by Social Media Working Girl
When I was a senior in college, I sent my resume everywhere. The last thing I wanted was to graduate and be jobless--and the idea of living at home was not an option. Thankfully, I had some PR contacts from my interning days and was able to use them to network and connect with others in the industry. But my personal experience was much different than today's job search.
In fact, with the advent of so many exciting social media tools, there are a variety of resources available online to take advantage of and using these sites throughout your job search can help you tremendously along the way. Two sites that I find particularly helpful are LinkedIn and Twitter. And here's why.
We've all heard the spiel. LinkedIn is the "professional" social media outlet. Consider it your "online resume," if you will. And believe it or not, this is absolutely true.
By posting your resume on LinkedIn, prospective employers and contacts can search your qualifications, background, skill sets and knowledge base, and garner a basic understanding of who you are as a professional working woman. You can join discussion groups, network with professional associations and view job listings. It's a great resource for your career--before and after the job hunt.
In addition to LinkedIn group discussions, there are a number of chats that occur regularly on Twitter. These are hosted by various moderators and are open for anyone to join. By participating in these online chats, you begin to engage a niche audience that will quickly recognize who you are and become familiar with what it is you are looking for and interested in. Check out the many great Twitter chats available.
Additionally, by actively participating on Twitter by posting relevant and interesting content--via chats or simply by tweeting regularly--you will most likely gain a following of some sort. Continue the conversation further and use these followers as potential resources on your job search.
A couple notes...
Maintaining professionalism while also staying personal is what makes for an effective social media experience. Sure, these tools are entertaining and can oftentimes be an outlet from our working girl lives, but it's important to think carefully about how you market yourself.
What kind of personal brand are you creating? How do you want to be perceived? What do you want people to know (or not know) about you? Remember to be mindful of how you want to be heard.
Lastly, I advise you to embrace these tools on your job search. The career world and business arena as we know it have drastically changed. And this is only the beginning.
Have you used social media tools to land a job? What was your experience?