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No matter where you may be in the process of searching for a new job, chances are that social media platforms can help make your search more efficient and productive. However, utilizing social to find the job of your dreams goes far beyond just updating your LinkedIn profile and cleaning up embarrassing Facebook photos. To maximize the usefulness of the various social media platforms it helps to have a strategic plan covering what your ideal job is, who is offering similar positions, and how you can utilize the platforms to more efficiently connect to the hiring managers for those companies. Here are four tips to help you develop that plan and make the most of social during your job hunt:

Start with research: Any good plan begins with good research, and social media is one of the most powerful tools for this purpose available. Take the time to research not only the companies that may be hiring people with your skills in order to better understand their company culture and potential needs, but also take the time to join and participate in relevant groups within the different social media platforms in order to explore any job possibilities you may not have previously considered.

Use the available tools: As mentioned above, interest groups within the social platforms can be a great tool to take advantage of during your search. However, don’t overlook tools such that allow you to track the RSS feeds of companies you are watching so that you may set up notifications of job updates. Additionally, following hashtags for job information and utilizing Twitter lists can make it easier to keep track of opportunities from multiple companies at once.

Show your stuff: Don’t be afraid to use social media as a tool in itself to promote your professional achievements and portfolio, if applicable. Granted, if you’re looking for a production facility this may not feel as important to you, however, no matter what position you are seeking you can always promote any professional certifications, additional training, or past positions you have held that are relevant to your search.

Nurture your connections: Job seeking and networking go hand in hand, so be sure to make strong social media connections and nurture those relationships. You never know when that person you’ve been chatting with in an interest group may have a connection to the opportunity of a lifetime!

For savvy job seekers, social media is a great tool to utilize during the job search process. But, if you’re struggling to find the exact position you want, AtWork can help. Visit AtWork.com/locations to find an AtWork location ne