Using social media as a networking tool

Friends can be helpful with landing jobs. It logically follows that friends on social media can be just as helpful. Photo: Facebook IPO/AP/Facebook

HARRISBURG, Pa., October 10, 2013 – If it’s true that friends and acquaintances can be helpful with landing jobs, then it logically follows that friends on social media can be just as helpful. Drawn from a compendium of tips recently highlighted in U.S. News and World Report, the following helpful hints excerpted below illustrate ways that social media can be used as an effective networking tool:

Get the word out

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Let friends and followers on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter in on the job hunt. Even if they don’t know of an opening right at the moment, they could make contact once a position becomes available. An added benefit: the opportunity to get the inside scoop and hear about openings before they’re posted for the public to see on widely read job boards. 

Don’t be hesitant to network on Facebook

Even though Facebook is primarily for fun, it still offers valuable networking opportunities, especially with a bounty of Facebook friends that the average Facebook user enjoys. Personal friends typically have a vested interest in helping one another succeed, something that’s definitely advantageous when searching for a job. 

Keep personal information on Facebook private

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To avoid the risky situation of a potential employer coming across personal updates, it’s essential to manage privacy settings with care. Under account, go to privacy settings, and select “friends only.” This ensures that potential employers only see professional, hire-worthy content.

Get the facts about hiring managers

Look up the hiring manager’s profile on LinkedIn or Twitter before submitting a resume. These sources can offer a wealth of information, and knowing more about the person who’s doing the hiring can be helpful with crafting a cover letter that matches their needs and desires.

Hyperlink resumes

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In the contact information section of resumes, adding URLs for Twitter handles and LinkedIn profiles is a smart move. This offers the employer another method of getting in touch, and it also shows that you possess genuine social media savvy, a skill increasingly appreciated by many employers, such as Internet marketers.

Create the right connections

Figure out who needs to be known in order for you to snag a job and find a way to make the connection, whether it’s by retweeting their tweets on Twitter or expanding LinkedIn circles until these connections become part of the circle.

Use Google strategically

Filling out a LinkedIn profile and being active on the network pushes your profile towards the top of Google’s search results. Among other things, this means that potential employers are more likely to see desirable information. 

Participate in industry chats on Twitter

Twitter offers a variety of chats that revolve around specific industries. Participating in online conversations is a great way to stay up-to-date on the career field, get acquainted with potentially helpful contacts, and showcase your expertise in the industry. 

Use hashtags on Twitter

The purpose of the hashtag symbol (#) before a word or phrase is to help people categorize their tweets and enable the tweets to show up in Twitter’s search. Clicking on a hashtag shows all other tweets marked with the same word or phrase, and searches can be saved so that topics of interest can be followed over time. Many local and national industry leaders create hashtags for community members to follow. Following these hashtags can provide useful information in the midst of your networking and job hunting efforts. 

Get job-search advice

Twitter, Linked-In, and Facebook are all excellent places to get advice on job-hunting and enabling you to talk with other job-seekers. Follow career experts on Twitter, “like” their Facebook pages, and join groups on LinkedIn that are geared towards job-search.

In a world that increasingly revolves around social media, leaving powerful platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter out of networking is not only foolish, but also an occupational hazard. When all is said and done, effective networking can present doors of opportunity, and social media is the key that unlocks them.  

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Katie Elizabeth

Katie Elizabeth is a freelance blogger, content coordinator and communications grad student. She’s always on the lookout for the latest and greatest social media and tech tactics and thinking about the creative ways in which professionals can actually USE them. 

She’s worked in several different industries, including real estate, sustainability and career development. When she’s not writing or studying, she’s probably on her way to a concert or exploring flea markets and antique stores.


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