Weekly Topic: The Benefits and Pitfalls of Social Media for Job Seekers

For most of us, unlike Dwight, a sign is not going to cut it.

Social Media is a word most of us refer to more than others, but overall, the majority of people know what it is, even if they do not participate in social media. Social Media has changed the way job seekers are searching for their dream job, as well the way job seekers are already being targeted by future employers. There are many benfits to social media but also some things that can hurt an active job seeker, if they do not take precaution. The following areas of discussion will be based on just this. I have found some very interesting articles after researching the topic, that I believe will help educate the average job seeker on dealing with social media in their job hunt process.

Landon Long, posted an article that can be found on Ezinearticles.com which listed a few benefits to using social media as a tool for youself when looking for a job. Thanks Landon for sharing these helpful tips.

Personal Branding – honestly, these sites strengthen your personal brand. You might know by now that personal branding is very important in a job hunt. However, it is not a new phenomenon. From the day you are born, you are already branding and marketing yourself. As a social being, it is natural to live your life based on other people’s view on you. Even if you do not admit it, you are living your life to the expectation of others.

Profile Pitching – technically speaking, your profile on your social media accounts is your elevator pitch. It should be able to make a lasting impression of you in only ten seconds. Your opportunity on social media lies in you. What you represent will determine what opportunity will open up for you.

Update Your Profile Picture – as they say, photos speak a thousand words. You do not want your potential employer to see your weird side. To capture people’s attention more, upload a photo with you smiling in it. Smile using your eyes and your lips. This is considered a true smile. Also, ensure that the photo is up to date. As you may have notice, your profiles in your social media accounts act the same way as your CV.

Build a Positive Image – in social media sites, you can easily slip and ruin your reputation. The articles you submitted, the comments you posted and the pictures you uploaded will define who you are. They will influence the image you want to emit either in a positive on negative way. Hence, start your messages with a statement that will help in defining who you are. If you can, include your passions and ambitions in them.

As you can see, you can use your accounts on facebook, linkedin, and twitter to offer more about you that you may want the possible employer to see.

The next bit of research I found has to do with getting a job using social media. This article by Dan Shawbel, posted over a year ago, really goes into specifics and detail to educate you as a job seeker. The 7 secrets listed are:
1. Conduct a people search instead of a job search.
2. Use attraction-based marketing to get job offers.
3. Be proactive on Twitter.
4. Capatalize on LinkedIn.
5. Advertise your brand by using Adwords and Facebook Social Ads
6. Construct a video resume and upload it to youtube.com
7. Subscribe to blogs that have job listings

I highly recommend reading through these “secrets” Shawbel has listed, they offer a great amount of information that will send you right on your way to benefiting from social media.

Although some of us might hate to admit it, social media has downfalls. If you are not especially careful with what types of content is showing up on your profiles, you could risk yourself a job. Not only may you end up not landing a job, but people have been known to get into trouble from posts and updates they have tweeted about when at their job. Rachel Zupek, writer for CareerBuilders.com, has posted an article that lists precautions and what not to do as a warning to job seekers.

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Filed under PR Practicum, Weekly Topics

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