How To Use Social Media To Kick Start Your Career

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Think a college degree and a nice smile is going to land you the job of your dreams? You might get lucky, but the reality is that the competition for most jobs is fierce. What do you do when hundreds if not thousands of other candidates are standing between you and that regular pay check? It could be time to get social.

According to the 2012 Social Recruiting Survey conducted by TweetMyJobs, some 29% of job seekers use social media as their primary means of job hunting. A similar social recruitment survey from Jobvite looked a little deeper and found that over 18 million Americans found their current job on Facebook. More than ten million caught their break on LinkedIn, while Twitter was reportedly responsible for eight million hires. It seems recruiters are catching on to the trend toward social recruitment and increasingly looking to the networks to find their newest major talent. We have everyone from college football coaches to global research firms like Forrester seeing real results from their social recruitment endeavors.

If you’re keen to get started, here are some top tips to jumpstart your job hunt on the social platforms.

– Who Are You Anyway? Yes, You Will Be Googled

The first thing to do is define who you are. Think of it like a leading company building a brand. They are usually going for consistency, creativity and clarity (perhaps even other things that start with C). You need to think of yourself as the brand and view your social profiles as a potential employer. That photo of you after one too many? Make it private. Be consistent about your personality, achievements and goals and link one profile to the others.

– Hello! Can We Be Friends?

Start the ball rolling with companies you are interested in by connecting to their Facebook page, LinkedIn group and Twitter account. Do your homework and find out who’s who in the companies you fancy yourself working in and look for opportunities to connect and/or be introduced. A referral stands you with a 20% better chance of getting hired. It’s not what you know, right?

– Have You Heard The One About?

Unless you’re hankering after a job as a stand up comic, be professional at all times. Look for the most opportune moments to share your knowledge in your particular field of expertise and get involved with the “conversation.” You never know who will see and like your contribution further down the funnel.

If you’ve done all that and still feel you could be doing more to stand out in the crowd, you can look to Stacey Knupple for inspiration. Stacey aka Stacey Kface is ‘that girl’ who turned her resume into an online pinboard over at Pinterest. Her story is covered in quite some depth over at AG Media and makes for an interesting read. Bentley University marketing graduate and internet marketing consultant at HubSpot, Alec Biedrzycki, offers another creative use of social media as a job hunting strategy. You can check out his undoubtedly creative and sometimes hilarious “Hire Me” video over at You Tube. The jury is out on whether this creative pair will land work as a result of their efforts, but if nothing else they have been noticed.

As Knupple says “the hope is that somewhere out there exists a company that wants to hire the girl who turned her resume into a Pinterest board because she has a million other great ideas.”

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