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Job Hunting? Why You Need Help From Your Social Media

26 Jan

This morning I was talking to a friend about the best ways to look for jobs. My friend told me that her sister, who is having a hard time finding a job, has a list of websites that she goes to every day – Careerbuilder, Monster, and some specialized websites. When I heard this I nearly choked on my coffee. Last I checked getting a job from Monster or Careerbuilder was nearly impossible. Can you imagine just how many people apply to those jobs? I assume that TONS of people apply to every job post, making it highly unlikely for any application to get noticed among the stack of emailed resumes. While I am no job applying expert, I do think that simply emailing your resume or applying for a job online almost ensures that you will not get that job. Unless, of course, you are something extraordinary (like practically out of this world) and your resume states it. But, even if that were the case, someone would need to actually take the time to click open your resume and read it, which I bet doesn’t happen often.

Whether you have been laid off, fired, or are simply looking for a change, social media is that way to get yourself a new job, not emailing resumes. For anyone who is looking, social media can be the key stumbling block that will help you land your next job. Here are some tips you should follow:

Get LinkedIn

LinkedIn has become THE tool for job seekers. Not only is LinkedIn a place where companies go to look for potential prospects, but LinkedIn allows you to build up your network, thereby making it easier to connect with people and get a job. I do admit that I am not as active on LinkedIn as I should be, but I am not looking for a job. If you are looking for a job and don’t have LinkedIn, you are really missing out! On LinkedIn you can create a profile and connect with people, and you can request recommendations from past employers, colleagues and clients. LinkedIn also has a list of companies that are hiring and has an Apply Now button that makes it easier to apply and connect with the employer. While I did say above that applying to a job online isn’t the best thing to do, doing so through LinkedIn is different. Employers actually use this site and jobs actually do result from those applications.

Get Facebook

Yes, some people use Facebook for posting pictures and posting useless, dumb status updates, but it can also be used to Network and connect with people who you know. Plus, if you set your privacy settings all people will be able to see is your work history and hobbies. Connecting with people from high school and college can’t possibly hurt you, so forget about the bad things people tell you about Facebook and get signed up at start connecting.

Use SimplyHired

If you sign up for SimplyHired and go to the “Who Do I Know” tool, it will link up to your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts to see if any of your connections are working at a company that is hiring. How great is that? Then all you have to do is reach out to your connection and get your resume moved to the top of the stack. Remember, its not what you know, its who you know.

Get Involved in Online Job Chats

If you sign up for Twitter and participate in the job chats you will find yourself networking and receiving a wealth of information from those experts who freely agree to give their time to help people like you. There are a lot of different chats that you can be a part of.  There is #jobhuntchat (Mondays, 10:00 PM, ET): Created by Rich DeMatteo (@cornonthejob), co-founded by Jessica Miller-Merrill (@blogging4jobs) and also moderated by Kate-Madonna Hindes (@girlmeetsgeek), #HFChat (Fridays, 12:00 PM, ET): Created by Margo Rose (@HRMargo) and moderated with help from Tom Bolt (@tombolt), Cyndy Trivella (@CyndyTrivella) and Steve Levy (@levyrecruits), and #careerchat (Tuesdays, 1:00 PM, ET): Co-created and moderated by Amanda Guralski (@bizMebizgal) and Jill Perlberg (@MyPath_MP). By participating in these chats you can find information about employment trends and companies that are hiring, and you can network with recruiters.

The bottom line is that using social media is a must, especially in this down economy. Why not use it? LinkedIn, Facebook, SimplyHired and Twitter are all free. If you are afraid of getting one of those accounts because you don’t want to feel depressed about seeing those you know who are successful, or you don’t want to connect with certain people, then don’t use those sites for socializing. Use them to network and get your name out there.

Have you been successful in using social media in your job hunt?