Guide to Social Media & Job Search
Social media and social networking are the rage right now, in business and in private life. We humans like to connect with each other, and we have just discovered a wonderful venue emerging for us to use.
Naturally, as with anything social, job search is a large portion of what is happening.
LinkedIn, described below, is the number one social network for job search. If you have time for only one social network for your job search, LinkedIn is the one you should use.
For help with specific social networks, see:
- Guide to LinkedIn for Job Search
- Guide to Facebook for Job Search
- Guide to Google Plus for Job Search
- Guide to Twitter for Job Search
Many employers prefer to scan LinkedIn members to find qualified applicants rather than being buried with resumes responding to job postings.
Why Is Social Media Important to Your Job Search?
Social networks have become critical to your job search, as the graph below illustrates, because it is increasingly being used by recruiters.
Employers and recruiters are using social media more while using job boards less, a trend that began before 2008 (LinkedIn had its 10th birthday in 2013!).
As time has passed, LinkedIn has continued to dominate social networks used for recruiting.
In mid-2013, Jobvite.com asked over 800 employers if they were using or planning to use social media for their recruiting, and this is the result - 94% of employers said they were!
Social media is used in a number of ways. It helps recruiters have a more clear idea of who you are and what you have done before they even talk with you. They also pick up clues about your personality and how you might fit into their corporate culture.
In your use of social media, employers and recruiters can see or have an indication of:
- How well you communicate (your spelling, punctuation, and grammar as well as your ability to clearly communicate ideas)
- Your work history and education
- Your industry knowledge
- Your use of alcohol
- Your use of illegal substances
- Your use of profanity
- How you spend your non-work time
What Is Social Media?
Social media is at the intersection of technology and human interaction. We are gradually shifting to websites which offer the opportunity for greater human interaction. We leave comments and share information.
In general, social media is comprised of:
The largest social network, Facebook is a social networking website that is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. Users can add friends and send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves. Additionally, users can join networks organized by city, workplace, and school or college. With over 1.2 billion members worldwide (early 2014), Facebook is the largest social network but it has a long history of issues with member privacy (or lack thereof).
Google+ - (https://plus.google.com)
Google+ (also known as "Google Plus" and "G+") was launched by Google in early 2011 and claimed over 540 million members by the middle of 2013. Google+ strengthens the impact of the original Google Profiles and includes "Circles" (private, user-defined groups of contacts), "Hangouts" (free user-created video chats), "Communities" (social groups), and other social functions. See Google Plus for Job Search for help with G+.
The professional's social network, LinkedIn is the network preferred by most employers. LinkedIn is a large professional network where members connect with each other, participate in Groups, connect, and interact with each other. Linkedin has over 260 million members (early 2014), and is widely viewed as the most business-like and professional of the social networks. See LinkedIn for Job Search for help leveraging LinkedIn, and join the Job-Hunt Help LinkedIn Group for help with your job search in LinkedIn.
Twitter is a free social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers who are known as followers. Twitter has 235 million members (early 2014). See Twitter for Job Search for help leveraging Twitter.
According to the wikipedia, blogs "are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. "
Many other smaller sites comprise social media, but these are the most popular currently. Who knows what the future will bring. For help leveraging social media and the social networks for your job search, read these articles in our Social Media Center
If you have any questions or anything you want us to cover, send an email to questions at Job-Hunt.org.
And good luck with your job search!
About the author...
Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Susan is a two-time layoff "graduate" who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 1998, Susan has been editor and publisher of Job-Hunt.org. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Google+.