Job hunting is not an easy task especially with the high number of unemployed people. Social media has however made it a little easier for employers to find employees and vice versa. Employers can look up the potential employees, view their profile and weigh whether they are viable or not. Job seekers also see the jobs that have been advertised. For veterans seeking jobs, here are some tips that might help you land jobs through social media.
1. Create an Impressive Profile
Once you decide to use social media to search for a job, your profile should be keenly created since it represents who you are. As a military veteran, you should try to add a profile picture that shows you in casual wear - this shows that you are moving from the military world to the civilian world. It will also potentially increase your chances of getting employment. Your profile photo should also be something official like a headshot not a picture of you hiking. Include your skills, educational background work experience, and contact details.
Add keywords that are relevant to your field of work. These will help employers find you easily and improve your chances of being employed.
It’s also important to separate your personal account from your business account. This is because employers will use your account to assess your personality. What you post represents who you are, and just by looking at your posts, they can determine:
- Your communication skills. Are you able to express your ideas well? Is your grammar okay?
- How you respond to critics. Are you quick to abuse or do you readily accept correction?
- An employer can also find out whether you abuse drugs or alcohol.
2. Get LinkedIn
It may not be the most popular app like Facebook, but this is the biggest business app. It has close to 500 million users in 200 countries. For veterans that have less experience in job seeking, this is the app for you. Having an active LinkedIn profile will, among other things, give you a chance to add all the details that you can’t include in your resume. This app also allows your friends to add positive comments about you. This shows the employer that you are authentic and credible, thus making you the better candidate. For most recruiters, not having a LinkedIn profile shows that you either have something to hide, or you are technologically outdated. You can also use other social media accounts like Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. These apps require you to post consistently to maintain followers, which might not be possible for military veterans due to the nature of their job.
If you don't have a clue on how to go about job seeking on social media, research is paramount. You can either use google to get some few tips or talk to someone who has used social media to get a job before. Alternatively, talk to a recruiter. He/she will honestly tell you what they are looking for in a person before they select you for the job. Recruiters also inform you about the changes that have occurred in the recruiting industry. They can also show veterans how to leave a remarkable digital footprint.
4. Connect and Reconnect
Try to connect with more people especially those that are already in the fields you plan to venture into. They may give you tips on how to go about the job search, what employers are looking for and even the job opportunities that have not been openly advertised. Also, connect with your old friends, relatives, and schoolmates. Connecting with new people and people that you lost contact with helps you to build a social circle where you can ask for advice, get recommendations and be corrected whenever you make mistakes. Some of these people can also act as mentors for you during this transition period.
5. Language is Important
Use official business language; this shows your seriousness. Avoid being vulgar on social media no matter how angry you may be - do not vent online! Remember: the Internet never forgets. A statement made out of anger may come to haunt you later.
Also, eliminate the use of military jargon as it makes you unapproachable. Learn how to use ordinary simple words to communicate. It's also important to ensure that there are no grammatical errors.
6. Highlight Your Achievements
Highlight all your achievements as a veteran. Make no mistake; this is not a license to brag. Tell a story about your journey to success, and the impact it had on your work profile. Such an approach gives the employer a brief overview of how you do your work. Having many achievements also portrays you as a hard worker. However, whatever you highlight must be true and consistent because people on social media will most probably find out that you are lying. A lie will completely damage your credibility!
7. Be Yourself
Do not try too hard to impress as that may mean creating a fake identity. Research has shown that most managers do not look through your profile to dig up dirt. It was seen that 29% of managers despite finding dirt on the profiles of the job applicants, still found something positive and selected the candidates for the job.
You are allowed to post a photo having a drink maybe once in a while to show you are having fun, but don't portray yourself as a drunkard. Do you get the difference?
Social media offers a wide range of opportunities which ranges from relaxing, getting information about different trending issues and finding jobs. Every person has a thing or two that they can benefit from social media since it also provides a big marketplace. You just need to learn how to use it to your advantage.
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