Social Networking

Allison Smith on Using Social Media to Land First Job



Last week as I got my first job offer, I thought back to everything that had got me there and decided to write a list for future entry job seekers.

I am also being interviewed by a blog called Do You Buzz this week on my job searching skills, be sure to check it out!

1. Ask for Advice

At school, I was fortunate enough to have an excellent career counselor in my career development office, who was my ultimate cheerleader and friend throughout my search. Find one at your college by contacting the career office and if you can, go and meet with this person. I went to career development once a week for months trying to gleam any advice or help that I could from an experienced professional. We did resume development, mock interviews, job fair tutorials and a lot of venting!

2. Use social media to its full advantage

For my job search, I used the social media sites Twitter and LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social networking tool for business professionals to connect and share advice as well as look for jobs. Building a profile on LinkedIn is easy and free. I recommend reading the article How to Rank Higher On LinkedIn by Lewis Howes for tips on building a better profile. Joining and participating in groups is also key to finding mentors in your targeted industry.

Twitter is an excellent way to be noticed online. You can “tweet” your job preferences and use the hash tag feature so that you can be searchable to employers. I also recommend using #HireFriday, because people will help tweet your resume and preferences. Hire Friday is a great community and I am grateful to them.

3. The Right Resume

Ask everyone you know to review your resume! I have had about 20 people critique mine and everyone has something different to add to the discussion. I recommend having your peers as well as HR professionals and industry veterans take a look. I also have an online resume at Do You Buzz, which includes the feed from this blog.

4. Interview Etiquette

Learn how to interview by reading articles, watching videos and asking advice from HR professionals. Also, when in doubt always dress up, not down.

5. Not All Job Postings Are Equal

Try a vast amount of job sites in your job search. Do not limit yourself to one or two, but rather put your resume out there to all sorts of postings. I do not recommend Monster or Career Builder, but I love LinkedIn posting and Simply Hired, which takes job postings from various sites and makes them searchable by area or keywords. Also, do not rule out a credible Craig list posting, because some small companies who do not have funds to post on a pay per post job site often advertise there.

Great Job Advice Accounts on Twitter
@HRMargo, @BrazenCareerist, @CAREERREALISM, @WSJCareers, @doyoubuzz, @MsCareerGirl, @newgradlife

Do you agree/disagree with my advice? Have you had luck with social media and job searching? Let me know!

When I was in elementary school, four square was one of the greatest games to play on the playground. With four boxes and a ball, you could have hours of fun and maybe even elicit crying out of a truly sensitive player. One person was the king and could get whoever he or she wanted out, and of course I was never the king. In the 90s, four square was king on the playground, but today it is gaining ground in the world of social media.

In 2010, Foursquare takes on an entirely different meaning as a social media website. It takes locator software and makes it into a game of who is where. Basically, a user will update their “status” with what local business or address he or she may be at, and it will send the message out through Twitter or Facebook. The basic idea is to tell your friends where you are or to meet people who are in the same place you are.

Foursquare is also somewhat of a game, but not the kind with a bouncing ball. According to their website, foursquare players can earn “points” by checking into new places or going to places more than once. The site gives you “badges” for the number of points you earn in specific categories.

Foursquare also recommends fun things to do in the city that you are in, and basically acts as a travel guide. You can also recommend things for others on the site to do in your city.

It is part of what is known as geosocial networking, which is basically using technology through a phone or computer to post your exact location to a social media site. The idea behind this is that your friends will know where you are always, and sometimes come and find you or see what your habits are in terms of going out.

Personally, geosocial networking is not something that I do often, but it is an interesting concept. Check it out yourself at Foursquare.

Did anyone else notice that Facebook has changed this week? Apparently Mark Zuckerberg and his company can now share a lot of your previously private information without informing you with an email or even a sticky post on their site. I periodically check my security settings because I know Facebook loves to change their policies by the day.

Facebook Glitch Brings New Privacy Worries

I could never really give up my Facebook account, I am one of those people who is inherently addicted to the social media site. I try to stay as much as I can out of search results and am very careful who I friend and who friends me. My photos and tagged photos are clean and I never update my status to my exact geographical location or wall post where I will be. Too many weird stalker like people roam the Earth and the Internet. I recently came across an article on an industry website (PR, if you did not know) called Media Buzz about 10 reason why you should delete your Facebook account. This article originally appeared on a blog called and is quite interesting. I will reprint the 10 reasons here, but you can also visit the blog and see author Dan Yoder’s opinions:

10. Facebook’s Terms Of Service are completely one-sided.

9. Facebook’s CEO has a documented history of unethical behavior.

8. Facebook has flat out declared war on privacy.

Update: Check out this excellent timeline from the EFF documenting the changes to Facebook’s privacy policy.

6. Facebook is a bully.

5. Even your private data is shared with applications.

4. Facebook is not technically competent enough to be trusted.

3. Facebook makes it incredibly difficult to truly delete your account.

2. Facebook doesn’t (really) support the Open Web.

1. The Facebook application itself sucks

Despite all of these reasons, I still love my Facebook. It connects me with people that I do not see on a day to day basis or perhaps those who live very far away. Long distance phone calls are expensive you know, and Skype has its limitations. Facebook consolidates all my friends into one place and basically I cannot imagine what my life was like 4 years ago before I signed up.

How do you feel about the Facebook privacy settings?

By now you have probably heard about Twitter, the social networking service. Anyone can sign up and send out 140 character messages to the RSS feeds of pretty much anyone using the service. You “follow” or subscribe to the “tweets” (messages) of other people. Many celebrities and businesses also have Twitter to get messages out quickly. WARNING: Twitter may be harmful to your health! You will get sucked into the vortex of reading the “tweets” of people you follow who you find most interesting. The best tweeters post many times daily, and usually include hyperlinks to websites, video, photos and audio clips.

I have to confess, I love tweeting and reading other people’s tweets. I love getting like one sentence news updates from my favorite actors or news organization and even my friends. I love when people battle on Twitter, especially celebrities. I love all the links to articles I would never otherwise find on my own that give me a new awareness of the world around me. Some people, like in the video below, think that Twitter is bringing about information overload, but I disagree.

Follow my updates on Twitter: 

Today, I signed up for an Internet social networking site called LinkedIn. This site is designed for business professionals to create digital resumes and interact with employers and colleges as well as network. My profile is pretty basic, just my information and a nondescript picture I pasted from the internet of a beach scene. Can this type of service help get me the career I have always dreamed of?

It possesses some interesting features, such as the recommendations section. A former employer, colleague, supervisor etc can recommend you on the site for future employers. I will let you know the progress of my job search, which has included a few applications filled out on the site for jobs in my area.

I think it will prove to be an interesting social networking tool as I grow and mature, leaving behind the drama of social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace, which are largely socially based. In life, networking in person scares me to death and makes me ultra uncomfortable, despite the fact that I am not a shy person.

Maybe Internet networking will help me gain some important contacts, and perhaps a job opportunity or two!