By Miriam Salpeter
Perhaps you are skeptical about how social media use can improve your chances to land a new job. After all, the traditional media never hesitate to showcase people who make mistakes using Facebook and Twitter, causing them to lose their employment. It's likely you've barely even heard of Google+; what can this network possibly offer job seekers?
In a nutshell: a lot. The caveat? You need to know a thing or two about Google+ to make the most it. To get started on the right foot and break out of your job search rut, keep in mind these four things all social media tools offer job seekers and the ways Google+ helps accomplish them:
1. The opportunity to demonstrate expertise.
If you and the people you work with are the only ones who know how great you are at your job, it will be difficult to land a new opportunity down the road. Luckily, Google+, offers a platform to demonstrate what you know for people who do not already know you.
Make the most of Google+ by posting updates that highlight your expertise. Are you a health insurance expert? Post links with news about how new regulations affect your industry and include your comments. Does your expertise include fashion or interior design? Create a stream of information and photos in your Google+ profile showing that you are up-to-date about what's fashionable and what is passe. Include pictures and commentary to illustrate what you know.
When you use Google+ to post public updates, Google indexes your expertise, and you have a chance for your posts to appear as search results for other people's queries about the topics you include in your updates.
2. The chance to expand your network.
Have you ever wanted to connect with someone, but you couldn't access an introduction? Perhaps you considered cold calling the contact, but didn't feel confident you could actually connect? Using Google+, you can contact people you don't already know on line and communicate directly with them with no barriers to entry.
It's as easy as finding the target person on Google+ (use the search bar at the top to discover if he or she is using the social network) and using his or her name in an update. To make sure you have the best chance to win someone's attention, either use a + or an @ symbol before his or her name.
For example, if you want John Smith to notice you, you can add him to your Google+ circles (the equivalent of your friends on Facebook) and follow what he posts. When you want to get his attention, comment on his posts or repost something he shared and use his name, "+JohnSmith" in your post. Doing so will trigger a notification for John that you mentioned him.
Depending on the nature of your online conversations, you can easily impress John or other contacts and grow your network of people who know, like and trust you – and who may be willing to refer you for a job opportunity or for an informational meeting.
Ways 3,4 and the complete AOL Jobs article