If you had any doubt about the power of social media as a job search tool, you can erase it right now. In today’s competitive marketplace, you absolutely need to be tech savvy – and promote your social media expertise to Cover Letter Tipspotential employers.

In a recent survey, nearly one-fifth of HR managers said they found something on a candidate’s social media site that convinced them to pursue the hire. Percentage of respondents and related reasons included:

  • 57 percent: Candidate conveyed a professional image online.
  • 50 percent: Got a good feel for a candidate’s personality.
  • 49 percent: Candidate’s background information supported their professional qualifications.

And on the downside, employers dismissed candidates for these reasons:

  • 50 percent: Candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photos or information.
  • 33 percent: Candidate badmouthed a previous employer.
  • 30 percent: Candidate showed poor communication skills.

Be sure to optimize your digital footprint and make social media work for you as you pursue dream job.


Called by Forbes “the most advantageous social networking tool available to job seekers and business professionals today,” LinkedIn’s membership encompasses all 500 of the Fortune 500 companies.

  • Make your profile work for you. Start with key phrases that you want to be known for, such as “employee communications expert” or “experienced pharmaceutical sales manager.” When writing your summary and describing your experience, include only what’s pertinent to your current job search goal. Use a good, professional photo.
  • Use Company Search. This enables you to learn more about specific companies and connect to them via people you know.  

While Facebook is primarily a social site, it also can be a strong networking venue.

  • Make sure your profile is private. Under Account, go to Privacy Settings and choose Friends Only. Then, when an employer searches for you, they can’t see your personal details or photos.
  • Be strategic with lists. Use the Facebook Lists feature to build your network without worrying about professional contacts accessing your personal updates. Under Account, go to Friends. Create a new list and customize your privacy settings accordingly.

Twitter allows you to connect with people you don’t know, based on common interests. You can use these Twitter features to your advantage:

  • Connecting: When someone follows you or vice versa, read their bios thoroughly. If you find it’s someone who could connect you to others, get in touch with them.
  • Twellow: This searches people’s bios and URLS. You can search a company and see associates who are on Twitter.

If you want to capture the attention of prospective employers, this is the latest place to be. Your Google+ presence also helps boost your personal Google profile ranking.

  • Build a Google+ profile. Fill it with your work history and skills, so recruiters can find you using keywords.   
  • Share content with people in your circles. Join communities as a further means of exchanging ideas.

Finally, be sure to hyperlink your resume by adding the URL for your Twitter handle and LinkedIn profile. And list all your social media skills on your resume, as they apply to the job you’re seeking.

Contact a professional career coach at PrideStaff Modesto for more in-depth guidance on using social media and other strategic tactics in your successful job search. 

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