When I go one of my network meetings, every week this older man (who seems very nice) gets up and sells his services about how he’ll help you find a job in the “new job market!” Of course, having just graduated, I was never a part of the old market, so I can’t really compare the differences, but one question all these folks want to know how social media and the job search work together. And while I could make this post all about why older people need to listen to me, and not question everything, I know there are younger people (like the soon-to-be college graduates) who probably wonder why, too.

The New Grad's Guide to Social Media & the Job Search

This is a long post, so hang tight. I promise, lots of good information.

Before we start breaking out all the reasons we need social media in our job search, I want to emphasize: you don’t need to be a social media wizard for this. Just stay active with what you do set up, and you’ll be better off than a lot of people.

1. Someone is googling you

This is the biggest reason out of any to have at least some presence on social media. When you apply, if someone is seriously considering you, they’ll google you. For instance, if I use a private window in Safari and google my name (my actual name, not my pen name), this is what I get.

Laura Google Search

Granted, it helps that I have a unique last name, and there’s only one other Laura Toeniskoetter (and she’s in her 70s, I believe). But by using social media, you’ll help boost your SEO score, and eventually you’ll be one of the top hits when you google your name.

Those three links are all things I have no problem with recruiters looking at. I want them to look at my Linkedin page, I write blog content with a specific angle in mind, knowing that I’ll be working in a digital industry. This blog is a place to show what I know. The twitter goes hand in hand with that.

Building a professional social media network is a lot of work, and it can take some time, but I’m here to help you lay the foundation for all of it. So, where do we begin?

2. Twitter is where it’s at.

Twitter gives you the ability to follow people without it having to be mutual. On Linkedin, you can follow people, but it’s not nearly as nice as Twitter is. On Twitter, follow industry leaders. Because I’m hoping to land in public relations, I follow some of the biggest PR firms in the world. I also follow a lot of journalists, both on a local level and a national level. I really do believe it’s important to stay up to date on what’s going on in the world.

So what do you talk about on Twitter? Share news from industry leaders. Share news in general. This is your chance to show your stuff in a non-bragging way. I’d love to work in politics one day, but because political opinions can be tough, I like to tweet funny things during presidential debates. But we’ll get more into these things later.

Another cool thing about Twitter is the ability to talk to people. If you’re in the tech industry and have a question for Tim Cook or Bill Gates, you can tweet them! The likelihood of you receiving an answer is kind of slim, but still.

Learn how to utilize social media in the job search. Click To Tweet

3. Facebook is where it’s kind of at (unless you’re my 15 year-old brother, sam).

Sam jokes that only old people use Facebook (at 22, I refuse to be old). Either way, one man (different man than the one selling the new job market) in a (different) networking group I belong to always encourages people to make public Facebook page to have people follow. I’m a little iffy on this just for job searches for a few reasons. 1. Facebook likes to yank everyone’s chains and make everything hard, all the time. 2. Your reach is not going to be very good.

If you already have a public Facebook page (like the one I have for Ginger & Co.), definitely use it to your advantage. Share some fun stuff, but share advice, too. If you look at the Facebook page for Ginger & Co., you’ll see lots of advice for blogging, some quotes, and the occasional viral video. I only have about 80 likes on my page, so my reach is small. If you worry about how to stay up to date, use the freebie version of Buffer or Hootsuite and schedule some posts on Sunday night for the week.

4. be smart, y’all. a few topics you should avoid.

Politics. That is always one to avoid, unless you can do it in a non-controversial way. For instance, I talk about politics, but I don’t talk about the actual policies. I just poke fun of everyone, but all in good jest.

So, if you can have some fun with politics, go for it. If you use twitter as a political rant, probably ought to avoid it.  All those other things you avoid at the dinner table with family? Avoid those, too.

5. what you can talk about

I touched on this briefly, but some things you should be sharing on your public profiles:

  • Industry News
  • News in General
  • Thoughts on events happening

Maybe I’m just coming at this from a PR/wanna-be journalist perspective, but spreading news about the news is never really a bad thing. Especially when it’s something big. When it comes to breaking news, try and stick to the facts. You never know when something you say can come back to bite you in the butt.

Also engage with people on Twitter. Ask questions, participate in Twitter chats. If you’re in a profession that uses social media, you should be able to find a twitter chat, or at least one related.

6. sharing articles from other people

This is one of my favorite things to do online, and I think it’s a great way to support people. If you share articles from people on Twitter, make sure you tag them. People love to have their stuff shared, so you won’t be bugging someone by tagging them. And who knows, you may have a new connection on social media.

For more information for “rules” on using social media for a professional use, check out this article from Inc.com.