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How to Use Social Media in Your Job Search

May 22, 2012

Yes, social media can help in your job search. Consider these seven steps to get you started.

1. Google yourself
A Careerbuilder study found that 37% of employers are using social media to scope out candidates and an additional 11% plan to start. Google yourself and make sure your online profiles aren’t keeping you from being hired. Don’t like what you see? Use this opportunity to change your account settings (make Facebook private or remove damaging photos) or increase your activity on LinkedIn to elevate your profile in Google searches. Be mindful of your online presence and remember to be what you want the employers/recruiters to see.

Check out this infographic for more interesting social media facts.

2. Complete your LinkedIn profile
Your LinkedIn profile is a virtual resume. Make sure it is 100% complete providing potential employers with detailed information about your skills, experience, and achievements. Next, ask current and past co-workers for recommendations, however, choose carefully among colleagues with the most credibility and be ready to reciprocate.

Do you blog or tweet information relevant to a potential employer? Post links to these resources in your LinkedIn profile. Also, customize your LinkedIn public profile URL to easily direct people to your virtual resume. Learn how with these instructions.

3. Get the word out
You’ve spent time growing your network – now it’s time to put it to work. Tell your network that you are job hunting and mention what position you want and what industry. This will help them help you by forwarding job opportunities that meet your interests.

4. Follow companies you want to work for
Many companies have a Facebook page, Twitter account, and/or LinkedIn profile. Use these sites to follow companies you want to work for to stay informed on recent company and industry news. This helps you identify what is important to them and stay current on their open positions.

5. Find conversations
On Twitter, people are constantly broadcasting job related information with hashtags. The hashtag symbol (#) before relevant keywords or phrases (no spaces) in tweets is used to categorize or track Twitter conversations. By clicking on a hashtag you will see other tweets related to that topic. Some relevant hashtags include:

  • Industry-specific: #EHSjobs , #oiljobs, #oilcareers, #oilandgasjobs, #safetyjobs, #energyjobs, #CSRjobs, #engineeringjobs, #engjobs
  • Location-specific: #GAjobs, #OHjobs, #MIJobs, #UTjobs, #TXjobs, #DFWjobs (Dallas-Fort Worth jobs)
  • General/Job seeker: #job, #jobs, #hiring, #apply, #jobopening, #jobalert

Want additional tips for your job search? Try these hashtags: #jobsearch, #career, #jobadvice, #careeradvice, #jobseekers, #jobinterview, or #jobhunt. Learn more about hashtags.

6. Reply to posts on social media websites
When a job opportunity on Facebook or Twitter interests you, reply with a quick blurb about yourself, provide a link to your LinkedIn profile, and let them know you’re submitting your resume. This interaction may establish that connection you need to stand out from the other applicants.

Also, join technical or industry groups on LinkedIn and become active in these online discussions. This will demonstrate your expertise as well as expand your search visibility and spur new one-on-one connections.

7. Do your research
Got an interview? Social media can help with that too. Use your network to gather insights about the company or position. You may find out someone in your network has a connection with the hiring manager or another employee. Don’t limit your search to the company, also research potential interviewers. You may learn you share the same hobby, hometown, or alma mater.

This wraps up our blog series on how EH&S professionals are using social media to expand their network, search for jobs, and develop professionally. Go forth, continue to grow your network, and conquer your job search.