Using Social Media in Your Job Search

Conducting a successful job search requires you to start the process early. Read articles about the LIS field, review job descriptions to take note of needed skill sets, stay on top of market trends, develop your network and make efforts to stay connected, and conduct informational interviews. One more vitally important strategy is to use social media sites as an opportunity to introduce yourself to potential employers and showcase your value to their organizations. It is one more way to increase your chances of finding a job.

Having a social media presence is one more way for you to market yourself, to develop networking connections, to join groups and be connected to resources in your field(s) of interest, and to be accessible to others who are seeking a person with your skills, qualifications, interests, and expertise.

Using social media in your job search is about linking yourself into the technological world of social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. These are the three most popular sites, which will be described in more detail later.

Why Use Social Media?

An increasing number of employers are using social media sites to recruit and to advertise for employees. The majority of open jobs are not posted on job boards, but are found through networking. Using social media sites as a networking tool can help you find unofficial job postings or find out about job openings through your online connections at the companies you are most interested in. Social media has become a way for professionals to network and "meet" hundreds of people. Using social networking in your job search is important because:

  • it demonstrates to employers that you are well versed in current internet and social media capabilities
  • it helps you to develop and showcase your "personal brand" or your online profile
  • it connects you to opportunities that are otherwise never made available to job seekers because they aren't posted on job boards
  • it builds your professional networking contacts, which are crucial to your job search
  • it allows you to research industries, companies, and positions of interest
  • it makes you visible to hiring managers, recruiters, and other decision makers

The key is to shift your emphasis from looking at positions to finding people. Start by creating and maintaining up-to-date comprehensive profiles on one of the three most commonly used social media sites: LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Getting started using social media sites may seem overwhelming at first, so just get started by focusing your time and energy on one site.

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