It's been said time and time again that networking is the key to finding a job in any given career field. What some have failed to realize is that schmoozing along various social media platforms is just as important, if not more so, than face-to-face networking.
According to a survey by jobvite.com, 83% of employers plan to or already using social media networks to fill positions. The heavy-hitting sites that employers flock to the most are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Beefing up an existing profile or creating a profile on any of these sites helps individuals establish an online presence that future employers can view. An article by clearrock.com reported that almost 60% of employers have hired via social networking, with LinkedIn accounting for the majority of new hires.
Use Social Media to your Advantage
When it comes to using social media to your advantage, forget about all the old pictures and status updates taken during your college days. Instead, focus on anything you'd put on a traditional resume so that you can build your professional summary, list your skill set and accomplishments, and add in bragging rights.
Be Your Biggest Fan
Gone are the days of the objective. Writing a sentence stating what you want is so 90s. The professional summary is where your social networking site really shines. This summary should show that you can describe what you've done, what you can do, and what you can offer the workforce in just a few cohesive sentences.
Don't forget to add a photo of yourself.
Use Keywords to List your Skill Set
The beauty of social networking sites is that they are online. Unlike a paper resume, these sites allow for recruiters to type in keywords so that profiles fitting their needs pop up in search results. Think of terms relevant in your field to add to your skill set. Just make sure if you list certain skills that your experience is solid enough to back them up.
Build Your Network
Adding contacts to your social networking site doesn't need to be strategic, but you should have some kind of game plan. It would be wise to add people from your current place of employee as they are the ones who can endorse your most current skills.
It's also perfectly fine to add connections that you don't necessarily know. If there are people you respect in your given industry, or even outside of your industry, it is possible to add them.
Give Some to Get Some
If you want to be recommended by others then don't be stingy with your recommendations, just be sure that those you are recommending are people you have actually worked with. The same goes for endorsements on LinkedIn. Try to think of the social networking site as face-to-face life. You wouldn't ask strangers on the street for recommendations, so don't do it on LinkedIn.
Make Sure Your Presence is the One You Want
LinkedIn gets a lot of credit in the world of social networking sites, but Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter are no slouches either.
Each of these sites can compliment your LinkedIn profile. The most important thing is to build a cohesive message about your brand (you) on each site. That means your work history, skills, and any other information should be the same on each site.
Remember that sharing your information online doesn't mean you have to be out there on the Internet for the world to see. Privacy measures can be taken so that not all of your information is broadcast on the world wide web.
Get Ready to Work
If you haven't already started a social networking presence, do so now. If you've already got a presence on the Internet, give it a little touch up. Your career will thank you.
Dana Rasmussen writes about digital marketing, social networking trends, and healthcare recruitment.