6 Social Networks to Leverage in Your Job Search

July 16, 2012

Social networks offer benefits and opportunities that job seekers can leverage during the job search. Does that mean that you should have a profile on all of them? If you’re so inclined, sure! But you can also select the networks that make the most sense for you and your industry.

To help you determine which network is right for you, here is our overview of the 6 most popular social networks and their specific benefits:

1. LinkedIn
According to a new Jobvite survey, LinkedIn remains the dominant recruiting network, used by 93% of the respondents. Employers worldwide are on the site, and you may link with them directly by building a profile that outlines your experience. Showcasing your skills and talents on LinkedIn will help the right people and opportunities find their way to you.

Tip: Keep your profile up-to-date with your latest work information. Don’t forget to include a well-written summary that holds keywords and touches on your experience, interests, and goals.

2. Twitter
Twitter can be overwhelming for first-timers, but, with a little bit of patience, you can build a great network and connect with industry leaders or recruiters. You’ll have the opportunity to show them just how interested people are in what you have to say, and they will learn about your status in the industry. It can also increase your visibility and add to your credibility as a professional.

Tip: Use websites like WeFollow.com and Twellow.com to identify key influencers and industry leaders.  Once you follow them, listen and learn!

3. Facebook
What recruiters and employers like about Facebook is that it bridges the gap between personal and professional life. Image is everything. Your Facebook profile displays your personality and employers can better determine how you’ll fit into the company culture. Make your profile authentic, and showcase your ideal image. For more information check out our previous blog post on Facebook’s importance in the job search.

Tip: Make use of job searching apps like BranchOut and BeKnown to target your job search. ‘Like’ companies that interest you, and engage in conversation on their page. It’s a great way to connect with potential employers.

4. Pinterest
What better way to show off your newest design, or the delicious dishes you cooked up in your kitchen? If you are an aspiring artist or a chef in the making, Pinterest is A MUST for you! Photo sharing is one of the most popular features of social networks, so use Pinterest as a portfolio of your work.

Tip: In lieu of, or in addition to, posting a regular written resume, use Pinterest as a way to create a visual representation of your resume or professional experience. Create boards for your work experience, awards and accomplishments, degrees or classes, a portfolio of your work, and even your hobbies and interests. (Click here to see how it’s done!)

5. YouTube
Yet another great network for a creative professional! You can utilize YouTube to create a more effective and interactive online experience for employers, rather than just falling back on the good old resume.

Tip: Thinking about a video resume? Keep it short, a minute or two, and explain your background in a story-like fashion. Also specify why you are the best person for this job and what value you would bring to this organization with the skills you possess.

6. Google+
Google+ has established itself as a social network for people that are interested in the tech industry, including early adopters, social influencers and tech innovators. It’s a great place to showcase expertise and learn from others. And since Google controls much of search traffic, your Google+ profile will be found more easily, adding extra value to this relatively new network.

Tip: Google+ Sparks are topics you might be interested in, and a good way to keep track of what’s happening in your industry. Search by keyword to find news and information, and save your searches, which will then show up under Sparks on your profile page for quick access.

Any other social networks you’ve had success with during your job search? Do tell!

Advertisements

What Employers Are Looking For When They Screen Your Social Networks

May 21, 2012

It’s no secret that recruiters and hiring managers are going to sneak a peek at your social networks during the application process. But do you know what they’re actually sifting through your profiles to find? In a recent Reppler survey, we asked hiring managers if they have ever hired a candidate as a result of their social networking site content, and, if so, what specific factors influenced their decisions.

These were the Top 5 “it” factors they reported:

  1. The candidate gave a positive impression of their personality and organizational fit.
  2. The profile supported their professional qualifications.
  3. The profile showed that the candidate was creative.
  4. The candidate demonstrated solid communication skills.
  5. The profile showed that the candidate was well-rounded.

On the flip-side, we also wanted to know how hiring managers responded to any questionable social media content. Jennifer King, HR analyst at Software Advice, interviewed several recruiters and hiring managers to shed some light on this subject.*

There’s good news in that, while some recruiters outright reject candidates based on their social network content, others prefer to give the candidate a chance for redemption. That being said, there’s no guarantee you’ll get a chance to explain any or every raging weekend party picture. To be safe, we always recommend implementing the “grandma test” to keep profiles in check. If grandma wouldn’t be ok with it, don’t share it! Even if your privacy settings are set to “Friends only”, you never know who might gain access to your profile, or what your connections will share. Nothing that you put online is private!

Amy Henderson, account executive with Technisource, and one of King’s interviewees, offers this conclusion, “Perception is reality in the business world. The way people perceive you online, through social media–that’s what they use to make first impressions. And those first impressions are lasting impressions.”

*For more insights, check out the full article by Jennifer King.