- Create a profile. You need to create a robust profile. Take it as seriously as you would a resume. This IS your online resume. Don’t lie on it, because all of your contacts will be able to see it, and they might call you out on it publicly!
- Build your contacts. The best way to get contacts right away is to allow Linked In to search your Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, or AOL accounts. The only way to invite someone to become a contact is to know their email address.
- Ask For Recommendations. Once you have some contacts, look for some former or current colleagues, and ask them to recommend you as a professional in your field of work. These are great to have when a recruiter or HR manager stumbles across your profile. They’ll love reading these.
- Join Groups. Look for location specific networking groups in your area. Also, join national groups in the industry you are looking for a job. But don’t just become a member of these groups and read. Contribute to the conversation going on. Answer questions. Get to know people.
- Stop being so stingy with who you add as a friend. Did you know that you can create custom groups that filter out certain people, so you don’t need to scan through everyone’s updates? Build a list of people you read the most, but expand your Facebook network by adding more people such as old high school friends, former colleagues, and friends of friends.
- Chronicle your job search in your Facebook status. Don’t be annoying about it, but when something big happens like getting an interview or applying for a job you are excited about, write about it on your status. It will remind your Facebook network that you are looking for a job.
- Join Groups and Pages. If a company you are interested in has a Facebook page, become a fan immediately and start contributing to it. Don’t look obvious like you’re trying to be noticed for a position, but show off when relevant.
- Build your following. The easiest way to do this is to follow other relevant Twitter profiles in the industry you want to be in and give to them constantly. Re-tweet their tweets, reply to their questions, and provide relevant links to articles.
- Talk about your job search. Highlight the ups and downs. Be honest. Be descriptive.
- Use hashtags. If you live in atlanta, there’s probaby a hashtag that people living in atlanta use like #ATL. If you tweet about your job search, make sure you include a location specific hashtag. There are also industry specific hashtags like #socialmedia.
The key to finding a job using social media tools is to give, give, and give some more. Participate in the conversation going on, provide fresh and relevant content, and be genuine. Act yourself online. Employers shouldn’t be surprised by your personality once they meet you in person. It should come out on your social networking presence.
If you have found a job or a lead using social media, please share with us your story in the comments section.