After spending hours each day on your computer for the past few years attending online school classes, completing assignments and earning a valuable degree, you are just happy to be able to spend some well-deserved time away serious computer work, right?  Here is some advice from on how to use social media to find a job after graduating from an online degree program.

Guess again!

If you want to put that degree to full use and land the job of your dreams, you are going to have to  pull out that computer chair, sit yourself down into its now-worn seat cushion and start taking advantage of social media sites to help you get hired ASAP.

You heard right—social media sites. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, blogging on WordPress and registering with LinkedIn. Networking is defining the way a 21st century job seeker conducts a job search that results in finding the position he or she actually wants, not a job that the person is forced to take due to dire economic necessity.

Networking is a process facilitated by social media sites that can put you in direct contact with thousands of people who could be potential employers. It also can lead you to identifying different career paths relevant to your degree, discovering opportunities that have not been advertised and help you develop communication skills vital to furthering your ability to network as well as advance your chosen career path.

Start your networking by picking several companies with which you would like to work and tracking down employees that work there. For example, the website Technorati contains over 120 million blogs written by people who own or work for thousands of different businesses from all over the world. Perform searches for people you want to contact on Twitter, Facebook or search engines that are specifically designed to find people, such as Pipl or Wink.

Communicating online makes it much easier to contact people you do not know personally. Sending a message regarding possible employment opportunities is now an acceptable practice and can result in one of three responses:  no response, a yes response and a generic “I”ll get back with you” response which means you should send a follow-up message in two or three months, unless you are already working somewhere else.

You might also consider writing for Technorati, a large site that publishes all sorts of opinion pieces, original news and breaking information in areas of politics, technology, sports, entertainment and lifestyle. You can enhance your visibility and marketability on the web by writing about your expertise in a certain industry and receiving access to possible opportunities concerning employment interviews.

If you don’t have a Twitter account, get one. Proactively marketing yourself on Twitter is another dynamic job search method that can begin with a tweet as simple as “just graduated with a degree in business. Ambitious and experienced.  Twitter messages are short, to the point and convey a lot of action because they must be less than 140 characters

Also make sure you have a LinkedIn account. Many recruiters are beginning to go to LinkedIn when searching for dependable, professional employees, although LinkedIn is not so much a social media site as a purely networking site. Complete your profile, employ keywords and use the same avatar that you used on our Twitter account to facilitate recruiters finding your account. Start asking past supervisors or friends to give you a “thumbs up” on our LinkedIn account so that you accumulate as many recommendations as possible. Build your network quickly by importing contacts from Gmail or other email programs. The more people with which you connect, the better your chances of finding a job or information about a potential job.

If you feel confident enough, why not create a video rather than a written resume and upload yourself to YouTube? Searching the keywords “video resume” on this site will get you over 2000 results at any given time. Before making a video resume, take a look at several that are already uploaded. It won’t be hard to distinguish the bad ones from the good ones so remember how the good video resumes are made before creating your own video resume.

Actively looking for a job means watching sort of information you put on your Facebook page, whether it is a snapshot of you enjoying a birthday celebration that you do not remember celebrating or making a particularly snide remark about someone you wish you had never met. Although you know that these snippets of your personality do not wholly represent who you really are employers, just like other people who do not know you, will take these distasteful morsels comprising a tiny fraction of your life at face value and immediately create an impression of you in their mind. So, until you hear those wonderful words “you’re hired” from an employer, refrain from publishing those entertaining photos and cleverly worded witticisms on your Facebook wall.

Take advantage of the advertising opportunities available on the internet and market  yourself like you would a new product. You earned that online degree by being smart, ambitious, resourceful and focused on your goals. Use those same qualities when you start networking and chances are you won’t be looking for jobs—they will be looking for you.

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