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Using social media in your job search - October 20th, 2014

More questions have been coming in about using social media in job searching than about any other subject. That means two things:

  1. Social media is all over the place, and
  2. It’s overused!

So it’s important to think – and to use social media in smart ways. But remember, like any other tool: if it’s used right, it’s effective; if not, it’s deadly.

Here are seven basic rules for USING SOCIAL MEDIA smartly in your job search.

1. Yes, be digital.

Indeed, you can become more visible if you’re on sites like Linked In, Facebook, and Twitter. On Linked In and Facebook, in particular, it’s important to have well-developed profiles. This is an integral part of today’s job scene. But, as we shall see, there’s a limit to how far your “digital footprint” should go.

2. And talking about profiles ...

On Linked In, it’s important to be open and public about your professional life while you must keep anything and everything about your private life off that site. On Facebook, on the other hand, due to the way people use it, you have to be vigilant. Too much private information, not to mention, too much frivolous activity, can completely blow your professional image – and with it, your chances for a job.

3. Don’t lean too hard.

Do not rely too heavily on social media to find a job; too many people do. In essence, social media is not real networking; you network on your feet, not on your keyboard. So don’t fall into the trap of thinking that if you’re on enough sites, you’ll get more job opportunities.

4. How much is enough?

There are many thousands, of social media sites, but very few have a direct value when it comes to job searching, though. Nonetheless, there is a plethora of career “advice” encouraging rampant use of as many social media sites. Nothing could be worse advice. Not only don’t you have time to manage all that, sooner or later a hiring company will figure out how much of this you’re doing and, though they will have found you, they’ll also know how you spend too much time. Cool it.

5. Regular, not frequent.

It’s a very smart strategy to update your profiles so that people know the latest about you. But really, sending out weekly updates (some people do it even more frequently) soon becomes a major nuisance to others, resulting in them not only not paying attention to you, but starting to delete you altogether. Be smart about this. Update when it means something.

6. Investigate.

Linked In, more than any other site, is a terrific tool for investigation. With your ability to find out about people with whom you’d like to network – and about who know them and can introduce you to them, who works or has worked with them, and other things you may have in common – Linked In help you find out information, for instance, about hiring managers and company executives. Good stuff.

7. Turn second degree connections into first degree connections.

That’s exactly what networking is all about: constantly expanding your reach. That doesn’t mean you should be connecting with everyone in the universe, but doing this selectively and strategically can pay big dividends. Reach out to the right second degree connections through your first degree connections – and then do the same favor for others.

Career Coach Eli Amdur conducts workshops and one-on-one coaching in Job Search, Career Planning, Resumes, and Interviewing. Reach him at eli.amdur@amdurcoaching.com or 201-357-5844