At its best, social media opens up new pathways to an old destination. It allows job seekers to accomplish traditional networking tasks and goals, but it lets them do this on a wider and faster scale.
Here are a few ways to use social media to take your career where it needs to go, starting with your resume:
Create a resume that can be read as easily read on a screen as on a printed sheet of paper.
Your formatting, length, font size, white space, and subsections should all be equally readable and scannable in both forms. Make sure your text isn't cluttered and your sections are organized in an open, relaxed style that makes logical sense.
Post your resume on your personal website and on your blog.
If you don't have either of these, start by visiting one of dozens of sites that can set you up with an account and/or domain name for a low or nonexistent annual fee. As you set up your site, place your resume under a specific tab labeled in an obvious way, like "Resume," "Professional Credentials," or "About Me."
Next, set up a LinkedIn account if you don't have one already.
You can create a basic profile on LinkedIn for free. Recruiters across every industry visit LinkedIn to find candidate matches on a regular basis, and most recruiters use search terms to find likely candidates, which may include the job title in question, the geographic location of the position, and the industry. If your name and profile are returned in the results, you may be invited to formally submit your resume for the position.
Then establish accounts on Facebook and Twitter.
You don't have to become an active, everyday user -- although it certainly doesn't hurt, especially if you're in serious job search mode. Opening these accounts can make it easier for potential employers, recruiters, and professional contacts to find you.
Provide visitors with plenty of links to your blog or website.
Think like a visitor or follower, and try to imagine yourself looking for these links. Are they obvious and widely available? Or are visitors sifting through pages and pages of witty comments and family photos before they find anything related to your job search?
If you have pages on Pinterest, Google Plus, or any other social media site, follow the same basic rule.
Let visitors know who you are as a professional, and provide clear, obvious, and functional links to your professionally formatted resume.
A Strong Resume: Start with the Basics
Don't neglect the first and most important step: creating a beautifully formatted resume that looks as impressive on the screen as it does in real life. Visit LiveCareer and use our Resume Builder and Cover Letter Builder for design, formatting, and layout tools that can provide the guidance and inspiration you need.