How Social Media Savvy and Personal Online Branding Separates the Needle from the Haystack

Chris Thonis

It’s simply amazing to consider that at one point, all that was required of job hunting was a resume, cover letter, and references. You did a little research through the newspaper, found a job that was best suited towards your abilities, sent your resume and cover letter in by mail, and bam, you were on your way to getting a fancy new job at the company of your dreams. Times were good back then weren’t they? No navigating countless job platforms, no applying to jobs via the black hole of email, and no social networks filled with suggestive photos and status updates that are ready to cloud your future forever. But here we are. Workforce 2.0. A generation of prospective employees who have countless new ways to search for and apply to new jobs like never before, ultimately over-saturating the job market with hordes of applicants who have one thing in mind…to land a job as quickly as possible.

So with that in mind, what have you been doing lately to stick out? How, out of the thousands of other new graduates and qualified candidates who are applying to the exact same jobs you are, the exact same way you are, are you a level above? My guess is that when it really comes down to it, you’re not doing all you can. But all is not lost. In the grand scheme of things, the internet has graced you with a diverse array of highly useful tools that can help build your reputation as an up and coming rock star, connect you with key people in your field, and maybe, just maybe, land you that job you’ve been so patiently waiting for. Here are three ways how…

1.      Utilize Social Networks for What They Really Are 

Twitter is full of value, whether you’re employed or unemployed.  With 250 million members (100 million of which are active), I like to think of it as a platform promoting collective consciousness, where ideas all over the world are incubated and added upon in an endless cycle of opinions, statistics, and news. Never before in history has something so simple been able to break down the barriers of how we communicate by allowing people to converse about anything with anyone, anywhere, at any time in 140 characters or less.

That being said, a great thing you can do for yourself in whatever industry you’re looking to break into is to jump on Twitter and use it towards your advantage. To do this, follow other leaders in the field, read what they are reading on a constant basis, and when ready, find ways to interact with them in short conversational statements. A simple “@CEO I’ve noticed you’ve been posting a lot about direct marketing lately, and figured you’d enjoy this article:” will do. Get the conversation started anyway you can. It will not only strike up interactions between you and some of the top dogs in your field, but it will also amp up your online presence. If I’m an employer who received your resume out of the blue, the only way I’ll know anything about you is by researching you online. If the web is full of PR related Twitter posts, and insightful interaction with other people in my field, I promise you that I will bring you in for an interview.

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