Bolster your employment opportunities with social media
By Carol Wilson
Anyone—the employed and the unemployed alike—will tell you how hard it is right now to find a job. The precarious world economy has all but forced the hand of many companies to slow down their hiring or to stop looking altogether.
In the face of such dire circumstances, the unemployed and those looking to change jobs are trying to look especially promising to their potential employers. The problem is that there’s only so much a person can do to distinguish his or her experience and credentials from other applicants. Most job applications only ask for a resume and a cover letter, and there’s only so much you can do to make either one look completely individual from all of the others. If you’re applying for an accounting firm, there are only so many ways to explain your accounting experience on a single sheet of paper.
So where else can you turn to broaden your employment horizons? In my opinion, one answer lay in social media tools and networks on the web.
Market your skills online
There are several advantages to harnessing the web as a tool to search for potential employment.
For one thing, it’s free to use as long as you have a connection—you can spend as much time as you can trying to cultivate a marketable online persona that will appeal to potential employers. You can use the web to research hiring companies, network among industry professionals or even to start a blog. Any of these activities are well worth your time because they have the potential to bring you closer to an interested employer.
Let’s consider the scenario of starting a blog as a tool for finding a job. You could use a blog as a public platform for showcasing and expanding upon your professional skills.
If you have ambitions to become a copywriter, for example, a personal blog can be a great venue to continue to hone and refine your craft.
Blogging can work for just about any profession: an unemployed HR professional could just as easily blog about current events and trending topics in the world of business administration.
A person with a blog to his or her name will not only have countless writing samples to submit to potential employers, but also physical proof of one’s web skills. You’ll show employers that you’re informed about your profession and savvy enough to write about it on a daily basis.
Running a blog is no easy feat, and proving that you can do so might be one way to make your application stand out among other applicants.
Social media tools
Professional social networks like LinkedIn are instrumental for job-hunting in the digital age. So many professionals conduct business through some medium online that you would be remiss not to join in on the conversation. The process of setting up a thoughtful and thorough profile for any online professional network is remarkably simple; many of them even allow you to upload your resume and cover letters. The rest of the world is in the digital age; there’s no reason why you shouldn’t join them if you want to increase your chances of finding a job.
In many cases, your social media persona could be just as valuable—if not more—than your actual resume and cover letters. An HR rep who comes across your resume might look you up on Google, and what happens when the search results show them nothing? That’s a missed opportunity for you to impress an employer. If you establish a professional online presence then there’s a chance that that HR rep will find you on Google, and like what they see.
How do you harness social media to help on the job hunt? Let me know!
Carol Wilson is a freelance insurance business writer who is in the midst of creating her very own business insurance guide for consumers. In the meantime, she likes to share her knowledge of business insurance and business-related topics like marketing to small business owners, entrepreneurs and other corporate moguls. She welcomes your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.