5 Tips for Using Social Media in Your Job Search

When it comes to the job search, social media has almost become self-destructive. With younger and younger generations adapting to technology and social media faster and faster, digital footprints are being created at younger and younger ages.

Last weekend, ExactTarget had the opportunity to sponsor and attend the 2013 Doster Leadership Conference, a student-run event which connects 100 top student leaders from the Krannert School of Management (Purdue University) with corporate representatives for a weekend-long leadership conference in Indianapolis.

The event's hosts had the foresight to realize that few tools have the power to shape a job search quite like social media. With that in mind, they invited industry experts Shama Kabani (@shama) and Anna Runyan (@classycareer) to speak to this year’s crop of college students. Shama Kabani is president of the Marketing Zen Group, an international public speaker, and a best-selling author. Anna Runyan is a consultant and blogger whose advice has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Brazen Careerist, and Yahoo Finance.

The lessons and tips that were shared shouldn’t be limited to just university students:

  1. Listen: Shama says without listening, you’re not properly using the internet to your advantage. She even mentioned setting up Google alerts for your own name.
  2. Embrace Online Video: Shama shared the statistic that 64% of people will watch a 30 minute video while only 23% finish an article. Video is powerful – embrace it.
  3. Pay More Attention to LinkedIn: LinkedIn has been making a lot of news lately and it should be no surprise that it’s gaining popularity quickly. Shama says that employers are going to this resource more than ever before. And with LinkedIn’s “Improve Your Profile” button it’s easier than ever to enhance your profile.
  4. Informational Interviews: Anna Runyan talked at length about the importance of informational interviews. The purpose of these is to expand your network and learn more about a particular interest or pursuit. With the ability to reach out to professionals digitally, it’s easier than ever to make these opportunities a reality.
  5. What Do You Do? It’s a simple question – often paired with a simple answer. “I’m an accountant.” Re-think this answer. Every time you get asked this question, it’s an opportunity to share a compelling story. Classy Career Girl recommends re-wording your answer by starting with the problem or issue that the question asker should be aware of, “You know how…” It challenges you to not only answer the question what problem does your job solve but also engages the listener much more than just firing off a job title.

We’ve all heard the cliché, “every conversation is an interview.” This is true but in the era of the internet, every impression you make digitally is also an interview. And yes, these tips may have been tailored for college students but anyone who has a digital presence should be making the absolute most of their footprint. It’s an opportunity. When used properly, it can be incredibly powerful.

Jonathan Gandolf
2013 Catapult Associate - Sites & Communities

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