Long before the internet and social media existed, it’s widely accepted that networking is the most important channel for landing a sought-after position in a good company.
Today, the same still holds true to some degree. What has changed is the medium of networking.
Social media platforms, when used correctly and strategically, is just as important, if not more so, than face-to-face networking with respect to job searching.
Tidying up an existing profile or creating a new profile on major social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn helps individuals establish an online presence that prospective employers can view. Afterall, almost every company today uses social networking sites in their hiring activities, with LinkedIn accounting for the majority of new hires.
Beef up your social network
Building your contact lists and connections on social media doesn’t need to be rocket science, but you should have some kind of game plan. It would be wise to add supporters and 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.
First give, then take
The best way to get recommendations and endorsements is to first give them. 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 know or 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.
Use it to your benefit
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.
Advertise yourself on social media
Along with a great, professionally taken headshot, your professional summary is the key item you want to shine through on your social networking sites. 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.
Use industry terms and keywords to list your skills
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 online profile. Just make sure if you list certain skills, you have the credentials and background experience to back them up later.