Last week Kevin and I spoke to the UW Tacoma Marketing Society about how to use social media to promote yourself and (hopefully) land a job. We had a great audience that asked a lot of thoughtful questions. Here are the main points we made to the group.
Tip #1 – No Drunk Pics
We’ve all heard stories about people not getting hired (or even losing their jobs) because of inappropriate pictures on Facebook. If you have a public profile lock those pictures down or delete them. It only takes a moment to make your photos available to “Friends Only”. You can also disable the ability for friends to tag you in photos.
Tip #2 – Build Your Brand Online
One of the best ways to get started is to make your body of work available online. Build yourself a website. There are plenty of free or cheap website building tools out there such as Squarespace or Blogger. Buy a domain for $10 (yourname.com) and point it at your site. Make your resume available on your website and on LinkedIn.
Keep your information current. Post writing samples or write about topics relevant to the industry you want to get into. Share that writing on Twitter and Facebook.
Get recommendations from coworkers, teachers, and people you volunteer with. Ask them to post their recommendations on LinkedIn. It’s much easier for a potential employer to read online recommendations than track down your “references available upon request”. Make it easy for people to read positive things about you.
Tip #3 – Do Your Research
Look up the companies you want to work for. Research their culture. Find out if this really is a company you want to work for and that you would do well at. Don’t be afraid to do a bit of cyber stalking. Going into an interview knowing about a company’s core values, clients, and even their employees can be a big help. It shows that you’ve taken the time to do your homework and that you’re invested in your job search.
Tip #4 – Connect Online
Start engaging in online conversations with your potential employer. I’m not saying you should like every Facebook a potential employer posts (spamming them with Likes shows insincerity), but pick a couple posts and leave thoughtful comments. If you read something relevant to their industry, share the article on their wall. Let them know that you have something to bring to the table.
If you have an opportunity to volunteer or intern with that company, do it! Get your foot in the door and see if you can turn that experience into a job offer. Even if they’re not able hire you ask them for a recommendation on LinkedIn.
Once you’ve established a dialogue, put it out there that you’re looking for a job. Don’t spam, just inform.