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How many Social Networks should you use for job search?

by Tahira Majothi on October 9, 2011

Flickr: Social Media Humanization, Mark Smiciklas, Intersection Consulting, Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

It’s almost like asking “How long’s a piece of string?” there is no one definitive answer or static recommended list. Social media networks are in a constant state of flux, falling in and out of favour faster than fashion trends. Advances in new technologies mean networks are vying for our attention more than ever at a time when information is instantaneous and available even on the move thanks to smart phones.

Social media is a modern day equivalent of face-to-face networking i.e. making meaningful connections with like-minded people. So it then becomes a question of how to filter these networks to manage your individual career needs.

Choosing the appropriate social networks for you will depend on your situation and career priorities i.e. looking for work, thinking about a career change, looking for a promotion, considering an enterprise or a wish to raise your online profile amongst your peers.

Personally I’ve always been weary about signing up to multiple job search sites especially niche ones, because quite frankly who has the time! But also because I wonder whether they:

  • Actually increase your online visibility?
  • Are used by your intended employer/audience?
  • Alert you to lateral career options?
  • Rely on the employer or intended audience to find you?

That being said, recently I’ve seen a number of the same social networking sites mentioned on more than one jobs list on Twitter as well as on the technology programme BBC Click. Some of which are niche, others not so much. They may help you to effectively job search and streamline your online profiles to one or two manageable platforms.

I hope they provide some ideas as to how you can:

  • Market yourself effectively by raising your online visibility
  • Make quality connections with people working in similar areas of interest as you
  • Successfully job hunt
  1. Your Personal Brand

About.me creates a visually dynamic ‘splash page’ to draw your audience to one site where they can see all your professional online activities on Flickr, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Google+ is a way to organise your personal and professional networks into circles. You can determine what information you wish to share and with whom.

LinkedIn Resume Builder provides CV templates. You can choose the relevant information from your LinkedIn profile and turn it into PDF which can be shared via LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Vizualize.me Can turn your key LinkedIn information into an attractive visual form i.e. an infographic.

Vizibility.com uses what it calls a proactive strategy ‘Pre search’ where you can pre-select, create or share optimal Google search information about you.

Labels.io asks you to upload a “brief and catchy summary of your professional identity” i.e. your work history, key skills and personality traits. The website claims to do the rest by making your information accessible to employers and matching you to ‘real time’ opportunities requiring your skill set.

Beknown.com is a Facebook app where you can connect with colleagues/professionals even if they are not on Facebook. Interestingly it does not disclose details of your personal connections. You can also showcase your resume/CV.

  1. 2.    Career/Employer/Research

ResearchGate is for scientists. It allows you to “connect with researchers, make your work visible and stay current”.

WikiJobs is the “largest graduate job search community on the internet”. Provides graduates with factual information on careers, employers and recruitment practices.

Google alerts monitor relevant labour market information, trends and developments by focussed keyword searches on Google.

Glassdoor.com gives an “inside look at jobs and companies” i.e. company information posted anonymously by employees covering salaries, work environments and interview tips.

SimplyHired.com again tries to make the job search process a little easier by bringing together job postings onto one single site. This allows you to see for example via Facebook job openings at companies where your contacts work.

Tweetdeck is a useful platform for you to organise on the one screen, people/organisations you follow on Twitter, direct messages, anyone mentioning your name and specific hashtags or key words.

These networks essentially collate your key information and aim to help you not only research companies but make you visible to employers. This will only pay dividends if you are an active participant of the mainstream social media they source information from, i.e. the ones that feature highly on Google searches such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogs, Flickr, Facebook and Academic.Edu.

So my rule of three is to pick 3 social media networks you can commit to, regularly update on and champion. They will determine your online visibility or digital identity. In my case these happen to be LinkedIn, Twitter and Blogs.

The more you use them, the more intuitive the process will become, thus holding your digital identity in good stead no matter what line of work you progress on to.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rasmus October 24, 2011 at 6:52 am

I see the value of both social media (think you’ve got the most important ones listed) and the generic job sites such as simplyhired, though I think you missed job boards that are exclusively ‘niched’ on the teaching profession.

Reply

Tahira Majothi October 24, 2011 at 10:57 am

Hi Rasmus,

Thank you for your comment. In this post I shifted the focus from websites and jobs boards for specific careers. I rather wanted to focus on helping our readers do their employer research and look at the platforms that will help them to manage their professional online identity.

I wish you all the best with your future plans to teach.

Tahira

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