The original clouds of cynicism and doubt around the longevity, effect, and reach of social media have subsided, and now it has become a staple in brand promotion, mixed in as a marketing essential along with the more traditional methods.  Companies and individuals alike have realized the branding potential social media possesses, and have pruned Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and the like in hopes of promoting themselves to the world, be it potential clients or potential bosses.  If you are a job seeker and have NOT tapped into the social media arsenal, you might be falling behind! Yes, you heard correctly; social media has opened many doors and given us great tools to help us market ourselves not only as individuals but as professionals.  Social media has essentially given us new outlets to advance in our careers. Still not convinced? Perhaps knowing how to utilize social media in your career search and professional development might change your mind.

Let’s first discuss the big three; and by big three, we mean Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These names should ring a bell to you, as they are the most prominent social media sites to-date and are a great place to get started.

Facebook: Facebook is a personal networking site for you to communicate with close connections and create a personal profile to share memories and everyday life events with your closest peers.

Twitter: Twitter is an excellent tool for sharing and obtaining news and content of all genres. It’s a great spot for keeping current in today’s news. We also recommend it for finding articles on how to advance in your professional life. In fact, we post job tips on our company Twitter page everyday! Check us out at medixteam.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a professional networking site used to connect business associates/companies across the world. It’s a convenient way to stay connected to current colleagues, people who you’ve worked with in the past and peers who work in similar jobs that you do. LinkedIn can best be used as your online resume/profile, and you can use it to network, research organizations, find useful articles and view open positions.

So what tools can you utilize from these sites in your job hunt? Well, we’re glad you asked! You can…

Create an online profile/resume: Online profiles help to sell you as a marketable professional, so be sure to use this as a way to promote yourself to prospective viewers. Remember, your name is the most important asset you own, so make sure to build a strong reputation for yourself and don’t include incriminating details that could potentially hurt you. We recommend LinkedIn as your tool for your online profile/resume. You can then use it to highlight your experience, accomplishments and specialties.

Be a king (or queen) of networking: Social Media helps to broaden our network reach. The more people who are aware of your strengths and abilities, the better your chances of hearing about any new opportunities that might arise. You can connect with thousands of individuals with the click of a mouse. Pretty easy, right? The vast networking potential also gives others, and by others we mean prospective employers, the opportunity to find your profile just as easily, so keep that in mind when developing your online brand.

Have access to bountiful job boards: With the growing trend of social media usage, organizations are starting to invest a lot of recruiting resources to these sites and are posting positions for all to see. You now have access to far more job boards than ever before, and the best part about that is that most of them are free. Searching for the right job is tough, but social media has helped to make it a little easier.

Now that you see the benefits of social media, it’s time to start leveraging it for your professional development. It’s important to stay innovative in your career so that you don’t fall behind; never be afraid to utilize social media to help you think outside of the box and put your business acumen to work.