Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. How many of these social media networking sites are you using? One? All three? More? Today, social media is a hot topic when it comes to making connections. But, these sites are not just useful for socializing with friends and peers. You can also use them to help build your personal brand and aid your job search. Employers are becoming savvy in using these tools in the recruiting process. When it comes to hiring managers, 53% use social networks to perform background checks on employees, so it’s important to keep your social media sights professional, because you never know which employer could be looking at you.
So, take a minute to freshen up on the overall purpose of the three most popular social networks and learn general rules for professional social networking.
Facebook is primarily a place where people can socialize and connect with friends and family. You can upload pictures, post videos, and update your status to keep people aware of what you’re doing. You can control who sees what on Facebook – to an extent. This site has developed many new features since its humble beginning as a way for students at Harvard to stay in touch. Facebook quickly expanded so that any student with a college e-mail address could participate. From there, it grew to allow anyone with an e-mail address to be able to join Facebook. Today, your friends, professors, elementary school teachers, bosses, and possibly even your parents are on Facebook. This year, Facebook beat out Google as one of the most searched websites in the U.S.
LinkedIn is more professional than Facebook. It is designed to showcase your resume, skills, and contacts. The site also enables you to stay in touch with colleagues and helps you network with other professionals in your field or industry of interest. On this site, the profile focus is primarily on you skills, experience, aspirations, and expertise. what you do for a living, or what you would like to do, and showcasing your résumé online.
Twitter allows you to post short messages, information, links, and more in real time to your followers. You can choose whose tweets you want to follow and allow others to follow yours as well, unless you have your profile set to private. Twitter messages “tweets” are just short – 140 characters or less. An example of a tweet is: Downtown for the marketing association’s annual convention. Each tweet is updated on each follower’s home page, allowing them to see your message, share it, or reply back to it. It’s a great, and quick way, to find information, connect with those in your field of interest, and showcase your knowledge.
Did you know that 53% of all hiring managers use social networks to perform background checks on employees? So, if you interviewed for a job and end up being one of the top candidates, some employer may search your online references, such as Facebook and LinkedIn to learn more about you. If they looked at your Facebook profile, what would your pictures tell a potential employer about you?
An estimated 80% of employers want employees and job candidates to know how to use social networking tools.
If you don’t have any social networking profiles created, it’s never too late to get started. LinkedIn is focused on sharing your resume and skills with others. Twitter is a great account to sign up for because it allows you to easily and quickly share information at once. Facebook is mainly used to help you connect with friends and family, so use this account cautiously as a job seeker.
The more connections you have, the better. Just keep in mind to actually focus on building quality relationships with your connections. Start placing more focus on your social media networks today and start growing your contacts.
It is interesting to see the trend of more companies using social media tools to perform background checks on potential employees. I’m guessing that right now much of this work is done by hand, in the future more and more of it will be done by companies that specialize in creating such reports for other firms.
Social media is essential for your career, and LinkedIn is my favorite as a sales recruiter. One of my favorite things about it (besides making the connections) is the “recommendations” aspect of it. Everyone likes to have a recommendation before they try something, whether it’s a new restaurant, a network contact, or a new hire. There are some tools available for making LinkedIn really work for you: http://linkedin-for-jobseekers.com/linkedin-profile-tutorial.htm.
Best of luck,
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