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With social media influencing more and more of our lives, it is important to consider how it might be used to learn more about you by the companies to which you apply, and how it can be used to help you network.

Your Social Media Account: A Public Resume?

Your personal life is now public...and that should matter to you.

Social media has created a forum where every participating individual can now be defined as a brand. Therefore, how you present yourself in all forms of social media, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc., portrays who you are, for good or ill.

Many employers are checking your social media presence before they schedule an initial interview. They will almost certainly be looking at your web presence before making a job offer and will likely continue to do so once you're hired, as employers interpret your social media presence as an extension of their organization.

Carefully consider what you're putting out there on the web. None of us wants to have regrets about something we had a choice in posting.

Using Social Media to Network

The online resource JobHunt ® Your Guide to a Smarter Job Search recommends the following to gain a more in-depth understanding of how to use LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter in your job search process:

  • linkdin
LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network. If you have a profile and a network, you can easily tap into this group as a part of your job search. The benefit of this network is that your connections can help you find people in your same field and current/past employees of your targeted company. These contacts can help you find more information about posted job openings and perhaps openings not yet posted. You might even gain a valuable advocate at a given company or a high-value referral.

  • Facebook
Facebook

Depending on your "friends," Facebook may not be the appropriate venue for broadcasting to everyone that you are looking for a job. However, you may want to selectively contact friends who you think could be helpful in your job search. Simply reviewing your friends list may jog your memory regarding whom to contact.

  • Twitter
Twitter

Twitter can be used successfully if you are following your desired company, retweeting and hitting "like" when appropriate. Receiving information and quick updates from their feeds could be helpful if you see that the organization is expanding or they are offering new services, both of which could mean new positions will be needed.