Posted October 28, 2014 by

The Job Search Episode I Social Media, Social Sleuthing, and the Force

Not too long ago in the job search universe…

It is a period of great change and uncertainty. Job searchers, graduating from prestigious universities, have been given the task of locating a job when the current unemployment rate of the US is 5.9%.

Before the search commenced, job searchers discovered a method to increase the likelihood of job search success, SOCIAL MEDIA; digital platforms that have helped “1 out of 6 job seekers” locate careers.

Competing for a few positions in their chosen fields, The Job Searchers race to Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, social platforms that can help them connect with businesses and allow them to land that dream job with the following methods…

Clean Up Social Media

Social media, you could say, has a light and dark side…at least when you are trying to advance your professional career. Remember: social media accounts are a reflection of your personality, beliefs, and to some extent your work ethic. Employers realize that by checking out prospective employees’ social media accounts, they can get a sense of what they might be signing themselves up for. If they see anything that they find sketchy, they might decide to look elsewhere. Here are a few activities that fall on the dark side of the social media spectrum.

Stauf1 imageCompanies rely on the discretion and professionalism of their employees. If you must complain about your company, don’t leave a trail potential employers can find.

 

 

Stauf6 imageIf you graduated from a college, write like it. A few cases of text short-hand won’t kill your chances, but too many misspellings might make people assume you can’t spell.

 

 

Stauf2 imageExcessive curse words, sketchy pictures, verbal attacks, these types of Tweets look really bad. Either delete them or make sure they can only be seen by close friends and family.

Establish a Social Media Presence in Your Field

While you’re steering clear of the dark side of the force, you can immerse yourself in the light side of the social media force. Businesses don’t just check out social media to detect bad eggs, they also use social media to scout out talent. Here are a few tactics to woo businesses to your side.

Share scholarly work you have compiled and published. Become an active member of the community that you wish to enter. Spend some time either writing articles on a topic in your field on a personal blog or on already established blogs. Share your work through social media.

Make connections with experts in your field. Talk to and debate with people in your chosen career field. That kind of intellectual conversation demonstrates that you can not only succeed, but flourish in your field.

Retweet and share the work of others in your field. A proper social media account should not a have a “me, me, me” feel. By sharing other’s tweets and posts, you will not only establish yourself as someone who knows the field, you will also engender gratitude from others in the field. And good actions, often have a way of being repaid eventually.

Search Social Media for Opportunities
Having a hard time locating prospective jobs? Why don’t you hit up social media to see what you can find. Companies often either announce jobs themselves or ask their employees to share that there is currently a job opening. Here are a few tips to locate jobs on social media:

Use hashtags like #hiring, #needajob, #helpwated and #writingjob to locate potential job opportunities.

 

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Announce that you’re looking for a job on social media. Job scouts often search hashtags like #needajob and #freelancewriter to locate prospective employees.

 

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Ask your contact if they have heard of any job openings. If two heads are better than one, the entire population of your social network is leagues better. One of your contacts may know about an opening at a dream company. You’ll never know if you don’t ask.

 

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Know the Laws

Circa 2010-2013. Young, fresh faced job seekers landed an interview and managed to navigate through that interview without too many faux pas. Then the business owners did the unthinkable, they demanded access to prospective employees social media profiles.

Before you panic. Take a deep breathe. The good news is that many states, Utah among them, have ironed out social media and internet privacy laws that prohibit companies from:

  • demanding access to the back end of your social media accounts.
  • refusing to hire an individual due to their unwillingness to disclose the username or password of their social media accounts.

Since these laws have been ironed out, the number of companies who attempt to go comb through social media accounts to discover if you’re a bad egg has decreased. Still you should discover if your state currently has social media laws, just in case.

The job search can be brutal. While you can land a job without diving into analyzing how light or dark your social force is, utilizing social media could shorten your job search. So get out there clean up your social accounts, search for jobs with social media, and begin forming contacts with big wigs in your chosen field.

Samantha Stauf graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in technical writing. She currently works in marketing. You can get in touch with her on Twitter at @samstauf.

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