Top 5 Myths About Using Social Media to Find a Job

crystal-washington_-social-media-speakerDon’t let these popular misconceptions undermine your social strategy

With over 73% of adults using social media, connecting with influencers and HR managers has never been simpler—as long as you don’t let these common mistakes get in your way, says Social Media guru Crystal Washington.

Top 5 Myths About Social Media and Your Career

Myth #1: A LinkedIn profile helps headhunters find me. While being on the largest business social network does increase the chances of you being found by influencers and HR mangers, you need to strategize if you really want to show up in their searches.

Here are three ways to increase the number of profile views you receive from desired connections:

  • Include in your profile the keywords you want to be searched for (i.e. vice president of sales, executive editor). You will not pop up in LinkedIn search for words that are not somewhere in your profile, so include all terms that apply to your skills, tools, and desired position is a necessity.
  • Be sure to connect with your existing business contacts on LinkedIn. Additionally, friends or friends (people in your network) are more likely to find you in search.
  • Join relevant groups for the same reason. You will increase your opportunity to be found by connecting with strong contacts in your industry and joining groups popular with the people you want to attract.

Myth #2: Facebook can’t help me find a job. In fact, while Facebook is the most social of the social networks, it also can be a powerful job-finding engine.

  • Use it to build relationships with desired contacts and keep in touch with connectors.
  • Review your timeline for job opportunities. This will be much easier if you have dedicated your profile to business versus sprinkling in family members.
  • Use Facebook Graph Search to find friends, and friends of friends, who may be able to help you get interviews at your desired company.

Not sure how to use Facebook Graph Search? In the search box, type “friends of friends who work at Shell.” Facebook will not only display all of the results, but will also include which friends you know in common.

Want to work for a company in a specific city? Try “friends of friends who live in Houston, TX and work at Shell.” If you see any potential connections, pick up the phone and call the common friend and ask for an introduction or even for help arranging a three-way coffee date.

Myth #3: When searching for a new position, it’s best to make Facebook profiles private. This is true if you are using social media for strictly personal reasons, and if you have items that might detract from your professional image. However, allowing hiring managers to see your Facebook profile can help demonstrate traits that indicate you could be an ideal match for their company’s culture.

Myth #4: You should never talk about yourself on social media. While talking only about yourself can turn off some connections on social media, find creative ways to incorporate your activities, industry knowledge, accomplishments and community involvement. Sharing these facts about yourself increases the likelihood people may contact you for future opportunities.

Myth #5: Professionals should only display business experience on LinkedIn. While LinkedIn is the social network for business, including volunteer work and other interests can demonstrate the fact that you’re well-rounded. And with all other things being equal, your community service can help you outshine other possible hires.

What misconceptions have you heard regarding social media for career transition and job search?
Crystal Washington is a social media marketing strategist, speaker, co-founder of Socialtunities—a social media instruction brand. She is the author of The Social Media WHY: A Busy Professional’s Practical Guide to Using Social Media Including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+ and Blogs for Business.