Most people have never been taught how to find a job. However, research shows that the average worker only spends 4 years in a job — and you’ll have as many as 12-15 jobs over the course of your career.
Here are 10 tips for accelerating your job search using social media.
1. Social media is becoming increasingly important in the job search. More than 22 million jobseekers used online social networks to find their next job. Being active on social media — and connecting with prospective employers on social media — can be more valuable than applying for jobs posted on job boards. Check out websites like JobsMiner.com to learn about jobs posted on social media (blogs, forums, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.).
2. If you’re not conducting a confidential job search, let your friends, followers, and connections know that you’re looking for a job. Be sure to let them know what kind of job you’re looking for.
3. Research your online reputation — do a search for yourself and see what prospective employers will see when they Google you. If there is something negative that comes up, see if you can have it removed, or make a plan to put out newer, more positive information about yourself to bump the negative information to the second or third page of the search results.
4. Make yourself easy to find — and follow — on social media. Use your name, whenever possible, on your social media profiles (unless you have a very common name — then, include your middle name or some other distinguishing characteristic). Use the same (professional) photo on all your public social media accounts (i.e., Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+).
5. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and up to date before you start searching. Create an attention-getting Headline, write a compelling Summary, populate your profile with all your relevant Education and Experience, and be sure you have a professional photo!
6. One of the best ways to get noticed on LinkedIn is to be active in Groups related to your job and/or industry. Participate in discussions. Ask questions. Offer relevant resources. And grow your LinkedIn connections by sending requests to connect to fellow group members.
7. If you are conducting a confidential job search, make sure to turn off activity notifications on LinkedIn and lock down your Facebook profile so you won’t tip off your current employer that you’re looking for a new job. If you don’t turn off your notifications before you update your profile in LinkedIn, all of your contacts will see activity updates as you add or change information on your profile. (And if you’re friends with your boss or co-workers on Facebook, don’t talk about your job search in your status updates!)
8. Use your social media connections to research prospective employers. If you find out about a job opportunity, see who you know who works for the company — or see if anyone you know has a contact who works for the company. Social media makes it much easier to find the name of the hiring manager for the position you’re seeking.Twitter and LinkedIn are great ways to connect with someone who works at your target employer.
9. Be mindful of what you post on Twitter. Make sure that your Twitter feed is “on brand,” because most Twitter accounts are open to the public. Many people have lost their jobs because of insensitive tweets. Be careful what you post.
10. The more people you are connected with (friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter, connections on LinkedIn), the bigger your network for finding your next job. If you are unemployed, work to grow your social connections!