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Reentering the Work Force: The Benefits of Social Media


Social media platforms can be very effective tools to aid you in your job search. These platforms can be used to expand your network, let others know about your job search, and gain information about companies you are interested in. Three major platforms that you might want to explore are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn, the world's largest professional networking platform, is a great place to get started. If you don't already have an account, you can register through LinkedIn directly, or even use your Facebook account to sign up. As you build your profile, be sure to upload a recent and reviewed resume and a professional head shot with a neutral background. You might also consider writing a summary to highlight your skills and past experience and explain what kind of position you are seeking.

Once you've created your LinkedIn profile, you can do the following:

  • Search for people you know and connect with them.
  • Connect with past supervisors, and ask if they are willing to write a recommendation for you on LinkedIn.
  • Search for companies you are interested in to see if you have any contacts at that particular organization.
  • Join groups based on your career interest, location and alma mater, which might result in a connection that leads you to your next job.

Facebook

Facebook is a great tool to stay up-to-date with friends and family, but it also can be used in a job search. However, if you choose to use Facebook for this purpose, you may want to alter your privacy settings and review posts and photos to be sure you present a professional image. Post status updates about your job search so that your friends know that you are actively looking for a job. You never know who might see your post and help you obtain the perfect position.

Many companies have their own Facebook pages, so the platform can be used to gain more information about companies that you are interested in. You may be able to like a company's Facebook page, so any updates to the page will appear on your newsfeed. A company's Facebook page might have information about activities and events that you won't find on their website.

Twitter

Twitter is another social media resource that can be leveraged in your job search. If you don't already have a Twitter account, be sure to keep your name simple so you will be easy to find. When using your Twitter account for a job search, you may want to keep your profile public. You can customize your profile with a brief description of yourself and a professional headshot. The next step is to tweet about what you're doing. In this case, you want to tweet about your job search.

Once your Twitter account is up and running:

  • Select individuals and organizations that you want to follow. Consider following accounts based on your professional interests.
  • Follow company accounts, recruiters, job search related advice columns, job boards and leaders in your field.
  • Search for tweets about job openings. You can search for openings by using a hashtag (#), followed by key words.

Social media can be very helpful as you search for a job. However, remember there is the potential for anything you post to be seen by employers. Be sure you keep all of your social media profiles professional as you look for a position. You want to use social media avenues to your advantage and show yourself in the best light possible.

Don't forget if you need information or personalized assistance with employment or education opportunities, visit the Spouse Education and Career Opportunities website or call 800-342-9647 to talk to a SECO education or career counselor. 


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