Using Social Media to Find Your First Job Out of College

Social media websites are good for a lot more than just networking with your college friends. Platforms like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be a great way to research careers and find the job you want. But you do have to be careful to make sure your online reputation puts you in the best possible light and doesn’t turn off employers.

Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you land that perfect job:

Do

  • Do follow – If you’re interested in joining a company, follow them. It’s a simple way to show your interest and get insight into their business. Another tip: Be sure to search the word “careers” on Facebook. Many large corporate employers have dedicated pages for job seekers.
  • Do learn the differences between platforms – Get to know the ins and outs of each social network you use. A potential employer won’t likely accept a Facebook friend request from you. But Twitter is a different story. And don’t forget LinkedIn. Since LinkedIn is dedicated to professional networking, it’s a great place to connect with potential employers.
  • Do create an online résumé – You can’t tweet paper. If somebody’s interested in knowing more about your background and qualifications, be prepared to send a link.
  • Do post status updates about your job search – Let people know the kind of job you’re looking for, and post occasionally about your progress. Be sure to keep the updates positive, and try not to go overboard by posting too frequently about your search.
  • Do engage – There’s a lot more to networking than asking your prospects if they’re hiring. Find ways to engage employers in a conversation about their company and keep the conversation going.
  • Do offer proof, not promises – Superlatives don’t get people hired. So rather than stating that you have “phenomenal ideas,” think about ways you can demonstrate your qualifications. Blogs, for instance, are a great way to showcase your thoughts, ideas, and passion.

Don’t

  • Don’t post unprofessional content – Any public posts can be seen by a potential employer. Don’t post photos or statements of the illegal, unethical, controversial, unflattering, sexist, or bigoted variety. Even comments meant to be humorous can be misunderstood.
  • Don’t forget your privacy settings – If you are going to post questionable content on Facebook, make sure it’s visible to friends only. Better yet, don’t post it at all. You never know.
  • Don’t have an unprofessional profile or email address – You wouldn’t apply for a job wearing a skimpy swimsuit. So be sure your profile picture is “safe for work.” Likewise, your profile name and description should be businesslike while looking for a job.
  • Don’t be boring – Nobody expects you to be “strictly business” on your social networks – even employers. It’s okay to have a personality, and you can feel free to post content about your interests and activities. Assuming, of course, they’re legal, socially acceptable, and don’t reflect negatively on your career suitability.

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