I had the privilege of speaking to Ryan Kahn of Dream Careers, Inc. and getting his tips on the best ways to utilize social media in your job hunt. Check out his great advice:
Google: Kahn suggests that before you do anything to look for a job on social media, you must first Google your name and see what comes up. If you have inappropriate profile photos on any of your social networking sites or are making questionable (overly negative, personal, generally inappropriate) posts anywhere, make sure you change your pictures and privacy settings. Anything searchable by the public needs to be a professional representation of yourself. If the first few sites that come up on Google are either not your name or not information that you necessarily want employers to see, one of the best ways to fix this is to start actively blogging. Having your blog at the top of a Google search allows you to control exactly what employers know about you when they look for information.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the way that professionals connect with each other, so if you have not yet made a profile, be sure to do so! Fill out as many specific details on your profile so employers have a great picture of your resume when they search for you, and make sure to connect with as many people as you can.
Facebook: I’m sure you know by now that having an appropriate profile picture is crucial, but Kahn told me the new thing to make sure of is your timeline cover photo! For some reason cover photos are searchable by the public even when your privacy settings do not allow most people to see your pictures. So if you have a cover photo you don’t want an employer to see, delete it completely instead of simply adding a new photo. Even more importantly on Facebook, Kahn urges students to take advantage of the Branch Out application. You can use it similarly to LinkedIn in that you can search a company and figure out who of your friends (as well as their friends) has a connection to the company in which you are interested. However, whereas many of your LinkedIn connections may be prior employers and not necessarily people with whom you have the most comfortable personal relationship, your Facebook friends tend to be much more casual relationships. It’s easier to send a Facebook message to someone you went to high school with than an email to an old boss in a high position.
Twitter: There are dozens of people and companies you can follow on Twitter to use as job search resources for both job listings and career advice. For just a few suggestions take a look at my past article: The Top 5 People to Follow for Career & Internship Advice. Twitter can also be an awesome way to interact with the companies for which you are interested in working. If you mention the company in your tweets or retweet what they have to say frequently enough, they may just take notice of your strong interest. Kahn points out that tweeting at them “Hey can I have a job” will get you nowhere, but tweeting them the link to the blog article you wrote about your admiration of their latest business move can earn you huge bonus points—especially with smaller boutique companies who have the time to read through each mention they receive.
Pinterest: Kahn is most excited about Pinterest since it has grown in popularity so rapidly and is very unique from other social media sites. He explained how Pinterest can be used effectively for a job search in three ways. First, you can create a dream board where you pin images related to careers and businesses that interest you and where you can see yourself working. Secondly, if you are an artist or graphic designer, Pinterest can be used as a portfolio to which you can direct potential employers who are interested in looking at your work. Finally, Pinterest can even help you pick out your interview outfit! You can pin professional attire to help you decide what would work best for your big day.
YouTube: What intrigued me most during my conversation with Kahn was his idea to make a video resume. It seems so simple yet can be the perfect way to set yourself apart from the competition. If along with your standard resume you email potential employers a link to a video version of your resume, you have the opportunity to make your resume come to life—showing off your personality, creativity and communication abilities. This way, employers will be able to tell if you will fit in with the employees and atmosphere of the company before you even interview.
Ryan Kahn: With a TV show and a soon to be released book, Ryan Kahn is quickly becoming the nation’s most highly recognized career coach. While attending UCLA, Ryan interned for such entertainment powerhouses as The Firm, DC Management, and the Warner Music Group. He now serves as a Career Coach and Recruiter for Dream Careers Inc. As an avid music fan, Ryan spends his free time playing bass in a Los Angeles based band, The Night Riders which has headlined on Hollywood’s world famous Sunset Strip. And, to help support and inspire the next generation of musicians, he founded Rock Start, a charity that donates musical instruments to children in need.
Amanda Gallucci is a junior at Providence College in Rhode Island, studying English and Business. She is actively involved in Dance Club, Social Justice Advocacy, Student Alumni Association and is a member of NSCS. She hopes to one day land a marketing position in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @agalluch.