How to Supercharge Your Career Search With Social

Today’s job seekers use social media for many things. From dating, to shopping, to keeping up with family, social media has become a place to make friends, review new restaurants and yes, find a job. In fact, 73 percent of job seekers have successfully been hired from social media. If you want to use social media to supercharge your job search and to catapult your career, here’s how you get started:

1. Get your profiles in order. With 3 in 4 recruiters reporting they view social media profiles before making a hire, ensuring your social media profiles are presentable is the first step you should take when embarking on a career search. How do you do this?

LinkedIn is the first place a recruiter is likely to look so make sure your resume is on your page, whether it’s embedded on SlideShare, a Word document or pdf. Make your headline clear and easy to search. If you work in accounting, the descriptor “numbers ninja” won’t help a recruiter find your profile. Also make use of your subhead area by describing what you do. If you are seeking new opportunities, make sure that’s clear in the top fold of your LinkedIn profile.

– Update, update, update. Ensuring your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter bios are complete is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using social media for your job search. Add past jobs, volunteer work, certifications and recent pictures. All of these platforms will now accept video and rich media, so if you have the material for a showcase or online portfolio, make one!

– Get rid of outdated or questionable content. Even those seeking internships and entry-level positions need to make sure their social media profiles are ready to be viewed by future employers. This means pictures that depict drinking or drug use should be removed, as 78 percent of recruiters disapprove.

2. Go beyond the expected. If you want to position yourself as a go-getter within your industry, focus on becoming part of the conversation. There are many networks that allow you to do this. Try these great ideas:

– Chat on Twitter. Twitter chats are easy to find, fun to attend and a great way to show your interest in a wide array of topics. From job specific chats (like marketing, PR and travel professionals) to those specifically built to host job seekers with career search questions, these chats can boost your knowledge and your Twitter followers in a snap! Check out #WorkTrends, #jobhuntchat, #internchat and more.

– Find your dream employer on Instagram and Facebook. Great workplaces often have a visual component of their employer brand on these mediums. Seek out companies that are doing things you’re interested in. U.S. News & World Report recently encouraged job seekers to “create a campaign in which you share visuals from your portfolio with the hashtag #HireMe.” Fully utilizing social media could land you a job by simply using a hashtag.

3. Commit to excellence. Your social media profiles may have thousands of followers and people may double tap on your Instagram pictures, but keep in mind that recruiters and hiring managers may be a little more discerning as they look at your social media profiles. Here are some ideas to present your best self online:

– Spell check. Tools like Grammarly can spell check your submissions inside Facebook, LinkedIn or anywhere you might type. These are excellent “safety nets” for the immediate world of social media. Grammarly not only tells you when you’ve misspelled a word, but gives you a heads up if you have used a “their” when you meant “they’re.”

Take a headshot. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does need to show you at your professional best. Buy or borrow a blazer or collared shirt, get a fresh haircut and pose in natural light. A friendly smile and direct gaze are all you need to make sure your picture looks professional.

Segment your social life. While many career coaches insist you should avoid politics, religion and other hot button issues on social media, it might be a better option to make your profiles private, while remembering to post with discretion. In this way, you can still debate with your aunt on Facebook, but seek out a job on Twitter.