Yes, of course it can. Last summer, I got a job offer on LinkedIn which led to my new current job. In the past six months, two other employers have contacted me (one for a permanent job; the other for freelance work).
Twitter is excellent for demonstrating skills and knowledge. LinkedIn is amazing for finding job postings. Many employers use social media religiously to evaluate candidates before and after the interview process.
Sold? Here are a few solid steps you need to take. These tips come from Samantha Stauf. You can follow her on Twitter here.
* * * * *
You’re sitting in the back of that lecture hall. The class is some heinous amalgamation of trigonometry and calculus. The professor’s voice is devolving into Charlie Brown’s mom’s warbling. You’ve got your laptop open to the slides and you convince yourself that it’ll be easier to make sense of this later, on your own time. You’re a great teacher, after all. One of the greats. You know yourself better than anyone. Plus you look really good today.
So you might as well alt-tab over to your browser of choice and check in on the world of social media. No really, you should. It could mean the difference between a job and no job.
Social media has become a pillar in job searches for the post-grad unemployed. 87% of companies have a social media presence, so unless you’re looking for a job at the mom and pop hardware store around the corner, it’s important that you utilize social media too.
As much as I want to leave LinkedIn out of this article, 93% of business recruiters use it. In my opinion LinkedIn being considered a social media outlet is a little strange. LinkedIn embodies social the way a tucked-in polo shirt with slacks embodies casual.
This might come across as a huge resounding “DOI!” for most, but on Facebook, untag those party pics. If you’ve got that friend who seems to always have a camera when you’re drinking, revoke their tagging privileges. If your statuses aren’t all SFW (safe for work), make them private. Alternately, set everything to be only visible to your friends: photos, statuses, and potentially controversial parts of your “about” section. Furthermore, make sure the information on your resume is consistent with what’s on your social media profile. Lying about qualifications is a surefire way for an employer to pass on you.
Having a presence on Twitter is a pretty simple way to increase visibility. To show interest in your desired industry, tweet relevant articles and reach out to industry professionals. Even attempting to engage with professionals by responding to their posts or tweeting articles at them shows enthusiasm. Don’t be discouraged if they don’t respond.
In your bio section, make sure to provide links to a project or portfolio if possible. Make it easy for people to find out more about you and see your best work.
Browse hashtags such as #jobopening, #joblisting, and #jobtip. This is a great way to aggregate a significant list of potential employers and find connections. Some experts suggest making a separate professional account which is smart, especially if you don’t want to alienate your existing followers who have no interest in much beyond epic fail compilations.
What employers are looking for when they peruse social media is a sense of an individual beyond their resume. So when optimizing these profiles, don’t leave them devoid of character and personality. Keep in those pics of you holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the posts about social issues you feel passionately about.
You may have heard plenty of advice similar to what’s contained in this article, but there’s good reason for that. 91% of employers use social media to screen potential employees and 69% report rejecting a candidate based on what they find. Your digital self is being viewed as a projection of your qualities as a potential employee so tweet, etc. accordingly. If you’re on the job hunt, that is. If not, bring on the fails!