If you’re a news junkie like me that then you might be more connected to your social network accounts than your partner or family wish you were. You probably still rely on social media to communicate with your friends, classmates, and people you have never met in your life, to make sure you’re up-to-date with what’s happening in your city and around the world. You may check, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, you name it, before you go to bed and first thing when you wake up in the morning.
If you are looking for a job this can all work to your advantage. You are probably tired of checking the newspaper looking for jobs, or waiting for a friend or an acquaintance to tell you about a job vacancy that you may wish to fill. If you’re officially unemployed like me, spend twice the money you actually earn, and need desperately to find a job this summer, then perhaps social media can help.
Here are five great ways to use social media to help you find a job.
1. Create accounts on multiple social networks
Creating an account on several social networks, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can help you expand your network. With an expanded network you'll have more exposure to available opportunities that will be sent to your timeline and homepage upon your request.
2. Join special social media group
LinkedIn has great features such as the groups page where you can meet with other professionals from your same course of study or field of expertise, allowing you to make more contacts. You may also want to join Yahoo groups or forums about topics that interest you: U.S. economy, foreign policy, journalism, social activism, LGBT activism, etc.
3. Self promoting your added value
Facebook also has features such as business pages, which are for free for all users. They may allow you to display your art work, if you’re an artist, or articles if you’re just starting as a journalist.
Twitter is also great to share information with millions of people without having to know any of them, not even by their username. Hashtags – or #’s – optimize the probability that those interested in a certain topic might find your advertisement or article. Following the right people and encouraging them to follow you back also helps quite a lot as many people will be inclined to share your information with their own networks. Just remember, your number of followers equals your potential influence so you want to keep your account active in order to have more and more people following you.
4. Be careful what you say
It's important to watch what you say and what you post on social media, because once it’s there, it’s there; even when you delete something from Twitter or Facebook that doesn't guarantee that it will be deleted from potential Google searches. You may not want to share any (very) personal details about yourself, and keep these accounts as professional as can be. As I’m a fervent supporter of LinkedIn, I suggest that you have a look at the LinkedIn answer page. There are more and more professionals and companies that post their ads just about everywhere on LinkedIn. You may look intelligent to them if you consider replying to their posts and persuading them to accept you into their networks in order to engage in further conversation.
5. Create a job search
There is also another section on LinkedIn where you can look for a job based on your work experience, desirable skills, and field of expertise. I personally made most of my earnings this year through LinkedIn, as a beginning journalist. It helped me quickly connect with people interested in the Arab Spring and the MENA region as it was easy for them to find me too. We’re talking about thousands of dollars.
There are other networks such as idealist.org where you can search for jobs, internships (paid and unpaid), and volunteering opportunities all across the globe, from Kosovo to Bali.
Doing Facebook page research may help you find specialist pages within your specific field of expertise, from there you can easily communicate with the administrators and introduce yourself to companies or NGO’s of your interest.