I know I should use social media sites for my job search, but how do I best utilize these sites? or I am on LinkedIn but nothing has happened since I joined.
Many of us join social media site (PEW Research Center states 65% of adults use social media sites) only to be passive observers. And as we have all heard multiple times – you only get out what you put in to an experience. That said, how does one maximize his/her online presence.
- Be Online: May sound elementary, but one has to join sites like LinkedIn or Twitter. If you are not a member, these resources can do no good. Then, once you do join, you must check in regularly – it needs to become part of your processes.
- Robust Profile: When you join social media sites, it is important to complete your profile. LinkedIn will give your profile a “Completeness” rating and prompt you with ideas on how to improve your profile. Provide a Summary of your career, include details in your work information, indicate what type of contacts you are willing to receive, etc. Avoid including personal information as that can send the wrong message about how you are using the site.
- Connect: Once you are on sites like LinkedIn and Twitter, don’t be stranded on an island. Connect with colleagues on LinkedIn, Follow people/companies/news feeds on Twitter to keep up-to-date with industry or company information. If you do not actively participate on these sites, these sites are useless.
- Recommend: Offer recommendations via LinkedIn to people you have worked with and ask for recommendations back. Having people ‘Recommend’ you on LinkedIn is similar to when a product receives positive reviews on Amazon (or similar site). If 20 people say you are a solid individual, recruiters/hiring managers are more likely to take a look at you.
- Comment: It is not enough to be on the site and login periodically, one has to be active. Offer comments on discussion threads, start discussion topics that are relevant to the audience. Many ‘experts’ have become experts because they have offered relevant insights on blogs, discussion threads, and other outlets. A word of caution – keep your comments professional and relevant as once your words are online, they are there for everyone to read.