Chances are, you already have a few social media accounts, and you’re probably using them to support your job search. At the very least, they provide stress relief and a social outlet that—unlike movies, sushi dinners, and ski trips—costs nothing. But now it’s time to take your social media efforts to the next level. Here are a few tips.
1. Be brave.
Social media is a place where we selectively display the proudest parts of our lives and hide the rest—the gritty details—out of sight. But you’re a human being, and sometimes human beings need a job. Let go of your ego and recognize that lots and lots (and lots) of people are going through exactly what you’re going through right now, and most of them are just as smart, hardworking, and cool as you are. Find a way to frame your words so they don’t sound embarrassing or desperate, but ask for help. Just ask. Chances are you’ll get a flood of responses you don’t expect, and some of them may include valuable leads.
2. Make fun of yourself.
That’s right. Making light of your circumstances and ironically understating your accomplishments and in-depth knowledge of your field can actually help you. For some strange reason, this gesture can increase, rather than decrease, the respect you receive in the social media realm. In Facebook and Twitter feeds, it’s become very easy to dismiss braggarts and ignore those with transparent, brittle self-concepts. But if you make it clear that you know you have shortcomings and you respect yourself all the same, it will be easier for others to respect you as well.
3. Go ahead and self-promote…just do it with class.
When you decide to pitch your new book, your album, your resume, your jewelry line, the TV show you star in, or the online column you’re writing, do it with style. Make sure you tone down the demands and threats (no emotional blackmail, please) and make sure you give as well as you receive. In other words, if you expect friends to share your post or see your show, make sure you’re doing the same every day for others in your community.
4. Tap specific people who can help you.
When you’re searching for work via social media, the private message function can be your best friend. Public updates and tweets are one thing, but people in your professional network will feel more obligated to respond if you reach out to them with a message that’s private, specific, warm, and honest. Remind them of an experience you shared or a project you worked on together, let them know you’re looking for job leads, and be clear about what you’d like them to do. Do you want them to write you a recommendation? Call in a favor for you? Have lunch with you so you can ask them for professional advice? And of course, try to return or pay forward every helpful message you receive in response.
5. Be tireless and be kind.
The social media job search will work best if you keep these two qualities at the top of your list. Polite diplomacy goes a long way, and so does a little resilience. Don’t come across as a robot in need of a handout. Your social media connections might not be able to see an e-smile or feel a handshake, but they will be able to recognize whether or not they’re dealing with an honest and kind person. Be friendly and candid, and work everyday to reach your goals.
LiveCareer (www.livecareer.com), home to America’s #1 Resume Builder, connects job seekers of all experience levels and career categories to all the tools, resources and insider tips needed to win the job. Find LiveCareer on Youtube for even more tips and advice on all things career and resume-related.
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