Using Social Networking to Help Your Job Search

Are you new to the world of social networking?  Looking for fresh ways to enhance your career prospects?  If so, use these quick tips to turn a social networking profile into a powerful career-building tool.

Find the right site for your career interests.  Begin by browsing the different “networks” provided by major sites like LinkedIn and Facebook.  Click through each network’s subfields to determine which sites have areas that match your needs and interests.

Build your profile carefully.  When creating a profile for career purposes, make sure that the information you post is accurate and appropriate.  Start by reviewing other profiles, then mirror the style and content of the best ones.

Choose an appropriate profile picture.  Your picture makes a critical first impression on a recruiter.  Be sure it’s a positive one.  Only post pictures that are “neutral” (i.e., not sexy, costume-like, or potentially alienating) and appropriate for business.  If you already have a profile picture, review it with a critical eye to ensure it prepresents you in a professional manner.

Maintain distinct identities.  If you use sites for both personal and professional purposes, separate your virtual lives by establishing dedicated social networking pages.  Direct all co-workers and business contacts to your professional page and ask them to “friend” you there.

Manage your privacy settings.  Take advantage of the technology sites like Facebook offer to limit what potential employers can learn about you.  Like other features, privacy options are continually updated – revisit them periodically to ensure your settings keep details about your religion, political beliefs and relationships private.  As a rule of thumb, assume that everything you post is public, except what you explicitly designate otherwise.

Post content, links and news.  Post timely content that highlights your professional area of expertise.  By including relevant links on your profile, you: demonstrate your concern about developments in your industry; position yourself as an informed expert; prove your commitment to improving yourself as a professional.

Garner recommendations.  As your online professional network grows, seek opportunities to obtain and post recommendations from superiors, co-workers, subordinates and satisfied clients.  Their third-party perspective gives readers a more objective view of you as a professional.

Complement your social networking job search activities.  Register with UNITEMP and gain access to a multitude of rewarding job opportunities that never make it to job boards or other online channels.

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