Social media has increasingly become an everyday part of life, especially for recent college graduates who are looking to do more with their online profile than simply connect with family and friends. Social media sites and apps, however, can be useful for anyone interested in developing their careers or in finding a new one, as they offer a number of powerful tools to facilitate the job search, establish a professional network, and advertise skills or services.
Social Media and Small Business
Social networking sites have become one of the best new ways to grow a business. In fact, some start-up companies offer their services entirely through specially-designed apps for Facebook, Twitter and other popular sites. For example, property owners Brent Hieggelke and his wife have designed the Facebook app Second Porch, which lists available rental property and screens prospective tenants. The app has become so popular with other property managers that the couple has received over $1 million in funding to expand their efforts.
Social Media and Large Industries
Social media is not limited to start-ups, however, as established industries such as healthcare are now using these tools to share information, hire candidates and even raise funds for new medical buildings and equipment. Geisinger Health System, for instance, turned to Facebook after they had trouble recruiting a gastroenterologist through more traditional means such as ads in medical journals. More hospitals and clinics are expected to follow suit, which is why healthcare workers can improve their job prospects by using this new technology.
How Social Profiles Can Influence Potential Employers
When it comes to using social media to find a career, there are a few important steps candidates need to take in order to establish a professional online profile. First of all, over 90% of all employers use social networking sites to screen their candidates, and 69% have claimed to reject candidates with unacceptable online profiles. By removing potentially offensive content or by making it private, candidates can reduce the chance of looking unfavorable to a prospective employer.
Removing the negative is not the only step to take when using social media, however, because employers also want to see an active online profile that expresses the qualities they seek. LinkedIn, a social networking site designed for professionals, has become one of the most important places for candidates hoping to attract the attention of potential employers. For instance, medical billing and coding professionals can use the site to post resumes, send queries to employers that pique their interest, and can even find unexpected help from other professionals hoping to expand their network.
Using Social Media to Find Important Job Information
Lastly, social media provides powerful information with only a few clicks of the mouse, so candidates interested in finding the best job for their needs can use these sites to learn more about their employers. For example, Glassdoor offers an inside look at companies by providing an anonymous place for employees to share information about their job, making it an excellent place for career seekers in healthcare to learn more about the hospitals or private practices that interest them.
The healthcare industry is expected to create 3.2 million jobs by 2018, which will lead to an increasing reliance on online services such as social media to find candidates to fill these positions. Becoming savvy with social media, then, is one of the best ways to stay ahead of the competition.
Brandi Tolleson is a prolific freelance writer living in Whittier, CA.