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What’s the Best Job Search Website: Part 2

The pros and cons of the most popular social media job search sites

Our Assessment

In a previous article, we profiled the major job search websites and highlighted their differences. This time we’re focused on the job search portions of popular social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Each network is unique, with its own culture and available job listings. The job search portions of the sites are also built differently, meaning that you won’t be able to search any two sites the same way.

In a study we conducted late last year, we found that 51% of readers used LinkedIn to job search, with Facebook right behind at 20%. Twitter, surprisingly (given the popularity of the platform), received 0% of the vote.

Although job seekers are welcome to use all three, some may wish to stick to one or two of them. This guide should help you decide which ones are right for you.

Commonalities

Since all three are social media platforms, there are a few things you can do on all three to get your job search started. As noted by StarTribune, these include following the pages of impactful individuals in your industry (who are likely to share job listings), business pages for places you want to work, and journalists who write about your industry. Add a few influential speakers while you’re at it—you never know when their words of wisdom might come in handy!

LinkedIn

For those looking for professional or corporate positions, LinkedIn is a must-have. If you don’t have a profile, you’re missing out on an easy way to network with those in your industry. It’s also an easy to way to keep track of your contacts and their work anniversaries or employment changes.

It all starts with a great profile that shows recruiters and industry contracts who you are and where you’re looking to go. As noted by StarTribune, focus on industry keywords so that you pop up in relevant job searches.

You’re much more likely to see contacts share articles or press releases on LinkedIn than any other social platform. If you see something that appeals to you, like it!

LinkedIn also has a robust job search platform that allows you to narrow search results based on a variety of factors. When applying for a job, LinkedIn even lets you know which contacts have connections at the company you want to work with. It makes it easy to message your contacts to put in a good word with companies for you.

The not so great thing about LinkedIn? Most jobs are professional and most everyone is on the platform to get a job or move up in the world. That environment can be tough for some people, and logging in every day isn’t for everyone. However, you should at least have an updated account in case someone in your industry finds you.

Facebook

Facebook has more than 2 billion active users. Granted, many of those accounts are private and many more are in foreign countries you may never want to work in. However, Facebook can still be a great networking tool. Facebook groups can be like Twitter in that you can find like-minded individuals in your industry and discuss trends and news. There are even groups for resume prep and interview tips.

However, Facebook stands out from Twitter in that it has its own job search feed. This pulls from pages you’ve followed and your local geographic area, showing jobs in your area. Although not as in-depth as LinkedIn’s job search function, the feed is perfect for finding industrial or service-oriented jobs that are rare on the professional-focused platform.

The downside of Facebook as a job search tool is that the site focuses on friends and family above all else. However, business contacts can still see your profile, so you need to stay away from posting anything unprofessional in case a potential employer reviews your profile. It may even be worth it to create a professional Facebook profile separate from your personal one if you want to keep your personal life private.

Twitter

As with any other social media platform, beginning to job search in Twitter starts with building your network. There are over 69 million users on the platform, and even getting in touch with a small piece of that can increase your job search power.

Most people don’t make their accounts private, so you’re free to view and follow users at your leisure. And when you add them, they could add you back.

Everyone is immediately accessible. You can retweet influencers (those in your industry with large amounts of followers) and add a comment of your own in the hopes that they notice you. As noted by LifeHacker, you can also set up job alerts by creating searches and following them.

The downside to Twitter? Sixty-nine million possible connections also mean 69 million people to compete with for attention. However, you don’t need to become an influencer with millions of followers to be successful at networking on the platform; a small sphere of like-minded individuals can still lead to your dream job.

Any other job search websites you want to hear about? Let us know in the comments!

Is Your Online Activity Costing You the Job?

Your lack of interviews could be due to what you said online years ago.

The internet is a huge and wonderful place. You can search for tips on how to fix your sink, buy a used car, and leave a review for your favorite restaurant. However, it’s important to remember that anything you say online is pretty much permanent. An angry review or a sarcastic comment from years ago could come back to haunt you later.

This is incredibly relevant to the job search. The lack of a face-to-face connection might seem to give you some degree of anonymity, but it doesn’t. Recruiters and interviewers will see what you’ve done and said online and factor that into their consideration of you as a candidate, for better or worse.

According to the HUHS Library Media Center, 45% of all hiring managers use search engines to find information on people who applied for jobs. And, 63% said that something on a job seeker’s social media site caused them to not offer them a job.
And the best way to avoid that situation? Not doing anything bad in the first place. But what exactly is “bad” when it comes to the internet and your job search? We’ve got you covered.

Don’t Complain on Social Media

If you had food poisoning during a recent trip to Sherry’s Crab Emporium, it’s fine and dandy to let them know on social media or a review site. However, avoid ranting or using any rude language. Be concerned and polite. That review might come up when you’re being considered for a great job, and it could be the deciding factor that throws you out as a candidate.

Avoid complaining about a boss or co-worker on any of your pages. Even if you aren’t social media friends with these individuals, it’s still possible they could see your comments through a shared contact. And if you’re applying for a new position, your potential employer could write you off as a temperamental employee.

Don’t Breach the Line Between Business and Personal

Social media can be a great networking tool. However, don’t add interviewers on any social platform. Keep the personal and professional separate. Your online interactions with the company should always be strictly professional.

Avoid contacting companies you’ve applied or interviewed with via social media. A quick question to your interviewer via email is fine, but writing a post to a company’s Facebook page is not. The person in charge of the Facebook page most likely has nothing to do with your interview. And, if you post directly to the company’s Twitter or Facebook feed, you’re letting everybody else see your conversation.

Don’t bother your contacts on social media. Don’t message them just because you can. Avoid doing anything that could be seen as begging for a job. Realize that there is a line between social media for business and social media for personal use.

DO Be the Best Version of Yourself

When you want to impress someone in the real world, you bring your A game. You put on a nice suit, smile, and take care to be as polite as possible.

The internet should be no different. If your name is in any way attached, realize that whatever you say or do is there to stay. Don’t post pictures of yourself partying or say anything overtly political. Keep complaints to yourself, and don’t use any profanity.

To keep your personal life private, it’s important to adjust your privacy settings. Although the method for this will change depending on the platform, you usually can adjust what the general public (non-friends/followers) see on social media through something on the site’s “settings” tab.

Don’t Forget to Log-Out

The internet is a great place, but nothing replaces the power of a true one-on-one, face-to-face interaction. Go the extra mile and deliver your resume and cover letter to a business in person.

If you have questions, pick up the phone. Call the office and schedule an in-person appointment to meet with someone and discuss your concerns politely and succinctly.

Whenever an interview is over, send a handwritten thank you card in the mail. That little bit of extra effort goes a long way.

In all that you do, be quick, polite, and kind. That’s something truly memorable.

Have questions about how to behave online? Let us know in the comments below!

Poll Results: What’s Your Go-To Social Network for Finding a Job

A few months ago, we polled readers, asking them what their go-to social network was for finding a job.

The results leaned toward LinkedIn with 51% of the vote. “Other” followed in second with 29%, with Facebook close behind at 20%. Twitter, surprisingly (given the popularity of the platform), received 0% of the vote.

“Other” responses included readers using Indeed.com or Cragislist.com as their social media platform of choice. However, although these are incredibly helpful job search websites, they are not social networks.

What does all of this mean? It means that different people choose to network in different ways whether they’re online or off. In the real world, some prefer professional groups while others prefer charity groups. Online networking is similarly split, with people choosing one platform or another due to personal tastes.

However, the heavy tilt towards LinkedIn does show that you should have LinkedIn for networking. Fifty percent of our voters are on LinkedIn, and you can’t connect with them if you aren’t there too!

Have anything to share about your preferred social media platform for finding a job? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Top Rated Job Search Tools

job_search_tools_webFinding a job and scouring the job boards can often be a time-consuming, frustrating, and confusing ordeal. With hundreds of job boards online and even more want ads in the newspapers, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. Where do you even start? How do you know where to look? How do you avoid scam sites or “pay” sites?

We’ve compiled a list of helpful sites we think are the best places for job seekers to use their time wisely. While every job seeker is different and has different needs and priorities, these tools are a great place to start if you’re looking for a job.

1. Job Boards
General job boards can be a great place to kick off your search. We’ve included such popular sites as Monster.com, and CareerBuilder because they allow you to search jobs quickly and easily.

There’s also more niche-oriented sites. For example, Idealist.org is a job board dedicated to non-profit jobs. USAJobs is a job board with a huge list of federal job openings. Both are quality tools to help you if you want a job with the government or in the nonprofit realm. Be sure to check and see if there’s a nice specific job board for your industry.

2. LinkedIn
If you are actively looking for a job, you should already be on LinkedIn.

Why? For one, it is the largest professional social networking site in the world, boasting more than 175 million members in more than 200 countries.

Every second, two new members sign up, and more and more hiring managers are looking at LinkedIn profiles for potential candidates. According to Forbes.com, recruiters use LinkedIn more than any other website to connect with job candidates.

Even better is that it is free to use and a great place to show off your work history and qualifications!

3. Facebook and Twitter
Another way to use social media to get your foot in the door is to follow, like, or start conversations online with the companies where you’d like to work for. Commenting or “retweeting” comments from a potential employer on Twitter shows engagement, as does leaving comments or “liking” a post on that company’s Facebook page.

Other social media sites, like Instagram or Pinterest, also allow you to start engagement and conversations with potential employers. Just be careful of what you post – what you say online could stay there forever.

4. Professional Organizations

It’s been said a professional organization exists for every field, and the benefits of joining such organizations are many. Participating in a professional organization allows job seekers to learn from the experience of others, but also allows for top-notch networking opportunities.

By joining a professional group, you have the chance to connect with decision-makers in your industry and hear about job leads. Many of these groups, like the Public Relations Society of America or the Society for Human Resource Management, have extensive job boards that are open to members.

An added benefit of joining these groups is the potential to expand upon skills necessary to your particular field.

5. Recruiters and Staffing Firms
Recruiters and staffing firms like Express Employment Professionals work to bring the right employee and the right employers together. Whether you’re looking for a temporary or a professional position, working with a staffing firm is an easy way to improve your job search.

Staffing companies help match thousands of job seekers to jobs every day. And, the assistance doesn’t stop there. These firms also provide tools like resume writing help, job seeking tips, and job search tools.

And, if you’re new to Movin’ On Up, the Express Employment Professionals job blog, take advantage of the numerous articles and topics designed to help you in your quest for a perfect fit. Articles range from Top Interview Traits Your Future Boss Wants to See to How to Say Yes to a Summer Wardrobe and all topics in between.

Do you have some favorite job search tools that you use? Share with us in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

3 Steps to Detoxing Your Social Media for Your Job Search

detox_socialmedia_webIn June, CareerBuilder released findings on the number of employers turning to social networking sites to research candidates. The 2014 survey, conducted by Harris Poll, found that 51% of employees who research job candidates online said they’ve found content that caused them to not hire the candidate, up 8% from the previous year and 17% from 2012. Only 12% of employers surveyed said they don’t currently research candidates on social media, but they also reported that they plan to start in the near future.

If you think your online presence could be poisoning your job chances, it’s probably time to detox your social networks and rid your accounts of content that could keep you from getting a job.

Step 1: Get Rid of the Harmful Stuff Fast

When it comes to detoxing your social media, the first thing to do is to remove anything harmful from your accounts. The CareerBuilder survey reported that some of the most common reasons employers gave for passing on a candidate included:

  • 46% for provocative or inappropriate photographs or information
  • 41% for information posted about the candidate drinking or using drugs
  • 36% for bad-mouthing a previous company or fellow employee
  • 32% for poor communication skills
  • 28% for discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc.
  • 22% for lying about qualifications

As you start to detox your social accounts, think about what employers are and are not looking for in a candidate. Take a look at your history online and search for anything that could be considered unprofessional or could be misconstrued. If it hurts your chances of getting hired, ask yourself if it’s worth keeping. Then, start deleting. Edit errors. Remove inappropriate posts you’re tagged in. Change your profile photo if it doesn’t reflect the professional image you’d like to portray.  Really take some time to investigate your accounts. It may not be enough to switch out your Facebook profile photo for example. You may also need to delete some of the old profile photos entirely from your account to keep people from looking at your profile history. Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to let go of the past for a brighter future.

Step 2: Setup Boundaries and Check Privacy Settings

Once you’ve deleted the things that could be harmful to your job search from your social accounts, take a look at your privacy settings. If you don’t want potential employers looking at your Facebook page for example, make sure only your friends can see the information you share on your profile. If you’re going to leave your Facebook profile open, turn on your Timeline review so you can approve posts you are tagged in before they appear on your page. If you don’t approve a post that you’re tagged in, remember that you may still need to go remove the tag from your friends post. Facebook and other networks are constantly updating their privacy settings, so it’s important to stay up to date on your settings to know who can see your accounts.

Now that you’ve checked your privacy settings and cleaned up your accounts, take some time to think about what you will and will not post in the future. Give yourself some boundaries or create some rules of thumb to follow to keep your social media free of job killing toxins. Tell yourself you will proof read every status update before you post it and try reading your updates out loud before you share them. This will help you catch any grammatical errors and give you time to stop and think about whether or not you should even post it.

Step 3: Replace the Bad Stuff with the Good Stuff

Your social media presence doesn’t have to be toxic to your job search. In fact, it can actually help you get an interview or even a job! While the CareerBuilder survey found that 51% of employers didn’t hire an applicant because of something they saw on social media, 33% of employers also said they’ve found content that made them more likely to hire a candidate as well. And, 23% said they found information that directly led to hiring the candidate!

Some of the most common reasons employers gave for hiring a candidate based on their social networking presence included:

  • 46% of employers felt the applicant was a good fit with their company culture
  • 45% said the candidate’s background information supported their qualifications
  • 43% said their online presence conveyed a professional image
  • 40% said the applicant was well-rounded and showed a wide range of interests

If you want to make the most out of your social media networks to help you land a job, then replace any harmful information with beneficial information that could actually help give your career a boost. A great place to start is with your LinkedIn account since it’s already geared toward helping you make professional connections online. Take time to fill out as much information as you can. Provide links to your work. If you volunteered for something in your community, post about it on all of your accounts. Share industry related information to help show that you’re an expert in your field. Detoxing your social media isn’t just about getting rid of what’s bad. It’s about sharing the good things. Find ways to demonstrate your skills and abilities as well as your personality and your strengths, and you’ll be well on your way to having a robust and healthy image online that could help you stand out from other applicants.

How do you ensure your social presence is free of job-killing toxins? Share about it in our comment’s section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Is Your Online Presence Hurting Your Job Search?

online_identity_webWhat you put online can haunt you forever.

Sound scary? It is.

Remember those parties in college and the pictures of you and your friends doing silly, sometimes inappropriate, things? Well, those fun times may come back to haunt you when you’re looking to impress a potential boss.

Today’s employers are savvy enough to scour the web and social media sites to get a feel for potential employees. So, if your digital footprint shows information you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see, then that footprint needs to be fixed, and fast. It could mean the difference between getting the job of your dreams or missing out.

First things first. Type your name into Google or Bing and see what search results show up. If what appears doesn’t show you in a positive light, you may want to start cleaning up your image. Here are the facts and ways you can improve your digital reputation:

Digging Up Dirt

According to the HUHS Library Media Center, 45% of all hiring managers use search engines to find information on people who applied for jobs. And, 63% said that something on a job seeker’s social media site caused them to not offer them a job. Recruiters for college graduate jobs said the same thing, with 50% saying they’ve found information online that ruined a job offer.

On the other hand, only 3% of job seekers regularly check their online presence; in fact, 74% said they’ve done it only once or twice.

Do you know how you really look online?

Think Before You Post

Photos of that beach party or that outrageous stunt you pulled may be lots of fun to share with friends, but it’s a big red flag for employers.

Even worse are questionable photos or posts. A CareerBuilder.com study said the top reasons someone wasn’t hired were because:

  • Candidate posted provocative/inappropriate photos/info – 49%
  • There was information about the candidate drinking or using drugs – 45%
  • Candidate had poor communication skills – 35%
  • Candidate bad mouthed previous employer – 33%
  • Candidate made discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, or other – 28%
  • Candidate lied about his or her qualifications – 22%

Good Behavior

Don’t despair. Not all online searches yield terrible information that will doom you to unemployment for the rest of your life. Employers can also find the good things about you online too.

According to the same study by CareerBuilder, those good things included:

  • They got a good feel for your personality – 58%
  • You have a professional image –55%
  • Information found proved you were qualified  – 54%
  • You come off as well-rounded and with a wide range of interests – 51%
  • You have great communication skills – 49%
  • You are creative – 44%
  • Other people said great things about you – 34%

What You Can Do

The good news is that you can start cleaning up your online image today. With a little effort, you can make your online presence work in your favor.

But, before we go any further, go to all your social media sites right now and adjust your privacy settings so only people you want can see your posts. It’s okay, we’ll wait.

Now that your sites are private, you can do a couple of other things to erase any bad press a search may turn up. These tips, provided by The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, include:

  • Remove any photos, content and links that are inappropriate or reveal too much information.
  • Be private and selective about who can access your information.
  • Remove inappropriate comments by others.
  • Post links to your work.
  • Don’t vent on a public domain – keep your anger or nasty comments to yourself.
  • Set your social networking profile to private and designate who can view your content.
  • Most importantly, think before you post.

Have you had an experience in which your digital profile meant the difference between getting a job or not getting a job? Share your story in the comments below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Secure Your Social Media

Password_May2014_webSocial media now plays a role in your job search and in the HR world. It’s important to protect your information. Social media security issues often arise as a result of weak passwords. Hackers can easily access your account and hijack your information if you’re not careful about how you choose your passwords.

In 2012, the top three most common passwords were “password,” “123456,” and “12345678.” No matter how many precautions you take to protect your social media networks, if you don’t take the time to protect your password, you may be easy prey for savvy hackers looking to gain access to your accounts.

Passwords and Account Settings

One way to start securing up your social media accounts is by updating your passwords and account settings. It’s important for your safety and online identity to protect yourself by making a few easy changes to your password and account settings.

When it comes to passwords, you’ve got to create sequences of words and letter that are very unique. It’s also important to change up your passwords frequently.

How to Keep Track of all Your Passwords
I know it seems like a daunting task to re-create a unique password every month, not to mention keep track of it, but it could pay off in the future to have safe and protected social media networks.

Having trouble remembering all those different passwords? Try using a password manager application that organizes and protects passwords and can automatically log you into websites.

Worth the Investment
With graduation around the corner, you’ll be glad your sites are secured. A recent CareerBuilder study of 2,100 hiring managers and human resource professionals found that nearly two in five companies use social networking sites to research job candidates. And one in five hiring managers said they found something that has caused them not to hire a candidate. By keeping your accounts secure you lower your risk of fraudulent posts that could be damaging to your reputation. So remember, during your job searching process, the importance of keeping your social media accounts secure and cleaned up.

What have you done to secure your social media accounts? Share with us in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.