Career Corner - Using social media in your job search

Social media has a place in all of our lives, whether we like it or not. Personally, I'm not as passionate about Facebook and Twitter as some of my friends. For the most part, they enjoy following friends and others who post and tweet about nonsensical activities and events that are happening in their lives. While most of us have become smitten with the social side of social media, it has also become an important tool for job seekers due in part to the new way that people are finding and landing jobs.

If you think about it, networking has always played a huge part in how individuals find jobs, and if you want a successful career, you need to have a strong network. Online networking is relatively new and is really just meeting and interacting with other professionals via the Internet. If you aren't already doing it, then you should consider starting, but keep in mind there are many pitfalls of online networking. You need to avoid spamming, shouting, begging and requesting to add someone to your network without an explanation, not to mention just being downright annoying online. Follow the general rules of networking, which include being respectful of other people's time, being positive and proactive, making appropriate connections with people you have something in common with, and above all, being prepared to give something back.

A good place to start online networking is with LinkedIn. With more than 225 million users, LinkedIn has grown to become one of the most popular networking sites for professionals. Get started by creating a LinkedIn profile, uploading your resume, and joining groups that share your career goals. Use it to search for companies and connect with recruiters who are also using LinkedIn. In essence, use it to build your online network.

Having an online presence is essential these days, and managing that presence is also essential. Nowadays hiring managers are also using social media to do their research on candidates. According to Joshua Waldman, author of Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies, “More than 80 per cent of recruiters are using LinkedIn to source candidates and more than 50 per cent of hiring managers can determine whether a candidate's personality is a good fit for their company just by seeing their social media presence. Regardless of how you feel about it, employers are likely using social media to check you out.”

Information for just about everyone can be found online today, especially by someone who knows how to conduct the right search. If the thought of this scares you at all, then you may need to do something to manage your online persona.

If you haven't already searched for yourself online, start by using Google, and and WebMii and go through the steps to remove any information that isn't favourable. I'm sure you've already been advised about how to set your privacy settings on Facebook so not everyone can creep you, but you may want to revisit that too, especially with the ongoing changes to Facebook, as you may need to crank your settings up a notch. Your online image is important, so if you need to ask friends to remove some unfavourable pics, posts or content, then get to it. Let's face it, recruiters will use whatever online methods they can to investigate your online presence, and they should, as they wouldn't be doing their jobs if they didn't.

Need assistance with your job search or writing a resume and covering letter? Drop by the Career Services office in D1063. The Career Services staff are available to assist you on an individual basis. Visit the office in D1063 to arrange an appointment with the consultant responsible for your program or call 519-452- 4294. To access job listings for Fanshawe students and graduates, visit or Follow us on Facebook, Twitter @FanshaweCS and Pinterest
Next Article