It's easy to talk your way out of your job with social media, but slightly more difficult to talk your way into one. With hundreds of millions of people using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, the odds are in your favor that you'll be able to find a job opportunity you like. But how to capitalize on those odds? That's a horse of a different color. Here's a look at three easy steps to using your social network to get you a job.
1. Get on(line)
This should be a no brainer, in order to find a job using social media you'll need to actually have an account. There are tons of sites competing for your membership, but the two most relevant in your job search for a part-time job or full-time position will be Facebook and Twitter. It's not about favoritism; they're just the most popular.
When you create your account make sure everything you do or say is workplace appropriate. 70 percent of recruiters say they've used the internet to research potential hires, so you'll need to be sure you cast yourself in the best light possible. Always avoid curse words, risque jokes and political commentary.
2. Get out (there)
Think of social networking like a huge party. The more people you talk to, the more people you'll meet and be introduced to. The goal of social networking is to meet as many people as possible, because each introduction is a possible job lead. The best time to social network is when you don't need something. No one likes to be hit up by a virtual stranger for a favor.
Always work on building your social network. Friends from highs school, college, previous jobs, volunteering buddies, relatives or long-time friends are a prime target. Anytime you meet someone offline and have a decent conversation, send them a friend request while it's fresh in their mind. Waiting six months and saying "hey remember we met at that party and talked about that thing you'll never remember" isn't the best way to jog their memory.
3. Get in(volved)
Once you have your social network firmly established (and constantly growing) be sure to leverage your contacts to meet your end goal: finding a job. Talk to friends and see who can hook you up with someone at your dream job. Employee referrals are the number one source of hires for almost every country under the sun. It's truly is about who you know, and having someone to vouch for your ability to do the job you want is the sharpest tool you could have in your toolbox.
If you're willing to look for any job, ask your friends who is hiring. Something as simple as "Anyone know who's hiring in the area?" will probably do the trick. Most people are compelled to feel like they are "in the know" and any good friend will want to hook you up with the inside scoop. But, remember, social networking is a two way street. Once you get that awesome job, be willing to return the favor and help others out in their job search.