed with a professional profile that mimics a résumé, LinkedIn users can do several things, including:
- Connect with coworkers, classmates, friends, family, and make new contacts;
- Receive recommendations for the work you’ve done;
- Have your profile accessible to employers and search for job opportunities;
- Reach out to professionals in your field to network and learn more about the industry;
- Create a professional presence on the Web.
To facilitate career networking, Career Services hosts a group of students, alumni, faculty, staff, and employers on LinkedIn.
Other popular social media tools for the job search
Many companies now have a Twitter feed to share information about their organization, their employment opportunities, and to enhance their company brand. Consider the following tips when using Twitter in your job search:
- Follow companies you would want to work for
- Follow experts in your field
- Re-tweet relevant, career-related posts and links
- Use a professional avatar
- Ensure your Twitter Bio is professional and reads like an elevator speech
Members of Facebook can become a Fan of a company that they wish to work for, creating an additional connection between them and the organization. Sites such as http://branchout.com/ allow users make connections between their Facebook friends and the companies for which they want to work. Users should actively and frequently review their account to ensure that they are creating a professional image. While privacy settings can be turned on, if a user follows a company of interest their account may be viewable to that organization.
Pinterest allows users to create a personal brand by pinning images to digital pinboards. Job seekers can follow companies of interest, as well as general job seeking pinboards. This site also gives the job seeker the opportunity to represent their career interest and goals visually. Pin your resume, photos from places you’ve worked, or portfolio items to allow employers to get a visual representation of who you are as a potential employee. Similar to other social media, it is important to create professional boards and to keep your personal boards separate.
Social Media Cautions
Cautions when using social media
- Be careful in over sharing information when using social media.
- Remember what you post online is there forever, so use judgment before you post
- Never assume that because you have privacy settings on your account that an employer won’t see your posts / photos
- Always use caution when posting information about your current / past / future employers
- Avoid using social media for personal reasons when at work