Tag Archives: resume

How Social Media Can Advance Your Career

Job seekers are often told to safeguard their social media accounts to insure that they aren’t viewed during the job search.  While this can be wise advice, there is another side to the story:

Using social media to ADVANCE your job search (and your career).

With the majority of professionals (and people in general) on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. these days, being “unsearchable” via social media may be more trouble than it is worth.  When I can’t find someone through social media, I sometimes wonder why–are they making all accounts super private because of something inappropriate? What’s going on?

While it is a great idea to “clean up” your Facebook or Twitter accounts so that potential employers don’t get a negative impression, you can also use social media to your advantage.  I use my Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts to post (publicly–so that “everyone” can see) any major accomplishments, such as receiving a promotion or presenting at a conference.  I also post information about events that my office organizes or articles relevant to my field.

I work in a field that offers great work/life balance but also a good integration of professional and personal life.  Many of my colleagues are Facebook “friends” so I post appropriate personal information as well, like recently buying a home, becoming engaged last year, and birthdays of my nephews and nieces.

I’ve had many Proactive Professional readers find me on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.  I’ve also received emails from professionals who Googled me and found my website and Facebook page.  When this occurs, I am grateful that my public Facebook reflects positive things in my life, an interest in my field, and the work I’m doing in career counseling.

Consider going beyond protecting your Facebook from colleagues, supervisors, or potential employers.  Instead, use social media to your advantage by creating a “brand” for yourself online.  Using social media proactively may convince potential employers or current supervisors that you’d be a great fit within their company–or are ready for a promotion.

Make sure that how you're viewed on social media is in alignment with who you are and how you want others to see you.

Make sure that how you’re viewed on social media is in alignment with who you are and how you want others to see you.

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The Dating Game

…You did everything right. You wore your best outfit, you laughed in all of the right places.  You were even on time, for goodness’ sakes.  But it’s been a week and the phone still hasn’t rang.  You check to make sure you have signal.  You check your email.  You check your voicemails every hour.

What went wrong???

You’re not looking for a potential mate, though.  You’re looking for a job.  Near the end of graduate school, I began shopping on the weekends for nice suits, hoping to use sales to combine a graduate student’s budget with a professional’s interview attire.  I edited my resume, researched the company, squealed with excitement and told all my friends when interview invitations came.  But then it’d be a day later or a week later or (in some desperate cases) a MONTH later and still no call offering me a job.  This led to thoughts of all the times I bought a cute dress for a date, told all my friends how great it went, then… nothing.  No call.  No text.  Rarely even an uncomfortable email saying “I’m just not that in to you.”

And it’s even worse when you’re getting over a heartbreak.  You take those tentative steps toward a new beginning, you look for red flags, you begin getting your hopes up.  Then…nothing.  Or worse, a situation where someone likes you more than you like them.  And THAT reminds me of leaving a job that makes you unhappy and begin scared on every job interview that you’re going to miss something and end up in another bad situation.

I once took a position that I thought I was going to adore.  I told all of my friends about it, bought new work clothes, showed up early the first few weeks.  Then everything went downhill.  Promises that had been made in those early interviews were broken.  I didn’t fit in with the culture of the company (which reminded me, uncomfortably, of a time I didn’t fit in with the family of an ex).  I began hitting snooze more often, dreading the thought of going to work.  I knew it was time to end it.

But what if my judgement was wrong again? What if I took another job that seemed great only to realize I’d moved too fast? Gotten my hopes up? Only looked for good things because I was so scared of the bad?

And, unlike a romantic breakup, I couldn’t even sit on the couch eating Rocky Road and watching cable because I would be jobless and broke.  Can’t buy ice cream or pay for HBO if you’re not getting a paycheck.

So, I ask myself (and you, readers) how do you know you’re making the right decision? How do you move out of the land of desperation and into the world of being proactive so that you can make a decision based on your long term happiness, your professional goals, and what company culture will best suit you?

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