So­cial me­dia now a re­quire­ment for em­ploy­ers, hopeful can­di­dates

Winnipeg Free Press - Section H - - FRONT PAGE - COLLEEN COATES

WE’VE all heard about the need to use so­cial me­dia and net­work­ing web­sites as a way to mar­ket skills and strengths. But in to­day’s tech-savvy world, ex­actly how im­por­tant is it for hopeful em­ploy­ees — and prospec­tive em­ploy­ers — to main­tain an on­line pres­ence?

In my opin­ion, it’s ex­tremely im­por­tant. At the be­gin­ning of this year, it was re­ported that on av­er­age there were at least 4.5 solid ap­pli­cants for ev­ery avail­able job open­ing. With strong competition, it is es­sen­tial for job seek­ers to use all the tools at their dis­posal in or­der to have the edge. At the same time, em­ploy­ers who want ac­cess to the best tal­ent avail­able need to proac­tively go where the best peo­ple are — and right now, that’s on­line.

I re­cently came across a com­pelling pre­sen­ta­tion by Ryan Ran­ca­tore, a mar­ket­ing spe­cial­ist and per­sonal-brand­ing blog­ger. He spells out how to im­ple­ment so­cial me­dia in build­ing a strong per­sonal brand that will in turn help you at­tract the at­ten­tion of em­ploy­ers. Among his top per­sonal-brand­ing tools:

Google Alerts: You can set up a Google Alert to mon­i­tor on­line chat­ter about you (us­ing your name as search words) or cre­ate alerts to re­ceive any news, blog posts or dis­cus­sions on top­ics that are rel­e­vant to your job search or the com­pa­nies you are in­ter­ested in work­ing for.

Face­book: With more than 300 mil­lion ac­tive users (and of these, 40 per cent are over the age of 35), it is im­pos­si­ble to over­look Face­book as a way to build your per­sonal brand. You can also “like” pages and join groups that will help you con­nect with peo­ple and or­ga­ni­za­tions that will help you find work or keep you up­dated on a par­tic­u­lar field.

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