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Move over, family photos. Social media has just gotten a lot more serious for job seekers. Looking for a job via social media is one of the best ways to find a job…if you know how to navigate the social media waters well. Here’s how to find a job using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
You have approximately 498 friends on Facebook, give or take a few. Now see how true those FB friends really are by cluing them in on your job search. You can put up a status update (privately, of course) that you are in the market for a new gig. Be as specific as possible in what you’re looking for; otherwise, you may wind up turning down jobs that are totally out of left career field by well-meaning friends.
If you are openly unemployed, you can consider setting up a public page specifically for your job seeking efforts. You can include a link to your resume, post breaking news in your career field, even answer questions from other FB users. It’s a smart way to use social media, one in which hiring managers will find attractive. Just keep in mind that Facebook, while an invaluable resource for finding job leads, is still considered a more private social media network. So it may not be in your best job search interest to reach out to a potential hiring manager on FB—or worse, try to friend him.
It may not seem to make logical sense: find a job in under 140 characters or less? But studies show that Twitter is one of the fastest-growing social media channels that helps job seekers find employment. Unlike Facebook, Twitter’s fast-paced environment makes it the perfect playground for those who are looking to network and find their next job.
To start, make sure that you have a professional online image. That means SFW (safe for work) photos, non-inflammatory or political remarks, and downplay your Kardashian obsession, too. Once your profile is clean, then you can move forward with your search. Follow companies that you’re potentially interested in working for, and engage in Twitter chats. You should retweet the tweets from industry leaders—or those you’re simply looking to make a connection with. When possible, you should try to answer questions posed from fellow users that showcase your knowledge and experience in your field. That way, you’re establishing yourself as an expert—and potential bosses are sure to notice.
Of all the social media sites that you could use to secure your next position, LinkedIn has the most promise. Sure, it may be a bit time-consuming, but you should completely fill out your profile on LinkedIn. The more information you can provide, the better your chances that someone (i.e., a prospective boss) will find your profile.
Once your profile is filled out, it’s time to start crafting your connections. Continue to grow your LinkedIn network until you can establish a connection with those in the know. Join groups that relate to job searching and are also industry-specific so people who peruse your profile will know exactly what you do—and what type of job you’d like to have. When you do reach out to someone important, be sure to customize your request. Using LinkedIn’s standard “I’d like to add you to my network” says nothing, but writing a short description about yourself, the person (or people) you have in common, and what you can offer the person certainly does!
Social media takes on new meaning when you’re in the throes of your job search. So while it’s fun to click through your friends’ photos, it’s even more satisfying when you get called in for a job interview because of your snazzy social media job hunting skills!
Jennifer Parris writes about career topics for FlexJobs.com. Working Mother Media and FlexJobs have partnered to help workingmother.com readers find flexible work solutions—such as telecommuting, freelance, part-time, and flexible schedule jobs—for themselves. Learn more here.
Photo by: Working Mother Editor