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Tips to use social media effectively for job hunting

Having an effective social media strategy greatly affects the number of job opportunities that you can become aware of. With different sites for professional and social networking available, engineers must become more savvy and tactical in their approach to network and gather information on potential employers as well as industry trends. These are some handful tips to integrate into your social media activities as you search for different engineering jobs:

1. LinkedIn

A business-oriented social networking site, LinkedIn provides a platform for millions of professionals across the world to network. You can track professionals within your field, join groups and follow industry leaders; making LinkedIn a valuable tool to boost your engineering career. To fully utilize this site one should:

  • Have a complete and active profile. Make sure you include a friendly, professional looking headshot that you would want possible employers to view. Include all major accomplishments, experiences, education, skills, honors and any other professional achievements that you would include on your resume or in an interview.
  • Gather recommendations from previous supervisors, co-workers and clients. This will enhance your credibility in the eyes of a potential employer or client.
  • Network. These can be built by importing contacts from your email address book, past and present co-workers, clients and other professionals.
  • Join groups on LinkedIn and make valuable contributions regularly.
  • Search for open positions within various companies that may be advertised on LinkedIn. Follow companies that you are interested in and keenly watch their activities and any job openings. There are also jobs advertised within various groups amongst professionals with similar backgrounds or common interests.
  • Identify some of the key words that are used within your industry and place them within your profile. This will ensure you appear more frequently on search results when recruiters search for suitable candidates.

 

2. Twitter

If you want to impress an industry leader or recruiter, Twitter has proven to be the place to do just that. Twitter allows you to easily connect with people you don’t know. You can follow companies, brands, people or issues of interest to you and get an insight into current issues and concerns from what they say. Once you start to interact frequently with the people you follow, they will begin to notice you and may engage you in other opportunities that will elevate your professional career. Additionally, organizations have also turned Twitter to advertise for job openings. If you follow the right people and companies, you will always be in the loop as soon as an exciting engineering position opens up. Re-tweeting other people’s comments frequently also motivates others to do the same with yours, marking your knowledge and insight on current trends and establishing you as an important influencer within your circles.

3. Facebook

Facebook has become a popular platform for companies to engage graduates and promote their brands as well as any graduate programs that are open. Hiring managers will often try to investigate candidates’ personalities through channels such as Facebook. Therefore individuals must be mindful of their posts, pictures and what is visible to the public eye if a simple search is carried out. Furthermore, Facebook has applications such as BranchOut that uses your Facebook network to connect with others on a professional level and take advantage of job opportunities. Facebook also partnered with the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the DirectEmployers Association and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies to produce a new Facebook app that would allow job seekers find and share employment opportunities. Additionally, individuals can join groups, network and access vacancies that are advertised by other group members.

4. YouTube

You may think the only people who would benefit from having their work seen on Youtube are entertainers and celebrities. Contrary to popular belief, engineers can use this channel to establish their expertise on a certain field. One can set up a Youtube channel and post up short videos regularly. While building up your audience, these videos can be attached to other sites and shared amongst friends. Another creative use for this platform is posting an online resume presentation which you can use to stand out from other candidates during the interview process. Some companies have taken to holding contests as they search for qualified candidates online.Sometimes this entails posing up a video on Youtube which is then considered by recruiters and in some cases interested parties such as the company’s clientele and stakeholders.

5. Blogs

Today, most organizations run official blogs on their websites, giving candidates insight on what the company is about, their values and corporate culture. This is often valuable information, especially during the interview process. Candidates can prepare their responses and demonstrate their knowledge of the company based on the information they collect from such sources. Some blogs are also specifically tailored to advertise vacancies in different organizations as well as give information on industry trends. Engineers looking for opportunities can easily subscribe to these blogs to get regular updates as well as apply to companies that advertise on these blogs.

Blogs can also be used by candidates who want to set themselves apart from other job seekers by demonstrating their expertise on a certain field. Engineers can use their blogs to discuss career goals, past and present projects as well as industry happenings. The blog can easily be linked to other social sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter which will help draw in an audience and make the candidate become a source of information. The blogroll should be active and all comments should be responded to as soon as possible.

Any engineer looking to display additional skills such as creativity can also tailor a blog to showcase their CV and portfolio. Working with a selection of themes from different blogging sites, a job seeker will have a good chance of standing out from the crowd and impressing the potential employer. Different pages can be created to highlight qualifications from ‘About Me’ to “Companies Worked For’, ‘Projects’ and ‘Why You Should Hire Me’.

About Samuel Kahara

Software Engineer , Proudly Kenyan , Man Utd Die Hard

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