In the Office

Social Media and Your Job Search

I had the privilege to present at Elon University‘s Professional Discovery Week yesterday about the topic of using social media in your job search. My own job search story is a testament to the power of social media in the job search. My relationship, and eventual employment, with Howard Merrell & Partners started with a simple Direct Message to our former Social Media Marketing Manager, Kipp Bodnar:

In my presentation, I broke the process down into four key focus areas:

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Finding a Job in the Online Era

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As my graduation from UNC-Chapel Hill looms in my not-so-distant future [insert panic attack here], I thought I would share a little bit about how the job search game has changed with the boom of social media and online social networking.  In the past, it has always been about tapping into personal networks and asking friends who they know.  With the Internet buzzing with social media, there are similar ways to use social media to network, and eventually find a job.

LinkedIn: Basically, LinkedIn is a site that allows you to connect to people you know from your professional network, and allows you to search and connect with other professionals. You can search the profiles of people you would like to reach out to and see if you have any common connections with them.  LinkedIn also allows employers to post jobs to their site, which are usually high quality, professional jobs.

Twitter: The best part of Twitter is that it allows you to connect with people you don’t know, based on common interests.  My first tip is to stay engaged in conversations on Twitter.  Potential employers will notice your insights and reach out to you if you have innovative ideas.  Also, Twitter is great because you can reach out to people you want to network with.  For example, a direct message stating, “Hi, I’m looking to break into social media. Is there anyone you can refer me to?”  Odds are they’ll appreciate you reaching out in a non-traditional way and make efforts to get you connected to the right people.

Resume: Make your resume more interactive, especially if you’re looking to break into social media, or any communications network really.  In my resume, I created an interactive PDF version with active links to my Twitter, LinkedIn and personal blog.  I also made links to other online publications in which I’ve been published so it’s easy for potential employers to see my work instantly.  If you need help doing this, check out this article on inserting hyperlinks.

Although it may sound like common sense, the one thing I’ve learned throughout my job search is people want to help you – but no one is going to help you unless you step up and make the first move.  Employers want intelligent go-getters who aren’t afraid to make the first move, so go out there and get found – whether via Tweet, digital networking, online profile or even a good old fashioned resume.

Anyone else have any social media related tips for those on the job hunt?