Why do some people always land on their feet, while others languish in career transition for months or even years? As a career professional, I’ve witnessed that the people who succeed the fastest are those whose job search plan includes a prudent and aggressive social media component. And this is true in any economy.
Yet even as a social media enthusiast and guru who coaches people how to use social media platforms in career management and job search, I sometimes struggle to find enough time for social media. It makes me wish for a 36-hour day.
Arm yourself with knowledge
If you know the ins and outs and tricks of each platform, you can get from A to B much faster. The less you know, the more time will work against you. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ all have extensive tutorials and support materials, and you can also search online to find a multitude of guidebooks, videos and courses suited to any learning style.
It’s your choice – invest a little time in training, or waste thousands of hours on unproductive tasks.
Target your time
Social media is a crucial element in your targeted job search, one that is focused on key influencers that could open a path to your dream job.
For each company you’ve targeted as one where you want to be employed, search the social media platforms for the key stakeholders, bosses, and other influencers, who may be able to place you before a decision maker at your appointed company.
Aside from connecting with individuals, bookmark and/or list the company pages, and check if they have separate accounts just for career opportunities.
To grow your network and connect with more influencers, try Twitter chats, groups on LinkedIn and Facebook, and Google Plus communities that are targeted to your function or industry.
Be clear on where social media fits into your overall job search time plan. Some people use timers to track and limit how long they spend on each site. As important as it is, you cannot let social media consume your day.
Nor can you ignore it completely, even once you land your next appointment. Networking doesn’t stop when you’re employed. Keep up your momentum and maintain your relationships with a minimum of 10 minutes a day on social media.
Those who pre-plan and learn how to use the various social media platforms can optimize their time on social media. Those who dabble, hoping key contacts, information or a job will stream across their screen will fall sadly behind.
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