If you’re in your late teens or early twenties, you probably spend many hours each week on social media. You’ve probably used it to connect with friends, read news, and shop. Have you ever thought about using social media in your job search?
As a new grad, don’t forget to include social media as a part of your job search strategy. Social media is a great tool for making connections with professionals, alumni, and potential employers. Before making those connections, it’s important to put your social media profiles to work. They can help you stand out as a great candidate to potential employers.
Creating a profile on LinkedIn is essential. LinkedIn is a great site for professional networking and job searching. Many recruiters use LinkedIn for candidate research and outreach, so make sure to invest some time in creating a great profile. Your profile photo should be a professional headshot that makes you look approachable and confident. Even if you don’t have professional work experience, you can include your academic experience, volunteer activities, and other interests to round out your profile. LinkedIn has a lot of great features that can help with your job search and makes it easy to reach out to connections for career advice and join professional groups.
Twitter is a great way to stay on top of industry trends and news. You can follow thought-leaders, find professional connections, and share knowledge by tweeting interesting articles or news. Just like with LinkedIn, your photo should be a professional headshot. You can include a brief profile with your skills and interests and a link to your LinkedIn profile or website. By following potential employers, you can be among the first to know about new opportunities.
Facebook isn’t just for connecting with friends and family. Although Facebook is more social and less professional than LinkedIn or Twitter, it can still be a good addition to your job search toolkit. Depending on your use of Facebook, you may want to separate your career persona from your personal one. Regardless of the type of social media account, you always want to present a professional image to potential employers. Use your account’s privacy settings to control who sees what information about you. Similar to joining groups on LinkedIn, on Facebook you can “like” professional associations and employers to see what they post, including career opportunities. You can also check out their previous posts and engage through messages and comments.
If you’re planning to work in a creative field, Pinterest is a great way to highlight your talents. New grads looking for jobs in graphic design, video production, media, marketing, or PR should use Pinterest to enhance their personal brand. Try creating a visual resume that uses an infographic to represent your skills and accomplishments. Consider creating professionally-focused boards with images that are meaningful to you and express your goals or ambitions. This is also a great place to include links to work samples and projects.
Social media sites are a valuable job search tool. A great resume and cover letter are important, but make sure you don’t neglect your social media profiles. Whether you’re posting an update or engaging with other people, remember to keep it professional. Tread carefully on “hot button” issues like politics so that you don’t risk offending potential employers.