Today, I introduce another guest author, Christian Arno, with his excellent article on how you can use social media to help find yourself a job.

Being unemployed is never an ideal situation.  The situation is nearly as bad if you are in the wrong job and not having much luck getting another position, whether it is a career change or advancement in your current sector. However, since we are living in the age of social media, help is at hand. Social media is something that should not be underestimated when you are looking for a new job. Because competition is rife for employment, every opportunity should be explored and social media is one of the best available. The following six tips will help in utilizing social media for employment purposes.

1. Join LinkedIn

Today, there are dozens of social media sites. However, one stands out amongst the others in its usefulness for employment purposes – LinkedIn. If you are looking for a social media site to help increase your job opportunities, then you should definitely join LinkedIn. Unlike Facebook and many others, it is aimed more towards networking rather than friendship. On your profile you can enter your work experience and skills and expertise. You also have the opportunity to write a summary where you can let potential employers know your main employable attributes; the summary section also provides the perfect opportunity to let everyone know if you are looking for new employment opportunities and, specifically, what you are looking to do.

2. Connect with people who can help

Once you have completed your profile, do not be afraid to be active – join groups and interact with potential employers and people in the industry you want to work in. You can just complete your profile and hope that you will be headhunted; that approach has worked for a few people. But for the best results, you need to get involved. Since LinkedIn is designed for you to connect with other people that are not necessarily your friends, you need take advantage of that and not hold back. You should request every contact you think might be useful, even if you have never met the person; if they work in the industry you want to be in or want to advance in, connect with them because you never know what avenues might open up from it.

3. Watch out for profile picture pitfalls

Your profile is going to be the first thing a potential employer will see. If you have a profile picture they will be immediately drawn to it. So, do not under any circumstances use that hilarious picture of you drinking out of a bottle of Jack Daniels at 4am as your profile picture. Yes, that might be fine for your private Facebook account, and your friends might get a good laugh out of it, but it is definitely not for your LinkedIn profile. It does not say to potential employers that you are fun loving and will be a great guy to have about the office. The same goes for a graduation picture if it is not current; it will instantly give the impression to employers that you are a recent graduate and not an experienced professional. It is better to use no picture at all than one that could potentially ruin your chances.

4. Do not attempt humor

If you are not looking for work in comedy, do not try to be funny in your LinkedIn profile; it hardly ever translates well and, simply put, is unprofessional. What you might think is witty and shows off your sparkling personality, might come across the exact opposite to a potential employer. It is best to stay on the safe side. Furthermore, avoid all modern abbreviations, such as ‘lol’. There are too many disastrous profiles that include sentences like, ‘I have been an IT Consultant for two years, but I am not a geek, lol. I am now looking to use my degree in Politics and pursue a career as a Diplomat.’ These modern abbreviations have no place in a professional piece of writing – and that is exactly what the text in your profile should be.

5. Set up an alternative Twitter and Facebook

After you have a professional looking LinkedIn profile and you are utilising its capabilities, it may be worthwhile setting up other profiles on Facebook and Twitter exclusively for job-hunting purposes. This is will be where you leave all you embarrassing Facebook pictures and controversial tweets behind for your other accounts. If you want to link your other accounts, make sure you make them private; this is so that potential employers do not have access to them and all your good work on your professional profiles will not be ruined.

A good thing about Twitter is that you can buy cheap twitter followers; which is where having an alternative Twitter account will be ideal to have if you are going to interact with any potential employers.

6. Do not forget about the smaller social media

So, you have got your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and perhaps even a YouTube channel sorted. So far, things are going well. However, you should not ignore other smaller platforms, such as blogs. By creating your own blog and interacting with people in your field via blogging, you will increase your chances of making potential employment connections. Places such as WordPress and BlogSpot are excellent places to become part of an online community and make valuable connections. Blogging has taken off in the past decade and there are millions of them everywhere now. You should, as with the other social media platforms, be active and get involved – comment on popular blogs that are in your sector, make contact with them and get them aware of what you are doing.

Social media is not an instant cure to employment woes. However, it opens up a world of opportunity that should be taken advantage of. The world is changing, and you should change with it by embracing social media and by managing your online digital portfolio. When it comes to job-seeking, just remember to make sure you social media presence shows you at your most professional.

 About the author

Christian Arno is the founder of Lingo24, a provider of top translation services in Canada. Launched in 2001, Lingo24 now has over 150 employees spanning three continents and clients in over sixty countries. You can connect with and read more from Christian by following Lingo24 on Twitter: @Lingo24.

Prev: Engaging in Personal Development
Next: How to Eat Well and Improve Your Mood