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January 04, 2013 10:02 PM

Social Media In Your Job Search

Sioux Falls, SD

Every New Year seems to bring with it the new technology, making our fast-paced world even faster. 

Twenty-three-year-old University of Minnesota graduate Kylie Dahl sees how technology plays a role in the job search.

“Definitely LinkedIn is one of my favorite tools with actual job searching because it’s basically just your resume on a site.  So even when I am applying, I am sending my resume and I am always sending a link to my website and profile too,” Dahl said.

Whether it's your resume on LinkedIn, Tweets on Twitter or pictures posted to Facebook, future employers are looking at it all, which is exactly why Dahl makes sure her profiles work to her advantage.

"Promoting your other talents is a good way to promote yourself and market yourself," Dahl said.

Click Rain President Paul Ten Haken is looking at online profiles like Dahl's every day. He's in the business of social media and knows what red flags to look for.

"I think the web has made it phenomenally easy for employers to gauge the true character or skill set of employees because of the digital footprint that they are leaving behind is very hard to manipulate," Ten Haken said.

That's why Ten Haken says you need to be aware that your future employer is checking a lot more than your resume.

“So you are finding employers who are first going to Facebook and searching a candidate or going to Google and searching a candidate and that digital footprint will tell you more about that person than any piece of paper can,” Ten Haken said.

That is why Dahl is doing what she can to make her digital footprint a professional one.

"Depending on if it's something that, you know, if I'm having happy hour with a girlfriend or if I'm posting something with a great article on an emerging thing in the media world, I am definitely keeping it gauged in professional and letting my personality show, but not too much," Dahl said.

Over the past six months, through the ups and downs of a job search, Dahl has made more professional connections and even found new openings through various online sites.

“LinkedIn is a great tool just searching a job title that you are interested in and pulling up from various different places that are posting on there," Dahl said.

With her desired field in mind, Dahl takes her time to Tweet about related topics, showing prospective employers her interest.  Ten Haken says that can make all of the difference to those who are hiring.

“For my industry in particular, I look at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, You Tube and look to see what hobbies the person is into.  Do they have a family?  Are they passionate about the industry we are in?  If they are that should be reflected in Twitter or on a posting on Facebook," Ten Haken said.

It can create a make or break moment for people looking for a job.

"I can tell you probably ten times where I have had a potential candidate that didn't make it to the top of the pile just because of what their digital footprint left behind," Ten Haken said.

And it's not just moderating one social media site; it's everything, which is why Ten Haken suggests you Google yourself.

"Once you do that, it's really important to take a look at what those results are and if you don't like what you see, do something to fix it.  Create a LinkedIn profile, a Pinterest, a Google plus.  All of those which will get pushed up into the search results and allow you to control what you are seeing on that first page," Ten Haken said

It's how Dahl began just a few months ago and now happy with what she sees, she maintains and continues her search.

“Moderating yourself on there is really important for one even for job seekers to moderate themselves,” Dahl said.

Ten Haken also says keep in mind that social media is a two-way street. He says it’s a good idea to check out a prospective employer’s Twitter or Facebook page to see if it looks like a company you would want to work for in the first place.

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