Most people think of social media sites as great tools for advertising their skills and networking with other professionals. While your online profiles certainly need to promote your experience to potential employers, corporate profiles also allow you to learn a few things about a company as you apply for jobs and prepare for interviews.
Some job ads provide minimal information about how to address your cover letter. For example, the ad may say “submit cover letter and resume to J. Sims”. If the company’s Web site does not allow you to determine whether J. Sims is a man or a woman, searching LinkedIn with the company and last name can sometimes provide the answer. Using the hiring manager’s first name when it is not provided makes your cover letter look sharper and more personal than other applicants’. It may also be a test; get an A+ by showing the hiring manager that you did your homework—that you researched the company.
Let’s say that you already have an interview scheduled for a job. Obviously, you will use the company’s Web site and any other available information to research the business. However, in today’s competitive job market, many employers have the luxury of comparing equally qualified candidates to see who offers the strongest personality fit for their organization. This is where social media can give you a competitive edge.
Start by looking up the LinkedIn profiles of the employees who will be interviewing you. If the interviewer doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile, chances are they’re less technologically savvy and will be impressed with any knowledge of social media you mention in your interview. If the interviewer does have a profile, looking at his or her educational background, previous employers, and professional groups can offer you some insight into common ground you may have. Knowing that you share a passion for college football or organic cooking can help you steer your interview conversation in a positive direction.
Many companies and organizations have now created facebook profiles that users can become fans of. Searching for the profile of a potential employer can offer you insight into the corporate culture. Are the employees in the photos wearing suits or business casual? Do the photos show employees performing community service or social activities outside the office? Researching the company’s events can inform you about professional development or team-building activities in which you may be expected to participate.
Research shows that most employers now use social networking sites to screen potential candidates. Remember, that as a job seeker, you can also use these sites to research future employers, acquire a sense of their corporate culture, and effectively market yourself as a personality fit with the organization.
Jessica Holbrook Hernandez is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, speaker and President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast. She creates high-impact, best-in-class, resumes and cover letters that transform job searches into interviews and ultimately job offers. For more information about professional resume writing or to read more career and job search related articles visit http://www.greatresumesfast.com or call 1.800.991.5187.
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About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
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