For the 3rd year in a row, the KRA/CTWorks One-Stop Program in North Central Connecticut was featured on the local Fox affiliate TV station, Fox 61, in Hartford. Charles Botts III, KRA Business Services Consultant, appeared on the Good Morning Connecticut show to discuss the advantages of using social media in an effective job-search strategy. Logan Burne, Fox 61 Anchor, asked Botts to explain the proper use of social media tools, specifically LinkedIn*, for jobseekers who want to maximize their job-search efforts. Botts explained that in order to get the most out of LinkedIn, jobseeker-users should pay attention to the following “do’s”:
- Create a LinkedIn page…with a strong summary that includes keywords and phrases for skills that employers would look for in your industry.
- Complete your profile…invest the time and energy to complete each piece of your LinkedIn profile, and check off all the boxes to achieve a 100% complete profile.
- Customize your URL…you are free to use the website-generated URL that leads directly to your LinkedIn profile, but you should customize it so that it is optimized for search and easier to share while networking.
- Brand yourself…your profile, heading, groups, and activity should all be focused on the image and message you want to convey to the world.
- Add a full and complete job history…avoid gaps in employment wherever possible.
- Make connections…you can connect with various individuals based on previous and current places of employment, where you attended school, groups you are a part of, etc.
- Get recommendations…be specific in the skills and accomplishments you’d like the reference to focus on, and consider writing a recommendation(s) for one or more of your connections.
- Join networking groups in target industries…choose a few relevant groups and make intelligent comments and/or start conversations…check your spelling and grammar! A great example of an active group is CTWorks-Hartford Region-Professionals And Employers.
Just as important, or maybe more so, Botts advises jobseekers on the “don’ts” of social-media networking:
- Don’t forget that everything you put online stays out there somewhere, and anyone…prospective employers, former bosses, etc…can see it, so avoid questionable photos, potentially offensive comments, criticisms against current or former employers, etc.
- Don’t use a physically “flaunting” photo…some pictures are better suited for a dating site than a professional networking site. On any site you intend to use to network and find possible job leads, including Facebook, do not use provocative pictures…business casual-to-professional appearance is best.
- Don’t refer to yourself in your headline as “unemployed” or “jobseeker”…identify yourself instead as who you are professionally, in terms of the type of job you’re seeking.
- Don’t use every adjective you can think of to describe yourself…focus on the relevant ones you’d want an employer to see.
- Don’t forget to check out other social-networking sites…Google Plus and Pinterest are among the most popular.
- Don’t just “broadcast” stuff…be sure to interact with people in your network.
- Don’t start an account and neglect to update it…keeping up with your social media accounts is time-consuming, but you generally get out of it what you put into it.
Botts concluded, “Social media is a powerful resource and is quickly becoming a more commonplace recruiting mechanism. Jobseekers should actively engage in utilizing social media, as opposed to passively starting a couple of accounts that go underutilized. When used properly social media can be the difference-maker in some individual’s job-search process.”
*Launched in 2003, and advertized as “the world’s largest professional network with 225 million members”, LinkedIn connects professionals with people, employment leads/opportunities, and job-market news and insights to enhance job-search productivity and career success.