Today, social media plays an important role in the decision process for hiring managers. Half of all job seekers are active on social media sites daily and a third of employers use social media in their recruitment process.

So how can you leverage your time and personal social media brand to increase your chances of landing a job? Ryan Holmes, CEO at social media management company Hootsuite, has three tips for using social media to aid you in your job search:

 1. Use social media to network.

Networking isn’t new, and is the best way to find a job. Social networks have taken the barriers out of contacting and connecting with those in hiring positions. Holmes says follow the Twitter and company blogs of employers that you admire so that you know more about them when you connect with them later.

Inquiries don’t have to be formal and can revolve around common interests. When connecting with strangers on LinkedIn, keep the inquiry short and on topic. Read these four tips that local job search expert Joshua Waldman has for connecting with strangers on LinkedIn.

2. Create an attractive online personality.

According to a 2012 Career Builder survey, “One-third of employers (37%) now use social networks to screen potential job candidates.” It’s been said many times; be smart with what you post on social media. There are tools to block specific content that you post, so take advantage of them and clean up your personal brand.

Maintaining your online persona is one of the newer skills that job seekers must possess. Gabrielle Nygaard has 6 tips for maintaining your online ID. LinkedIn recommendations are also a great way for you to show off kind words from a former professor or employer. Utilize these to add credibility to your work.

3. Become a social media guru.

As companies integrate and grow with social media, knowledge of the platforms will become a desired skill-set. Social media can be used in a variety of ways and is great for networking in many types of careers.

Holmes mentions that Hootsuite’s sales department uses social as part of their job to reach out and qualify leads. “As social media becomes incorporated more fully into business, being savvy about Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn will become a critical skill set. In today’s business landscape, jobs are becoming less specialized and more general; the more you know, the more hireable you become.”

How have you used social media to find a job?

Reposted with permission from Mac’s List