Are you fully taking advantage of social media when it comes to finding a job?

It’s widely known that most recruiters monitor social networking sites. In fact, social media is somewhat of a blessing for them. It allows them to peek into your personal life and give them a better idea of who you are as a person. If they happen to dig up any dirt before making the hiring decision it could get your application immediately rejected. This has happened to many people before. But the benefits of social media are definitely not so one-sided. Social media can also be a great asset in your job search if you know what you are doing.

Become well-informed

The Internet has been the go-to place for a long time when we needed a new job. Today online job boards are also increasingly present in social spaces. Job boards need to attract lots of job seekers to be successful. So it’s only natural that the savvy ones are now using the broad reach of social media to actively promote their brands. Since it’s your attention they’re really after it’s essential for them to constantly deliver valuable content that’s relevant for you as a job seeker.

With regular postings of job vacancies, resume and cover letter tips, career advice, and relevant industry statistics, their social media platforms can be invaluable resources when you’re on the lookout for your dream job. Being well-informed can give you the slight edge you need over those who don’t bother to stay up to date with the latest job market news. Use this information asymmetry to your advantage so you could act fast when the opportunity presents itself.

Engage in the right platforms

Once you know the relevant job boards in your industry, such as Zigo, “like” them on Facebook and you’ll get daily updates about their doings. Since Facebook is all about engagement, they will post links to available positions that might be of interest to you. You should also follow their Twitter stream to get the latest news, but you can do even more than that while you’re there. Use Twitter’s search bar to look for terms that apply to the field and location you are interested in. Since social media is ultimately about relationships don’t be afraid to engage with the people managing these accounts by sending them the occasional tweet.

Some online job boards have created LinkedIn groups to find the right kind of people. You can use LinkedIn’s search field at the top of your homepage to look for groups. And you could even subscribe to a job board’s YouTube channel if they have one. YouTube isn’t so much about funny cats and music videos anymore. It has essentially become the world’s second largest search engine and the biggest job sites like CareerBuilder are aware of it and leveraging it to reach more people.

Make your social media employer friendly

Once you’ve decided to hunt for a job in various social media platforms, it’s time to give some thought to how to present yourself. It’s not necessary to manage your different accounts 24/7 like a professional branding expert. But generally, it’s very useful to think of your online presence as a personal brand.

For example, fun and frivolous selfies and professional head shots in smart casual attire tell two very different stories about you. It’s best to be genuine but also keep in mind who will be seeing your pictures. Different facets of your personality should be emphasized on different platforms. If you join your favorite job board’s LinkedIn group then clearly your profile should look as polished and professional as possible.

However, on Facebook and Twitter, you can let your casual personality traits shine more freely. But not too freely. The ease of communication in the social media can sometimes cause common sense to fly out the window. An offhanded comment about their previous employer has weeded out too many people from the application process. Make sure you know exactly how others can see your Timeline and change your privacy settings if needed. One little trick to make managing your social media more interesting is to think of yourself as the editor of your own personal lifestyle magazine.

This is a guest post by Taavi who is a freelance writer.