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While the debate on how effective LinkedIn -- a social network for employers and prospective employees -- rages, being found online cannot necessarily hurt your prospects.
You can get a headstart on your profile by using your resume as a reference, and by using keywords, businesses that have filtering systems for potential applicants can find you. In addition, while space is limited on resumes, you can use a LinkedIn profile to write more about your experiences and key skills.
Instead of submitting your resume to a job board, conducting a people search lets you see who works at that company, and then you can touch base with them directly to learn more and explore opportunities.
The "skills and expertise" section, where third parties can recommend you, can also prove to be a bonus when potential employers are researching your digital footprint.
Links of interest:
The Twitter job search
More and more employers are seeking out a job applicant's digital footprint before considering them in a job role. While this cannot be avoided, the generation growing up with technology should clean up their act before entering the workforce.
The case of Paris Brown -- the U.K.'s first youth and crime commissioner -- shows just how an errant tweet several years later can impact on your job prospects. After securing the role, the teenager resigned due to a police investigation taking place concerning allegedly racist tweets sent into the social media world when she was between the ages of 14 - 16.
Several tips to help you are below:
1. Clean it up: If there are any tweets that could cause you problems, delete them. Half a day of work can save you months of heartache later.
2. Make Facebook private: While some members of Generation Y go so far as to change their surnames to avoid employers finding Facebook profiles, by restricting access to posts, photos and timeline events, you can control who sees what. A photo of you on a heavy night out might be fun for friends, but a potential employer may not find the neon paint and vodka so amusing -- especially as you could end up representing their brand.
3. Create a personal and professional brand: To attract a recruiter's attention, create a one-line biography using keywords that are relevant and show you at your best.
4. Tweet about news, not breakfast: No-one cares about the amazing food you had today, but sending out the occasional tweet or two commenting on your industry's news can't hurt. Participate, offer an opinion or two once you've connected to those relevant to you.
5. Follow events and conferences: If you follow events in your industry online, and perhaps manage to attend one or two, who knows who you could bump in to.
- Just Tweet it: A directory separated by interests.
- Trends Map: Twitter trends across the globe.
6. Use Twitter 'job search engines': Twitter is full of job postings, aggregated lists and industry-specific opportunities. The social media platform can remove the pain of registering on multiple job agency websites and cuts the time required to scan through lengthy job postings.
Links of interest:
One thing that social media networks, access to the Internet and mobile technology offers us is the option to be seen.
While careless digital trails can shoot jobseekers in the foot later on in life, you can use the Web to connect with those that offer advice, tips and job opportunities. Staying current on Twitter and Facebook can alert you to job postings, participating in online discussions can get you noticed, and accessing resources can improve your skills and attractiveness as an employee.
If you're interested in the creative industry, starting small and taking on freelance projects can help you with the rent, as well as give you valuable experience to put on your resume. Free courses on Coursera and edX can improve your knowledge in a field, and creating a personal website can give you an edge over your competition.
Links of interest:
- A manifest of the modern workplace
- The Gen Y Workplace Expectations Study
- Why Gen Y workers have no idea what their managers expect from them
- Winning the generation game
- 4 tips to overcome the Gen Y job hurdle
Image credit: University of San Francisco School of Management