Social Networking Basics for your Job Search

By Mandy Belean, AgCareers.com

Within the last few years, we have witnessed the increased awareness and use of social media sites. Chances are you take part in at least one of these forms, such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. These social media outlets previously were viewed as ways to connect with friends and new acquaintances. However, organizations are turning to this medium as a way to recruit and evaluate candidates.

Organizations realize that an online presence is necessary in order to appeal to recent graduates as well as be seen as trendy and technology savvy. Social networking appeals to organizations because it is free and allows them to provide a short snapshot of positions within their company.

Desktop applications such as TweetDeck allow you to organize your social media presence. For instance, you can create a group of potential employers and follow the companies on Twitter and monitor them for any positions that are of interest to you.

Other social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to monitor for job advertisements as well. For example, AgCareers.com has developed an enhanced Facebook Page that highlights our company and key employers, along with featured job openings. You can start conversations with agricultural employers or fellow job seekers by posting information or asking questions on Facebook or LinkedIn as well.

Make a list of companies you would like to work for in the future. Investigate to see if they take part in social media. You can use the search bar at the top of the Facebook page. Type in “careers” and this will produce the companies who list current career opportunities on Facebook. Search YouTube to see if the company has a channel or any videos posted that could tell you more about the organization or help in your job search.

It is important to ensure that your presence online is accurate and up-to-date. For example, if you have a LinkedIn profile, make sure that your profile is consistent with your resume. Ask current and previous employers to recommend you on LinkedIn. LinkedIn also provides the opportunity to create discussion groups. Taking part in discussions will also serve as a positive networking opportunity. Also make sure that any of your public profiles that may be viewed by current or future employers show you in a positive light.

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