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Social Networks and Your Job Search (Part 2)

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So you’re all signed up, now what? My last post, Social Networks and Your Job Search (Part 1), was dedicated to introducing some of the newer ways companies are opening themselves up by sharing the basics of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Now that you have the basics, let’s move on to what else you can do with these networks.

LinkedIn Love

If you build it, they will come–right? Wrong–but putting in some time now will help you in the long run.

  • Fill out your profile: Include past internships, leadership positions, work experience–anything that you would share on a resume!

  • Upload a picture: This should be a nice head shot of you looking at the camera, not one of you far off in the distance where you can’t be recognized. (This doesn’t have to be a professional photograph–as long as the photo is clear and appropriate, you can use it.)

  • Add your connections: This can take some time, especially if you’re brand-new to the network, but break it down into manageable tasks (10 people at at a time?) or use the tools that LinkedIn provides. You can log in with your email address and it will search your address book for contacts who are already on LinkedIn. You can also add connections by Colleagues (past workplaces), Alumni (your school) and People You Might Know (based on your network, skills and interests.)

  • Join a group: In the bottom right corner of your homepage, LinkedIn will recommend groups that you may like based on your profile and skills–join one. Heck, join a few! These groups often have their own communities and provide a means to connect with other like-minded individuals. These could people in jobs you’re interested in or with similar skills who could open you up to a new career path you hadn’t even considered yet. Some groups, like our Intel Student Lounge, are moderated on a daily basis by recruiters who share hot jobs–this can help you with questions about applying or what it’s like to work at the company and they even give away stuff!

From Facebook friend to Facebook fan

Are you using Facebook lists? If not, I highly recommend you do. It’s a huge pain in the butt to get organized, but it’ll be worth it–trust me.

By organizing lists, you’re categorizing your connections on Facebook–you can sort by family, friends, acquaintances, where people live, how you know them, etc. Once you have lists set up, you can adjust your privacy and sharing settings so that what your friends see and your aunt sees can be separated. Use the same thought process for what you’d want to share with a small group of people but not everyone you’re connected to via Facebook.

Many companies are setting up shop on Facebook through fan pages–are you a fan? Search for a company whose products you like or you’d like to work for, and chances are that they have a fan page out there. By becoming a fan (aka “Liking” the page), you’ll now get updates from the page to your news feed, the same way you get updates from your friends. Companies often post pictures, videos, and news about the company, keeping you in the loop on the latest and greatest. Some companies have specific pages for different parts of the organization–for example there might be a page dedicated to Jobs or Careers. By becoming a fan of a page like this, you might hear about the newest job opportunities by just checking your Facebook and seeing what came up in your newsfeed!

Fan pages aren’t just measured by the number of fans, but engagement as well. Use the wall to ask questions, comment on posts and like/share to your heart’s content! While different companies have different moderation policies, this could be your way of directly communicating with someone at the company. (For example, I manage our Discover Intel – Global page and personally try to answer every comment that comes through. Don’t believe me?  Give it a whirl;-) )

Tweet tweet!

Ever had a good idea or thought, but no one to share it with? Enter Twitter. There are lots of conversations that take place on Twitter and they are open to anyone and everyone to join. I’d start by searching Twitter for to find people and conversations to tune into. Interested in a social media job? Search “social media”. Want to connect with someone at a specific company? Search the company name (and add in “+ recruiter” to find a recruiter!) Once you find people, start following them so that their tweets will show up in your feed. Once the tweets start coming in, RT (retweet) and reply (@) away! Sometimes you’ll be thanked for a RT or you’ll get a response to an @ and sometimes you won’t, but stick with it. You can also check out other people’s followers lists to find more interesting and like-minded folks to follow. There’s no limit to how many people you can follow (you get to decide what’s “too much noise” and what’s not) so click away! And if you find that you started following someone who isn’t relevant anymore, just unfollow them. Done.

Companies are joining Twitter as well! For example, we have a @JobsatIntel account that shares hot jobs, news about Intel and articles or posts we think you might interesting. Another type of Twitter account you can look out for is a cultural twitter account, like @LifeatIntel, which profiles a different Intel employee every week, giving you a chance to “follow” them around and see what their work week is like.

Twitter is the first place I turn to for a rant or rave–companies that respond to my tweets automatically get bonus points in my book. Why? Because they’re listening and who doesn’t want to be heard?!

Last time we talked about setting up profiles, today I gave you some tips on how to build you profiles and expand your reach on networks. Next time, I’ll go into some details on how to connect with recruiters and companies directly.