Social media strategies for your next job search

As the economic downturn continues, a number of skilled public relations professionals across the nation have been laid off. In the Portland metro area, three of our six local APR practitioners have lost their jobs, me included.

Here’s the good news: as experts in marketing, strategic communication and social media, we have an edge in this competitive job market. Social media is the biggest game changer since my last job hunt eight years ago. Here’s how to use it to your best advantage:

Linked In:  For years, I’ve been asking myself whether Linked In is worth my time. Then I lost my job, and suddenly it became an essential tool. Prospective employers will check you out on Linked In before an interview, and you can find out more about them. Here, you can

  • Make contacts aware you are looking for work. If you update your site, it’s assumed.
  • Post resume content on your profile.
  • Request recommendations from past supervisors and professional colleagues.
  • Get endorsements from colleagues on specific skills.
  • Network by linking to friends and friends-of-friends.
  • Find local job postings in your field.

This is my site.

Wix:  As a job seeker, I had to shift my focus from marketing my district to marketing myself. That’s when I discovered Wix, which offers oodles of snazzy template options to create and customize a free online portfolio. This would also be a useful tool if you decide to start a consulting business. My first step was to have a professional portrait taken. I then used this site to

  • Post my resume and reference letters.
  • Highlight major project successes.
  • Post testimonials.
  • Link to online examples of my work: the district website, Facebook page and YouTube channel; my professional blog; and Linked In.

Be sure to list the URL for your portfolio site on your resume. On job applications that do not allow resumes, take advantage of the opportunity to list this instead.

You can check out my site here.

Facebook: Job searches are as much about who you know as what you know. That’s where Facebook comes in handy. Private messaging can help you

  • Discreetly find out who in your field is retiring.
  • Gather inside information about prospective employers.
  • Line up reference letters and Linked In recommendations.
  • Find out about job leads.
  • Get advice from mentors as you update your resume and prep for interviews.
  • Build alliances with former co-workers who now work for a prospective employer.

All job-hunting aside, by far the biggest benefit of using Facebook when facing a layoff is the support you get from friends, colleagues and family through each step of your journey. Hard times are when you discover who your real friends are.

Best of luck with your job search! And remember — as a school PR professional, you have the most versatile skill sets on the market. Use those skills to show them what you’ve got!

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4 thoughts on “Social media strategies for your next job search

  1. p.s. My job search strategy was effective. I am happy to report that on the day this piece was published, I was offered a public relations job with the Gladstone School District!

  2. Congratulations, Leslie. I enjoyed your post and can certainly relate. I’ve been through the job search because of economic conditions twice in the last four years. No fun! But you are right–our marketing/communications/PR skills do come in handy to get that next job. Best wishes to you as you make your mark at Gladstone.

  3. I am constantly telling people to dedicate time on a regular basis to LinkedIn, maybe 30-60 minutes once a month. Especially during economic downturns and in states where education becomes a political hot topic and a target for cuts, you want to be ready before something happens.

    The main idea for me now is to connect only with people that I have had a real work relationship with, and add those connections on a regular basis. Then, as they shuffle around and move to other schools and industries over the year, my network grows organically.

    The other thing I recommend is to make sure you are giving on LinkedIn — write recommendations, endorse people (just when they’ve earned it, though!), and post about job openings that you think others might be interested in.

  4. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button!
    I’d definitely donate to this fantastic blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to new updates and will talk about this site with my Facebook group.
    Talk soon!

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