The do’s and dont’s of social media job hunt

Google yourself and see what comes up on the internet, would you be happy to hire yourself if you were the potential employer looking for a candidate to hire.
Normally, your social media profile says a lot about who you are and that is undeniable fact.

By Emmanuel Zvada

Whether you are a college or university graduate looking for your first job or an experienced professional looking for new opportunities, managing your social media profile remains incredibly vital in the job hunting process.

If you are a professional on job hunt be careful about what you share online and who can view your posts.

Job-hunting has radically changed. The advent of computer technology has paved the way to applying for positions via sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Friendster, Multiply, and Twitter to name a few.

Nowadays, job seekers use computers to reach out to relatives, former employers and classmates, as well as colleagues and fellow alumni and it is now more of a network-related phenomenon of job hunt “a who — do you know syndrome to job hunt”.

Social media has become a useful tool to discover available positions, by establishing relationships with contacts, who can give recommendations. The success of using social media in job hunting is in networking and for you to network the highest degree of professionalism is needed, especially, on how you conduct yourself via social networks.

The more friends you have, the higher the tendency to meet friends of your friends, thus increasing the chances of finding good contacts. Employers also take advantage of networks to seek out qualified employees. The job-match opportunity is created when you reach out to your network on social media and employers reach out its network as well.

There are many social media sites that are available and new ones are being created, but there are the big three that standout for their popularity and effectiveness in completing a job search, these are Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The aforementioned sites can help you find a job and connect with people who can assist you with your job search that is if used properly.

Contrary to that when used the wrong way it can jeopardise a job offer or even cost you a job once you get one, as a result it is important to be very cautious and consider what you do and what you should not do when using social media in hunting for new opportunities

Some tips to enhance your job search via social networking sites:


Be visible online by creating professional social media accounts.

The first thing that should be done is to create a LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook profile that you would feel comfortable with potential employers seeing, that means keeping it professional with your photos and status update.

When you are looking for a job it is important to have an online presence where you can showcase your skills and experience. Your online profiles can help you connect with contacts who can expedite your job search or assist you with finding a job. Having a professional online presence shows your willingness to engage in the most current ways of working.

An effective social media can provide you with opportunities to network with people from relevant sectors and also gives recruiters more chance to find you and what you have to offer. Make sure you can be reached and do not assume they will want to contact you online, make it easy for employers to contact you the way they want. Provide your landline, cellphone number, and email address.

Do not connect with everyone

Be careful on who you make friends with. There is a school of thought that says you should connect with everyone when you are using social media, but I would rather argue and say quality is more important than quantity when it comes to connecting.

The first question you should ask yourself when making connections on social media is how the person can help or what can I do to help them, this will help you to connect with relevant people.

You can also track friends who are currently working in the company or industry you are targeting. They can give you a good referral.

Continuously build your network in your industry

Forming and creating valuable relationships is also vital for job hunt using social media. Experts in job hunting build various networks way before they need it.

It is important to make connections in your industry and career field as well as following career experts in your field. Join groups on LinkedIn and Facebook, post and join the discussion. Be engaged and proactive in your communications.

By building a network in advance, you will not have to scramble if you unexpectedly lose your job. Poor networking is waiting to look for a job until you need to. For social media such as LinkedIn to serve as a useful communication and networking tool, users should make as many connections to other professionals as possible.

Be consistent always

While you may be aware of this, using social media in a professional capacity is different to how you use it for personal use, but many people forget that and use their social media unprofessionally.

The other tip of proper use of social media is to be consistent in all your social media accounts.

The employment history on your resume should match what is on your LinkedIn profile and what is on your Facebook page.

If your job titles, companies, and dates are not consistent that will act as a red flag for prospective employer. Once you have created your online social media profile(s) it is important to make regular updates. An out-of-date online presence is nearly as bad as no presence at all.

To maximise your chances of finding work online methods should supplement, not replace, in-person job-searching techniques.

Lastly, keep in mind that these technologies only improve the job search and who knows they may open doors, but in the end, you still have to prove yourself because recruiters will judge you during your face-to-face interview.

Emmanuel Zvada writes in his own capacity he is a human capital consultant / international recruitment expert and author: For comments inbox to emmanuelzvada@webmail.co.za or call +263771467441.

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