The smartest job seekers these days paint themselves in a very favorable light by projecting the best of themselves on social media. Hiring Managers and Human Resources managers will often google prospective hires prior to inviting them for an on-site interview. Here are some tips for controlling and exploiting social media and networks in your job search.

Step 1: Information Control A prospective hiring or human resources manager will not be impressed by crazy pictures of you shared publicly on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc – how ever humorous you think the pictures are. Also, they will not be impressed by any compulsive twitting habits or that you engaged in religious or political ranting on the internet – unless your job is religious or political in nature, of course. So prior to going all out in your job search, you might want to make a few of your social media accounts private and assert more control over how you might be perceived on the internet.

Step 2: Put Your Best Foot Forward – If on the other hand you’re a lawyer or engineer for instance, and you have a blog that discusses topics crucial to your employer and industry, then by all means promote those things in social media. One of the best ways to promote yourself is using a professional networking tool called LinkedIn. Many serious job seekers use these professional social networks just as diligently as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc Treat your LinkedIn page like a CV – it should give details of your academic background and any job experiences you may have had. It should definitely be free of grammatical errors, should have a personable professional smiling picture of you and it should clearly state that you’re seeking a job!

Step 3: Connections and Networking So you have a nicely-written well-polished LinkedIn page. What next? You should network with professionals and human resources personnel in your target field or industry. Be bold enough to engage your connections in conversation. Your first message should not be “Can you help me get a job in your company?” No! Most experienced professionals will, however, be glad to offer guidance to job seekers who ask genuine and honest questions about what they do at work, how they got into that field and what advice they have to job seekers.

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