Using Social Media to Find a Federal Job

A recent survey of career coaches indicated, to a person, they are advocating engaging in a social media campaign to increase job opportunities.  In reviewing these statistics, it led to wonder about using social media to find a Federal job – and how social media plays into the competitive selection process required for most Federal positions. (Note – you should be aware of your agency’s IT personal use policy prior to accessing any of these websites from your government computer).

To begin with, let’s identify what we are talking about with social media.  I’m talking about using the big three sites – Facebook, Linked-In and Twitter – to advance your job search.  Using the three together can significantly advance your job search strategy.

facebookFacebook (www.facebook.com):  The advantage to Facebook is building a network that can be both personalized and private.  As you attend trainings, conferences, or just  chat with someone on the way to work, use Facebook to connect with them to identify early opportunities for jobs.  Having advance notice of potential advertisements can lead you to getting your resume successfully updated, while conducting research on agencies (using other social media sites like Twitter).  USAJOBS also has a Facebook presence that can provide you with specific information and tips on using USAJOBS effectively, as well as providing a specific source for problem-solving in using the USAJOBS on-line application system.

 

linkedinLinked-In (www.linked-in.com):  Known as the social media site for professionals, there are several key advantages to joining Linked-In to facilitate finding a Federal job.  The first is that, unlike Facebook, you can create a profile, and post a resume.  However, a couple of cautions – 1) your profile is public (unlike Facebook), and 2) if you post a resume, it will be in the Linked-In format, which doesn’t include a personal email.  So – if you get emails of interest in your resume, you’ll need to consistently check your Linked-In email account.  I recently posted a job on Linked-In, and found several very good candidates – none of whom
responded to my emails requesting interviews – so not sure they were checking their accounts.

Another value of Linked-In is the different functional or interest groups.  This is a different way to network, allowing you to gain information regarding various issues occurring across the government, as well as providing comments, and building your on-line presence.  For example, under my Linked-In account, I belong to several HR groups, including the largest group for HR, which is Linked: HR.  I also belong to a group for the local Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) that posts meetings, conferences, and information regarding local HR issues.  I also belong to other groups, such as “TLNT – the business of HR, and the Federal Workplace and Training group.  With an interest in the energy sector, I also follow groups that are directly related to that topic.  Using these different topic groups can help expand your knowledge of HR issues, both within the Federal government, as well as the private sector.

 

twitterTwitter (www.twitter.com):  Ok – have to admit I was not “getting” Twitter – but as I have dedicated more time to creating a following, there has been increased traffic.  The traffic that has been most interesting is the information regarding.

 

In summary, there is great information available through the use of social media to assist you in finding and landing a Federal job.  You can find advance notice of postings, increase your ability to use USAJOBS, and follow senior Federal officials – a great source for networking and job hunting.  Again, a note of caution about checking your agency’s personal use policy for computers and handheld devices – no sense in using social media if it’s going to cause you problems!  And – one last tip – check your profiles to ensure that you are sending the right message to prospective employers!

Questions on this or other HR topics?  Please send me an email at susanc@custardconsulting.com.