Membership in the major Social Networking sites continue to grow — Facebook (one billion active users worldwide), Twitter (over 500 million) LinkedIn (180 million). Looking at the range of some of its business uses – sales and marketing, customer service, thought leadership. one sees its enormous potentials.
Most recently, I have been reviewing the values of social media as a job searching tool for graduating college students. Although this list is incomplete, here are some ideas on the subject.
Begin by speaking with your college’s career center for their knowledge on the subject as well as resume help and companies they receive job listings from.
Of major importance is to create a “target” list of companies you feel that you would like to work for. This can include executives you would like to connect with or follow on LinkedIn and Twitter..
LinkedIn- If you only work with one platform, this is it. First, you will have to create a profile. It is your digital resume. Don’t worry about its depth of experience, it is not expected at the start of your career. But don’t forget to add the extracirricular activities (sports, clubs) you may have participated in.
LinkedIn offers a variety of Groups, relevant to industries. These are good sources to find names of influential people. Join a few LinkedIn groups that relate to your interests. This will also allow you to directly communicate with fellow group members.
After graduation join your alma mater’s alumni group. You may find fellow alum to contact who work for the companies you are interested in. A human resources company could also find you, since they are popular tools in researching candidates for jobs.
Twitter- As with LinkedIn, create and follow a target list on Twitter. This will help you learn about company developments, industry news, and job postings. Besides company executives, follow industy specialists and trade magazines who more likely than not, have a Twitter presence..
Twitter has its own learning code, so don’t feel overwhelmed. if you’re new to it, just read the posts and “listen”. There is no need to interact with strangers before you’re comfortable doing it.
Facebook – Be aware that Facebook is just as valuable as an interview screener for companies, as a networking tool for you. More likely than not, Facebook is already a part of your day. Remove any photographs, and posts that you wouldn’t want an interviewer to base a first opinion on. Also, consider restricting opinions on politics, faith and current news. It’s becoming more of a common practice for human resource departments to review job candidates on Facebook.
The suggestions listed here are only a start. There are also sources including blogs, and company website PR releases.