Thursday, March 31, 2011

Social Media is Your Job Search's Best Friend

After being fired by CBS, Charlie Sheen didn’t get even, he got online. In what seemed like no time at all, he had over 3 million followers on Twitter, had set up a nationwide tour, and was being re-considered for his old job as lead comedian on “Two and a Half Men”.

By employing a few strategic moves on social media, Charlie Sheen transformed his job-less position into an online phenomenon that is landing him more than just media attention. While the average social media user doesn’t have Charlie Sheen’s notoriety, his case is an example of how social media can be used in the job hunt.

While using social media does not guarantee a job offer, ignoring its implications in the job search will absolutely limit your potential. The current trend in human resource departments is to use social media as a recruiting tool; by not taking advantage of online platforms, you may be missing out on job offers as well as connections. UPS, for example, places a lot of emphasis on social media in their hiring strategy, and this year employed 955 new staff through social media channels.

Think of social media accounts as platforms to not only show off your talents but also connect and engage with your network. Staying in contact with friends, previous bosses and co-workers over social media can make all the difference in your job search. By engaging with your network online, you open doors to new introductions, recommendations and connections.

Start with your network during your job search. See if anyone in your network either works for or has connections to your ideal company. Don’t focus on getting an immediate job offer; instead cultivate relationships and job advice from people who could give you that crucial introduction later on.

Presenting yourself in a positive light across all forms of social media is essential; keep in mind that companies are Googling candidates before they even respond back to your email. Here are some tips on how to leverage your social media to position yourself in the best light.

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