11.6 Chapter Review and Exercises

Social media is a powerful part of your job search for all six steps of the process. You can find detailed information via social media that will help you identify targets, market effectively, research, interview, stay organized, stay motivated, troubleshoot, and negotiate. You can also share detailed information about yourself and connect with others, which is critical to networking and staying motivated. In other words, social media is a powerful tool for all six steps of a proactive job search. Social media is also a passive form of job search because it enables recruiters and employers to find you online.

There are many ways you can get involved with social media, from the biggest sites like LinkedIn and Facebook to niche sites that serve specific industries, interests, or demographics. You can also blog or maintain a website, or you can comment on other blogs and websites. The vast amount of choices available in terms of social media sites and activities means you need to be clear about your interest level and objectives, so you can take advantage of social media’s benefits. Remember, you also want to avoid having social media take too much time and attention away from the rest of your search.

You also want to be clear about how you will remain accessible to recruiters and employers. You want them to find you, but you also want to maintain privacy and have the ability to have personal, purely social connections online. Maintaining separate profiles on separate sites, one for professional activity and one for purely social activity, is one way to balance your public and private sides.

Chapter Takeaways

  • Examples of social media sites include LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and niche online communities.
  • The value of social media sites to your job search is they give you the ability to push out your information and to connect with people in a targeted way.
  • Social media sites are useful at all stages of the job search, not just for networking.
  • People and organizational profiles provide information for your target selection, marketing, research, troubleshooting, and negotiation.
  • The interactivity and continual updating of social media sites enables you to ask questions and get breaking news of trends, people’s statuses, and even job openings.
  • Blogs, websites, and the microblog Twitter can help you, the job seeker, showcase your expertise and connect with people active in your target area.
  • Much like organizations use websites to share information and market to prospective customers, you can use a personal website to share information and market yourself to prospective employers.
  • You do not need to set up your own blog or website to take advantage of the benefits of having one. You can comment and interact with other blogs and websites and still highlight your expertise by the insightfulness of your comments. Commenting also connects you with people; you demonstrate genuine interest by paying attention to what they post.
  • Employers have different steps of the job search process and use social media at all stages.
  • Understanding how employers will use social media enables you to plan your job search activity accordingly.
  • Social media is not about setting up a profile just one time. You need to update it as your skills and experience change and connect with people as your network grows and changes to get the most out of social media.
  • You can keep separate profiles to separate your professional and personal networks and information, but this is not 100 percent guaranteed. You can also just assume that all your information will be viewable by prospective employers and be extra vigilant when you post personal information.
  • Even if you maintain your social media profile actively, over time it will need to change, sometimes drastically (e.g., for a career change to a new industry or function).
  • By updating your profiles with new information and being active on your or others’ blogs relating to your new career, you can change your online profile.

Chapter Review

  1. What is social media, and what are some examples of social media?
  2. Why is social media important to your job search?
  3. How can social media help you stay current on trends?
  4. How might you use blogging or a personal website in your search?
  5. How do employers use social media?
  6. What do you need to do to be active in social media?
  7. How can you maintain your privacy while staying active online?
  8. How can you change your online brand?