Leveraging Social Media to Land a Job

You’re probably already familiar with social media’s impact on your personal life – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn help you stay in touch with old friends and connect with new ones. But when it comes to your professional life, are you using social media to its fullest potential?

Your online network is a powerful thing. Think about how many people you can reach through your contacts and your contacts’ contacts! Leveraging and growing your personal network through these sites can help you get connected with the right person at your dream company, giving you an “in” for the job you want to land. Don’t underestimate the power of social media. Many major brands already have a strong presence on the Big Three (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), which provides more opportunities for job seekers to do research, gather intelligence and get in touch with someone who might be able to help them land a job.

Take note – here are three things to keep in mind when using social media to help you land your dream job:

1.Research: Because most companies have accounts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (as well as other networking sites like Pinterest and Instagram, depending on the industry), job seekers have a greater opportunity than ever to find out everything they can about a company to which they’re applying. Mentioning how interesting you thought their most recent article they posted on their Facebook page was is a great opener for a cover letter. It shows you care enough to pay attention to what the company is up to on multiple platforms, which makes you stand out. Doing this kind of research also helps you avoid a lack of information when you finally land an interview – there is so much information available on social media that can give you a serious leg up on the competition.

2.Outreach: Your ability to talk to a hiring manager at a big company used to depend on your ability to charm the secretary or find out personal contact info for the person in charge. Today, you have the opportunity to reach out directly to the person you want to talk to through social media. Do a little research to find out who is responsible for hiring, and find their profile on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook (if their profile isn’t private). Send them a direct message or Tweet, or have one of your network connections introduce you and suddenly you’re on their radar faster than you ever could have been in times past.

3.Personal Awareness: Even if you write a beautiful and convincing message that piques a potential employer’s interest in you, be sure you have a clean and professional social media presence to greet them when they start researching you. If they’re interested in you, they will most likely search for you on LinkedIn or other social media network. Employers can be easily turned off by a lack of professionalism, even in an applicant’s private life. Be aware of what kinds of social media flubs are damaging, and know that the surest way to keep yourself clean from these mistakes is not to make them in the first place. However, because we’re all human and we slip up from time to time, there are services that help you clean up your social media presence.

As a rule of thumb, be mindful of what you post on the Internet and always aim to portray yourself as a bright, savvy, professional person; after all, you never know who’s going to be looking!

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