Beyond a Profile Page: A Continuous Discussion of “Seeking Jobs on Social Media”

It is no longer a secret that companies use social media to recruit and select managerial candidates. As a result, if a job seeker wants to catch an employer’s attention, s/he must be visible online as an expert.

Last year, I published an article about social-media job-search tactics in HOSTEUR™, in which I shared some career advice with hospitality and tourism students. A year later, I was invited to write an article of the same topic for the HealthyYou Magazine, but this time my target audience is the students majoring in nutrition science and public health. I actually offered similar advice to both groups (even though with different wordings). The truth is it doesn't matter in which area(s) a person wants to advance his/her career. The basic tactics of using social media in job search remain the same. Here are some examples,

  • A job seeker must understand the characteristics and qualifications that his/her ideal employer is looking for in order to design/develop an appropriate personal brand that fits into this employer’s expectations as well as his/her own career goal.
  • Having a presence on major social networking sites, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter is good, but not enough. A job seeker also needs to actively participate in online forums and discussion. The more useful information this person shares, the better. The more this person helps other in a specific area, the more likely this person will be known as an expertise in a particular domain.
  • It is nice to connect with the industry experts, professionals, co-workers, clients, and people who share the same interests, but these connections may not mean much if we never interact with them. A trustful relationship is built over time through continuous interactions.
  • Being negative and critical is fine because it shows a person’s professional knowledge (at least it indicates that this person is capable of identifying an issue), but it can be better if this person is able to offer constructive feedback, suggestions, and alternative solutions to help solve the issue.
  • In order to leverage the power of social media, professionals and students must be willing to share their knowledge and some personal information online. A person can have the most brilliant idea in the world, but such wonderful idea might never be discovered or searchable by a potential employer if this person keeps everything private.

What do you think? Will those tactics work in other disciplines besides hospitality and tourism, nutrition science, and public health? What other useful suggestions will you make to those job seekers who plan to use social media in job search?


References:
Kwok, Linchi (2012). Beyond a profile page: Using social media to build a personal brand and impress potential employers. HealthyYou Magazine, 12(1), 14 – 15. Also available on http://bit.ly/108tmJj.  

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