These days, social media is so prevalent that a tweet could land you a job. You might not be ready to ditch your resume quite yet – especially outside of social media and marketing careers – but when it comes to employment, social media can’t be ignored.

The Newly-Defined Job Seeker

In case you haven’t heard, the days of 35 year tenure with an organization have gone the way of the pinball machine. Post-recession, the job search is no longer a defined margin of time in which one searches for a new position. Instead, professionals are constantly evaluating new opportunities, sharpening their skills, and planning the next steps in their career.

The line between passive and active job seeker has been erased, redrawn, and smudged beyond recognition. Everyone is a job seeker in various stages of the search – from “open to new opportunities” to “desperately seeking employment.”

Social media is pertinent to your career as a whole – not just the job seeking portion – because they are inseparably intertwined.

These tips aren’t just for traditional job seekers. They are for anyone anticipating a job change in this new social landscape. Because we are connected to social media 24/7, the social job search never stops. The networks and influence built today will generate a  successful job search in the future.

The Web is your resume. Social networks are your mass references.

-Vala Afshar

The Rules of Social Job Search

  • Be present. You don’t need a presence on every social network, but you do need to control what employers see when they Google you (and don’t be naive thinking that they won’t). Well-tended, professional profiles give recruiters and hiring managers insight into your personality that goes well beyond a one-page resume.
  • Join the club. Love Java the language and the beverage? There’s probably a group for that. Joining online communities helps you keep tabs on industry trends, connect with thought leaders, and build relationships with people outside of your network.
  • Show that you share. You don’t need to become an influential blogger, motivational speaker, or the voice of your generation. But you can demonstrate your passion for your career by sharing your own ideas and opinions.
  • Search on social. The job boards aren’t the only place to look for jobs. Many employers and staffing firms post jobs to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. The value to searching on social networks is that you can easily see people you are connected to that might help you get a foot in the door at the employer of your choice.
  • Connect with employers. It’s easy to get the attention of the people who are associated with your dream job. After all, who doesn’t love an admirer? Go ahead, mention the CEO on Twitter, connect with the director of HR on LinkedIn, or share a thought leader’s article on Facebook.

The power of social media is that it creates a two-way street between job seekers and employers, providing job seekers with an non-intrusive way to register on employer radar and show why they would make a great fit.

A single tweet probably won’t land you a job, but consciously building and maintaining your social media presence will open up opportunities in ways that weren’t possible before.