If you haven’t looked for a new job in a while, you may be surprised to learn that it’s a different marketplace out there today. If you just sent your résumé and cover letter to a hiring manager and hoped the process would follow a normal course of interviews and decision-making, think again.
Today, more than ever, it’s up to you to determine how your skills relate to a specific job opening and to really sell yourself. You still need to research the employer and the industry, to show that you are current and interested in the position. And it’s still true that most jobs are found through networking.
But what has changed dramatically is how that networking is done. Today it hinges on social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. If this is unfamiliar territory for you, AARP can help. For more information on using these platforms, check out the AARP TEK Academy social media resources.
How Social Media Can Help You
Various social media “channels” can help you identify and research employers that have openings related to your interests, skills and experience. Interested in a particular employer? “Like” the organization on Facebook and “follow” it on Twitter. These tools will help you keep up with the latest on the employer’s activities, culture and potential jobs.
Sign up for a LinkedIn account to establish a virtual network of people you know, and the people they know. You’d be surprised how wide your connections can reach. LinkedIn can help you see who may have an inside connection to an employer, or help identify a hiring manager for a position.
Once you have a LinkedIn account, you can log into AARP’s social media tool at Life Reimagined for Work, and connect to employers with relevant job listings. Each of the more than 260 employers on the Life Reimagined for Work website has signed a pledge stating they value experienced workers and are committed to recruiting across diverse age groups. Combined, these employers have tens of thousands of job opportunities posted on LinkedIn and their websites.
Like Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn can also help you keep up-to-date on employer and industry trends and events. You can join groups based on industry or job function to learn about openings and to stay current, as well.
For help creating or updating your social media profiles, take a look at our tip sheet on Creating Your Personal Brand at www.aarp.org/Work. And you can view more tips on using social media at www.aarp.org/work/job-search. And with that, you’re ready to leverage the power of social media in your job search!
- If you don’t already have accounts on the other tools we mentioned, try them out at Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The social media space is ever changing, so keep an eye out for new tools.
- To create or update your social media profile, read AARP’s tip sheet on Creating a Personal Brand.
- To learn more about using social media, visit our Technology Education Center (TEK).
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