Social Networking — 5 Ways to Make It Work for Your Job Search
- Consider separating your truly "social" networks from your professional networks. You can connect with employers on sites that are designed for professional networking, such as LinkedIn. By separating your business and personal networking, you won't have to worry about how you come across to a potential employer. This doesn't mean your friends can't be a part of your professional network—they should be! But in your professional network you and your friends need to interact in a professional manner.
- Clean up your online profiles—even if they are for “social” purposes. You may think no one but your friends can take a look at your profile and posts, but that’s generally not the case. There’s a lot more about you out there than you might expect. (Try Googling yourself and look at what comes up.) And don’t limit yourself to just profiles: Take a look at your Twitter posts and YouTube videos.
A good rule of thumb is to make sure that anything that might embarrass you or cast you in a bad light with an employer should be removed if possible.
- Spend time and effort on your professional profile. Lindsey Pollak, who is the campus spokesperson for LinkedIn, says to make the most of your network, you need to start with a strong profile. She offers these tips:
- Include keywords in your summary statement.
- Write for the screen—short and to the point.
- List all experience.
- Collect diverse recommendations.
- Update your status regularly—at least once a week—to stay on your contacts' radar.
- Build connections by taking part in relevant groups. LinkedIn, for example, offers a range of groups based on common interests, experience, affiliation, and goals. You'll find university alumni groups and company-related groups, for example, that you can join.
- Use the sites to research companies and careers. Pollak says LinkedIn, for example, which offers a "company pages" feature, can be used to learn valuable information about the company (including where employees worked before and after joining the organization) and find potential networking connections. You'll also find information on company pages that you can use to prep for interviews.
*Information gathered from Job Choices Online
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