Are you looking for a new job or career change? Before beginning the search you need an updated resume, but you must also take advantage of social media tools like LinkedIn and Twitter.
Let’s take a look at LinkedIn – a social network, job board, resume, and Rolodex all wrapped into one dynamic free tool. Once you create a LinkedIn profile you need to make it shine and become an active user – Here’s how:
- Do you have a descriptive headline? Make sure your headline is descriptive enough so people know what you do and who you are. Current and previous job experience should also be displayed along with your education.
- Do you have a professional quality photo displayed? If you can’t take the photo yourself, professional photographers are starting to offer LinkedIn profile photo services. Ask!
- The Summary section should showcase what you do in a concise manner. Don’t babble, but make it interesting enough to get the big picture about what you do. It should mention your professional life and some extracurricular activities or hobbies.
- The Experience section is your traditional resume laid out, job by job, but unlike a paper resume, you can visually feature projects and display recommendations from colleagues and other LinkedIn members.
- My grandfather once told me, “It’s all about who you know. Make connections.” He was right! Be sure to connect with colleagues past and present, friends, family, and classmates. It’s a great way to strengthen your LinkedIn profile and meet new people, which can lead to you finding a job.
- LinkedIn is also a social network. Updating your status is a great way to share news articles and blog posts related to your field. Did you like an article someone else posted? Leave a comment, like, or share a post from your growing list of connections. Doing this only demonstrates that you’re an active member and should be taken serious.
- Take advantage of Recommendations. A recommendation is a comment, or reference written by a friend, colleague, or classmate as an endorsement and displayed on your LinkedIn profile. Those interested in hiring often consider recommendations when making their decisions. It’s like Angie’s list, but it’s all about you!
- Join some LinkedIn Groups. Take part in discussions, post or view jobs, and connect with more people. You can find groups to join in the Groups Directory or view the groups in which your LinkedIn connections are already members.
- Add your published blogs, articles, and interviews in the Publications section of your account. It only strengthens your overall profile, making you appear more rounded and showing your experience.
- Endorsements are not the same as a recommendation. A recommendation is a reference supporting you and your work, while endorsements are Skills & Expertise that someone thinks you have. You might see that some connections will endorse you for skills you might not think are accurate, however the top 3 or 4 endorsements on your list are almost always correct, so it does have merit.
- Remember, you should create a LinkedIn network based on quality contacts, not quantity! Don’t accept every request. If you’re unsure, ask in a professional, polite manner. It could be a lead to new job!
- Follow your alma mater on LinkedIn. Many higher education institutions have Company and/or University Pages on LinkedIn.
Besides a completed and active LinkedIn account, you should also take advantage of Twitter. Use Twitter to follow and search companies and experts in your field –You can even tweet relevant news articles about your area of study. Engage with other twitter users, especially those that appeal to your field of study or profession the most. You can find a job using Twitter. Many have, including this gentleman (David Gallant was my first student intern at UNH – he’s now one of the most connected people I know in the city of Boston). Gallant was even interviewed by FOX25 Boston about using Twitter to get his first job after college.
Here’s a few quotes from other professionals regarding the use of Twitter for a job search:
“I’ve found jobs, customers, and employees on Twitter. If you want to work for a progressive company, then that job is probably on Twitter.” – Patti
“It’s how I started getting press passes to shows I covered!” – Máiréad
“Twitter is great for finding jobs. I’ve gotten business from Twitter, built real business relationships, hired and recruited people from Twitter, and expanded my business network. Plus, I get to be a smart ass there sometimes.” – Brian
“I’ve built relationships and my business via twitter in a genuine, human way.” – Anne
“I’ve built so many valuable relationships that have resulted in business and have helped others find candidates and employees through Twitter for their own jobs too.” – Sandra
Do you have a blog? Why not? I bet you read or reference a variety of blogs every day, if not at least a few times each week, which is why you should start a blog right now. It’s free! You can use WordPress.com, Blogger.com, or Typepad.com – It doesn’t take much time, write short posts all about your area of expertise, offer opinions on the subject matter you know best, or just use your blog to post reviews of books, movies, music.
Lastly, create a website. Register your name and show off that portfolio! It’s less than 20 bucks a year to create a beautiful, smart website where you can link to your Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media you should be using to showcase just who you are… Upload your original artwork, photos, publications, or stories, and make your website a one-stop shop all about you!
Remember: Be active, engaging, and have fun!