Many businesses now embrace social media as part of their talent attraction strategy, and it only makes sense that people looking for jobs do too. Aside from the fact that it’s a free way of reaching and connecting with people, having online presence can give you other career-related advantages.
Here’s a snapshot of the main social sites you could consider using in your job search:
LinkedIn is probably the most ‘professional’ social media site, with over a million users in the UAE as of October 2012. Complete your profile so that all the sections have been filled in; you’re advertising yourself so the more relevant information the better. Using LinkedIn is an ongoing process; you can add connections, request introductions to people, follow companies, join groups, post discussions, provide answers, link to articles… there are many ways of getting yourself noticed in the right places.
If your Facebook profile is public, make sure there are no inappropriate posts or photos on your wall that could compromise an employer’s opinion of you. ‘Like’ any companies that you want to work for or are in your industry, and comment, share and like their posts. This is a great way of engaging with a company and they may even post their jobs to their Facebook page.
Twitter is essentially a micro-blogging site. You can post your own thoughts, ‘re-tweet’ other people’s and link to articles you want to share. Make use of hash tags and check out what’s ‘trending’ to maximise the effect of your tweets.
Writing a blog isn’t just a good idea for professionals in creative industries. If it’s based on professional matters, you prove you show an active interest in your industry. Comment on companies’ blog posts and they may take a look at yours. But even if they don’t, you’re still building online presence and this is becoming ever more influential. In a way, an employer can get a sense of your personality before an interview that they don’t get from your CV and cover letter.
Other social media sites
Sites worth looking into include YouTube, Google+, Foursquare and Pinterest. Decide which are best for you and most prominent in your industry. If you want to use social media to boost your job search, it’s a good idea to keep it relevant to the types of jobs you’re looking for, for instance, Pinterest and YouTube might help a creative professional more than an accountant.
If you are going to use social media as part of your job search, try to keep a professional tone and don’t link to sources you know aren’t credible.
There are also certain precautions you should take if you’re actively using social media in your job search. Don’t post anything inappropriate and watch your language. Social media sites are public platforms, so unless you have security on your pages, you risk potential employers seeing all of your activity.