USA / Germany: Five Rules for Job Hunt Success on Social Media
Like it or not, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus & Co. are here to stay. Recruiters use social media when searching for candidates. Hiring managers frequently use them to learn more about a proposed job candidate.
Your grandma is using it. "This social media stuff is so not my generation" - not an excuse for you in a time where many companies consider social media skills mandatory for new hires in departments such as customer service.
What does this mean for you? Follow our five rules for job search success on social online networks, and you will avoid common traps, and may even receive job leads or attract the curiosity of a headhunter or potential employer:
- Sharpen your professional social media profile.
If you don't have an account yet on LinkedIn (USA), Xing (Germany), Google Plus (everywhere) or a platform like About.Me yet, set one up. It's free.
- Don't mix messages.
If you already have a Facebook or Twitter account where you discuss flings, dining experiences, music or politics with peers, set up a separate Twitter account or FB page strictly "for business." Use a professional portrait photo of yourself in the account profile, include your designated job hunt email address, and...
- Become a resource.
Help others in your industry and share useful or actionable information from your professional field, and people will seek you out, become "followers" and - the main point - remember you. Recruiters in your industry can identify you as someone with the expertise they are looking for in a possible candidate. Some well organized job seekers even launch blogs for that purpose.
- Play it safe.
Stay on message, which should always reflect how you would like to be perceived professionally. Equally important: Select a secure password for your social media accounts, store it safely (if at all), and change it frequently. It takes some effort to acquire business-minded "followers" through a social media job search campaign. If they get spam-flooded by that billionaire oil prince who has money to give away via your social media or email account, they will head for the exit.
- Follow (the Germany-USA Career Center), and participate.
Don't just "lurk" - contribute by starting or adding value to ongoing discussions in areas where you can sharpen your profile in your industry, and highlight your accomplishments, for the benefit of your job search.
"Following" others (or attracting "likes" or "followers") just "because" will keep you busy, but not accomplish much, except perhaps for being perceived as a social media busybody. Follow social media accounts that make sense for your jobhunt "market research," and those of peers and players in your industry who may be open to more person-to-person professional networking, online and offline.
For your job search with American / German companies, in the US or in Germany, a good starting point is the Germany-USA Career Center "quick bits" service on Twitter. Follow us at @jobsGUCC.
You may even want to share your thoughts on the topic (i.e., "has helped me" or "colossal waste of time"), or share tips, tricks and useful resources with other Germans and Americans looking for a job in Germany or in the U.S. The Germany-USA Career Center's blog
is open for guest post suggestions.
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