If you’re looking for a new career in 2012, you might just find it on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. According to Mashable.com, a record number of people are using social media, with more than 800 million people on Facebook; more than 100 million on Twitter; and more than 64 million users connecting on LinkedIn in North America alone.
Use Social Media to Find a Job? Yes.
If you think everyone on social networking sites are just posting funny pictures or tweeting what they had for breakfast, think again. According to Jobvite, one in six people found a job through social networking in 2011. Want to know their secret? Read on to find out how you can use your favorite social media sites to land your next job, this year.
LinkedIn is by far the most popular social media site for making professional connections or finding careers. Here, job seekers can connect with key decision makers or thought leaders in dozens of industries. Getting started is easy: simply sign up for an account, create a profile, use a keyword-rich headline or title to describe what you do and attract hiring managers’ attention. Then, simply invite people you know to “connect,” or join your network.
You can also use LinkedIn to research companies in your industry. You can email hiring managers at your target companies; you can even link your profile to your blog or personal websites. Finally, LinkedIn lets you participate in various “groups,” or forums, where you can showcase your expertise or engage with other people in your industry.
Similar to LinkedIn, Quora allows you to showcase your expertise by answering questions in or about your industry, posed by people with similar interests or expertise.
Twitter allows you to “follow” people or companies in which you’re interested. Its search feature also makes it easy to find people or topics you find attractive. Often, companies and individuals post employment or freelance opportunities here, as well.
Blogs, Podcasts, Teleseminars and More
Though they’re the most talked about, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn just skim the surface of social media sites. Blogs, podcasts, webinars, teleseminars and forums all fall under the social media umbrella, as well. These outlets allow you to establish a platform in which to showcase your background and skills, build a following, and attract the attention of key decision makers, some of whom may even lead you to your next career opportunity.
Remember, no matter what social media platform you choose, you must do more than simply set up a profile and post sporadic updates. In order to land a job via social media, you must engage. That means interacting with others, asking questions, participating in discussions and posting timely, helpful content that others find interesting.