Social media is more than a way to share images on Facebook for your family and friends.
The swell of Twitter, Google+ Communities, LinkedIn, and more means that you have more possibilities than ever to connect with people you’re interested in working with.
You can do it in 140 characters on Twitter — leaving lots of room for error or miscommunication. Or you can do it on LinkedIn through their job postings or groups.
Meeting people like you, with similar values, means an ever-increasing likelihood of connecting on powerful levels. Whether you both love “Dancing with the Stars” or the newest growth in human business, these interests bond you on levels once held captive behind walls of cold calls and icy newspaper ads.
These bonds are now what get people hired.
Yet, use your social networks wrong, and your chances of getting hired are slim to none.
Friending everyone in your family and sharing family fights on Facebook is WRONG. Don’t do it. Not if you’re hoping to get hired with a public profile.
If you’re broadcasting how much you had to drink the night before, as well as sharing drunken images of yourself, don’t expect your inbox to get flooded with interview requests.
Lastly, if your profile says, “Amazing dude, you should totally check me out because I’ve climbed Kilimanjaro,” you’ll likely see no checkbook-changing results.
If you want to use this new type of networking to open up opportunities for professional growth, then be smart when you use social media.
The Right Way to Land A Better Job with Social Media
We’re going to use Robert, an aspiring designer, as our example. Apply what he learns to your profession, whether you’re a baker looking for a new kitchen or a bank teller looking for a new vault.
1. Target your profile for your industry.
No yawn-inducing profiles allowed! Ever.
WRONG: Robert Smith: Starbucks lover. Plays guitar. My tweets are my own.
RIGHT: Robert Smith: Designing vision with YOU.
2. Keep your shares professional.
I know, I know; you like sharing with your friends and family and swearing online. That’s fine for some people, but not fine for professionals looking for a job.
WRONG: Awesome party last night!! WOOOHOO! I puked on a guy’s head three stories below!
RIGHT: Just finished a mock design for Jamie and she is STOKED. Love rocking sites like this!
3. Don’t blindly reshare without some commentary.
It’s lazy and doesn’t do the person you’re sharing any favors.
WRONG: RT @DesignsRUs The latest in design technology. Link.
RIGHT: RT @DesignsRUs The latest in design technology. Link. >>Brand new! Result-oriented content here!
4. Connect correctly. Enough said.
WRONG: Hey @DesignsRUs! I can help you create designs your people love! (UM, they’re probably already doing that.)
RIGHT: Hi @DesignsRUs! LOVED your piece on Content Above the Fold. Thanks for sharing. If I can help you with anything, please let me know!
5. Join communities and groups that serve your purpose.
WRONG: Groups for designers. Ok, you need one or two of these, but not many. It’s not likely you’ll pull work from another designer. You need to hang out with people who might need you.
RIGHT: Small business groups, pages, and other groups where you’re a needed member of a team that delivers results.
6. Be brief.
You don’t have time to waste on social media, and neither does the person you want to connect with. Keep your messages brief.
WRONG:Hey man! It was great to see you at the meetup the other day. Maybe we can get together and collaborate sometime. You know, I’m an ace at CSS and can style buttons off Brian Gardner. Blah, blah, blah. I’d love to show you some time.
RIGHT: Hi! It was great connecting at the meetup. If you ever need a designer to collaborate on a project requiring powerful graphics, let me know. Would love to help.
7. Reach out.
When you’ve been followed, check to see if they fit your criteria for useful information and connections. Don’t follow everyone who follows you, but make sure to follow people with whom you can genuinely connect.
WRONG: Don’t sweat following internet marketers that are using an automatic-follow program and have thousands and thousands of followers.
RIGHT: Try to follow design firms, small businesses, and other outlets who hire designers. Definitely follow them if they follow you first.
What tips do you have for landing a job on social media?