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How to Use Social Media to Land a Job

Can you really post, comment and tweet your way to a job?

"Absolutely! I just hired someone today who found me and sent me her resume on LinkedIn," said Jennifer Takacs-O'Shea, President, Caterpillar Career Consultants, Inc. "Sites like LinkedIn are often a direct professional connection from job seekers to hiring managers and companies that are actively hiring."

Very few employers don't use social media to some degree these days, so savvy job hunters should be fully aware of the many ways they can benefit from this digital playing field. Here are some insight and tips from two career management experts on how to raise your professional stock using social media during the job search.

Uncover the good stuff

Researching companies is very important at every stage in the job search process. And with social media, there is a whole lot more to be found than just vacancy announcements.

"Take advantage of being able to go deeper into the organization," said Jeff Bockelman, career behaviorist and personal branding expert.

For example, company blogs and online newsletters contain articles about a company's internal   projects and community initiatives. This makes for great networking conversation and during interviews it can show you've done your homework and that your background or interests match the employers'.

"Also, through some social media sites you can learn a lot about what the company wants by looking at the backgrounds of people it has hired in certain types of jobs. Then, make sure that you are presenting relevant skills to those employers," Bockelman said.

Finally, don't forget to use social media as a professional development tool. Follow closely professional associations and publications to keep up-to-date with industry trends, research and other important information about your field. No matter how much of an expert you are, there is always more to learn. 

Prove your expertise

Everybody can call themselves an expert in their career field, but with social media you can, and  should, prove it without a doubt. Every post or comment you make online can help build your brand, so make them count!

"Sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook allow job seekers to demonstrate their professional knowledge by making posts related to their field and demonstrating their professional talents," Takacs-O'Shea said.

Just don't make the mistake of only posting items, but not interacting with your colleagues. Start or join in on professional discussions, answer questions from others, and provide resources like articles or websites with lead in messages about how they could be helpful. Not being actively involved can look like you are just scheduling posts and have no real interest or expertise that you are willing or able to contribute.

"Furthermore, professional interactions and how prospective employees may conduct themselves within the workplace and amongst industry professionals is an important part of identifying the right match for the job opening and the company's culture," said Takacs-O'Shea.

Now, sit down, log on and review your social media presence. Make it better and make an impact with future employers!

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