Nova Scotia

Using social media to help in your job search

Searching for a job in this economic climate can be rough, but being social media savvy may help.

Here are 6 tips to help in your job search

Searching for a job in this economic climate can be rough, but being social media savvy may help.

Here are six tips for finding your future career online:

1) Follow your future work place on Twitter

Philip Cantrill, a consultant and career transition specialist, advises the first thing job seekers should do if they are looking online for a job is to find the places they want to work and follow their future employer's page.

"Linking up and liking them, befriending them and you will be up to date when those opportunities arise ... And companies do post jobs on there because they are significantly cheaper than posting them on major job posting sites," he said.

2) Be careful what you post

Cantrill says most employers look at a job seeker's online profile before hiring them. So, candidates should assume everything they post online will be made public and their posts should reflect the side of them that they would like their potential employers to see.

"Make sure it is clean. Make sure there’s nothing on there that is sort of derogatory and can lead to a negative image of you. Because employers are out there checking your profile," Cantrill said.

3) No spelling mistakes

In addition to monitoring posts, applicants should proofread everything that goes up on their profiles. Cantrill said spelling mistakes are red flags for employers that make or break employment decisions.

"Make sure everything you post is proofread. Spelling mistakes, grammatical mistakes — they cause big issues," he said

4) Use it to network

Also remember that social media is a great platform to network. Job seekers should use friends and contacts to generate new contacts.

This is especially the case with online job profile company LinkedIn, where profiles can give job seekers an inside look at a firm's organizational structure and who does the hiring.

Once you locate the key players in an organization, Cantrill said, job seekers shouldn't be afraid to send a quick message to these new contacts. These messages shouldn't necessarily ask for a job immediately but they should be along the lines of expressing interest in networking and finding out more about an organization and how they do certain things.

A message that simply says, "I am looking to network with you to find out more about your organization and how you do things," Cantrill said is a start.

5) Take experiences offline

Once you've made contact with key players. Cantrill said it's time to take the online experience offline. Meet with the people you want to work with in person.

"The key to job search just isn't using one tool. It's not just using the online networking, it's not just using the old static resume or customizing your resume and mailing it out for every job posting — it's about actually going out networking and meeting people. You do need to make that face to face contact," he said. 

6) Be consistent

Be consistent in the use of social media and what you post. It's important that users not only update their profiles regularly but that they also are consistent in the type of information they post online.

Cantrill said that not every post needs to be career-related but job seekers should ensure that their pages reflect their interest in their career fields and also their own personality.

"When joining LinkedIn and Facebook it's about joining groups that relate to your career field and participating in the discussion," he said.

Cantrill said it is important "to have a regular Twitter feed where you are advertising yourself and your work."