How to Use Social Media to Help Your Job Search

Editor’s note: Make It Missoula is collaborating with the Missoula Job Service to help people find local jobs so that they can move home to Missoula or continue to call Missoula home. We’ll be regularly posting both job listings and job hunting and interview advice. Be sure to watch the Make It Missoula Facebook page for new job listing announcements.

By JENNIFER LODINE-CHAFFEY

Social media can be a very effective tool in your job search. Sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can make you visible to job recruiters and businesses, thereby increasing your chances of finding a job.

These same sites, however, could threaten your odds of finding employment. In today’s economy more and more employers are conducting online research to weed out individuals who appear unprofessional.

What can you do about it? Read these tips and find out:

1. Always Use a Professional Email Address

Many individuals use email addresses containing questionable and unprofessional content. For example, some people use hip, trendy email addresses with catchy phrasing like hippiesunchild@woodstock.com while others have addresses containing swear words or sexually explicit wording. An address like sexyhawtthing@college.com gives employers the wrong impression and could result in the loss of a job opportunity. For best results, use this format: firstname.lastname@provider.

2. GoogleYourself

Potential employers can and do search for information about applicants online. Make sure the content and pictures you post on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter is appropriate. Sharing provocative pictures, criticizing your employer, or boasting about drinking is not acceptable! Google your name and delete any comments or photographs that do not show you at your professional best.

3. Keep Your Facebook Settings Private

If you don’t want potential employers to access your personal photographs, browse your friend list, or see how much time you waste playing Words with Friends, make sure you keep your settings private. Check out Mashable’s useful guide to privacy settings for more info.

Remember that how closely you protect your privacy reveals your integrity and is an important part of your public persona. Keep it professional and private and you can increase the chances of landing your perfect job!

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Looking for a job in Missoula? Be sure to check out our Missoula Job Listings.  Be sure you “LIKE” the Missoula Job Service Facebook Page for daily post on job opening. You’ll also find Missoula-area information on Job Hunting ResourcesJob Hunting Tips, Job Interview Tips, tips for writing Cover Letters and Resumes.

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Jennifer Lodine-Chaffey was born in Missoula and received an MA in History from the University of Montana in 2006. She currently works as an Employment Consultant at the Missoula Job Service, an organization that offers programs and services to assist employers and job seekers alike. Those looking for employment can view job openings on our job board, website, and social media outlets. Employment Consultants provide résumé reviews, conduct practice interviews, and offer skillstesting.

The Job Service also provides a self-service area where job seekers have access to phones, a fax machine, a copier, and computers. Our qualified staff also offers business consulting services, including employee recruitment and retention assistance. Additionally, we provide financial support for businesses looking to train both new and current employees.

We are here to help our community!