Thursday, November 21, 2013

Using Social Media to Your Benefit

By Deanna Baker, Career Services Intern
By now, we have all heard about social media being harmful to your reputation. Most college students live their lives through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Vine videos, and we have heard how certain types of posts can leave a negative impression on an employer. It is true that human resource managers will do social media inspections on applicable candidates before offering them a position, so I would like to inform you on some ways of how social media can help you get job!

        Besides the fact of maintaining a professional image online (i.e. no derogatory pictures, no harmful comments, and avoiding controversial pages), individuals can use social media to notify them of potential job openings and network with company employers. Recently Forbes Online published an article featuring Brad Schepp, co-author of How to Find a Job on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. He has listed seven ways on how individuals can use these social media sites to be notified and network for future employment opportunities:

1)     Create a Professional Profile- Of course we do not want to use our senior prom pictures as our cover photo. Instead, Schepp suggests creating a professional image of you online that lists your job history. Sites such as LinkedIn are an excellent place for this. However, many people under-utilize Facebook and Twitter that also give you the option to list current and previous employments. Schepp states that “These profiles should demonstrate not only what you’ve accomplished, but where your strengths are and what you can offer future employers.”
2)     Join a Network- Social media sites are all about connecting with friends and families, but employers are starting to use these sites to search for job candidates. Schepp suggests adding groups and organizations in your industry to build up your reputation. If you keep your profile up-to-date, employers will find you! Just recently, I had talked to a HR representative who states that she actively utilizes LinkedIn to search for potential interns and job candidates.

3)     Follow and Respond to Companies in Your Field-By adding these companies to your social network you are notified of anything new that is going on within the company. “This is a great way to show your expertise to a potential employer,” Schepp says. By selecting “Like” on some of these pages, you will be notified of new product developments and potential new hires.
4)     Help others- Be considerate of others’ inquiries and be willing to answer questions other people may have posted on LinkedIn or Facebook. By being engaged and willing to be a vital resource, employers sense that you are genuinely trying to be a help instead of only find an excuse to benefit yourself.
5)     Never Directly Ask for a Job- Even though you are behind a monitor and keyboard, you should never outright ask an individual for a job. Keeping your name out there and networking with the right people will put you in the right position for a job.
6)     Search for Available Positions- Many people are aware of the mainstream job search sights, but Schepp suggests using the company’s Facebook and LinkedIn page to search for openings. “Improve the odds in your favor by looking for jobs on company Twitter feeds, on their Facebook pages, and in LinkedIn Groups.”
7)     Game Plan- Plan out accordingly what you will do on certain days. For example, every Tuesday Career Services is constantly posting updates and helpful hints to assist students who are currently going through the job-seeking process (#CareerTipTuesday). You do not want to consume your day by updating your profiles and researching helpful tips, but by dividing it up on separate days will help you stay more organized and on top of your game!

I hope you find these 7-steps helpful! If interested in ideas on utilizing social media to help find you a job add us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @AUCareerService, and look us up on Pinterest! We post relevant and up-to-date information pertaining to online etiquette, job searches, career fairs and so much more!
Source: Schepp, B. (2013). 7 Ways to Use Social Media to Land a Job. Retrieved November 11, 2013, from

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