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Chapter 11 Social Media and the Job Search

Overview

How Social Media Can Help Your Job Search

At this point in your search, you have an overview of all six steps of the job search process:

  • Step 1: Identify Your Target
  • Step 2: Create a Compelling Marketing Campaign
  • Step 3: Conduct In-Depth Research
  • Step 4: Network and Interview
  • Step 5: Stay Motivated and Organized and Troubleshoot Your Search
  • Step 6: Negotiate and Close the Offer

Social media is a tool that can enhance all six steps of your job search. By social media, we are referring to interactive media via web and mobile technology. Facebook and LinkedIn are two well-known examples of social media sites. These two sites, accessible via the Internet, enable you to publish information as well as gather information about others. You can also interact with other users, so there is an interactive, social quality to this media.

This chapter goes in depth on how social media touches all six steps of the job search. Interactions are both personal and professional, and social media is quite public, so using social media for your job search can be tricky. You have personal and professional information and personal and professional relationships, and both sides are present on social media. Understanding how to best manage social media and make it work for you professionally and personally requires conscious planning and discipline.

Figure 11.1 Social Media and the Six Steps

Technology enables the job search to be so much more productive. In order to take advantage of social mediaInteractive media via web and mobile technology. Social media enable you to share and gather information about yourself with others., you need to have a base level of technology resources and skills:

  • Do you have access to a secure and reliable Internet connection?
  • Are you currently using social media? On which sites do you have a profile? How active are you on each site and overall?
  • What is stopping you if you aren’t yet on social media sites?

Many social media sites are useful to the job search process. Section 11.1 "Social Media Sites for the Job Search" of this chapter gives an overview of the most useful social media sites at the time of this writing and how they are relevant to the job search:

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • niche online communities—for example, Brazen Careerist

A key benefit of social media is its interactivity, so networking is the obvious goal of many job seekers’ social media activity. Although interactivity is a key benefit of social media, it is by no means the only way to use social media for your job search. This chapter reviews how social media is applicable to all six steps of your job search.

LinkedIn and other social media sites are set up to foster interactivity and community, but you can also interact via blogsThe more commonly used shorthand of weblog; it is a type of website or part of a website that features articles, or posts. and websitesA specific place where content resides on the Internet. Each website has a unique domain name that is its address for users to find it on the Internet. by setting up your own and leading the conversation or by commenting on other people’s blogs and websites. Setting up your own blog or website can be a very useful job search tool, so we include this option in this chapter. We also cover possibilities to interact via other people’s blogs and websites.

A key advantage of social media is that it enables people to find you. Recruiters use social media to find job candidates to hire. This chapter covers how recruiters use social media to research and find candidates. Understanding how recruiters search and what they look for can help you position yourself to be found.

Finally, this chapter talks about managing your social media presence to mitigate the potential conflict between the personal and the professional and to enable you to manage your public face. Job seekers might have several questions regarding social media:

  • How do you keep yourself accessible to recruiters, employers, and contacts while retaining some personal privacy?
  • How do you remain open to new contacts while maintaining meaningful relationships?
  • How do you know what is public?
  • What if you don’t like your profile or want to change your brand?

Social media is a powerful tool for your job search when used thoughtfully and purposefully.