5 Tips and 15 Links to Help Beginners Get Started on Social Media

This article was updated on September 19, 2016

I occasionally provide training to companies going through a transitional period (meaning reorganizing or downsizing). My training focuses on how people can use social media to find a job. I show how to use social selling techniques to present yourself on LinkedIn, and how to connect with prospective employers, peers and influencers at those prospective employers. See our related article here: How Anyone Can Use Social Media to Get a Job. Even today, I'm always surprised to find many people need basic training on how to use social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and how to connected and engages on social media. In this article, I’ll give you 5 tips and 15 links to help get started on social media and learn these critical platforms and tools. 

If you want to use social media to help you find the best job, and are a social media novice, here are some tips for you:

1: Learn LinkedIn

I was asked what’s more important a resume or LinkedIn? The answer, LinkedIn. Create your resume from your LinkedIn profile. There are six steps in my process to help you find your dream job. Four of them require LinkedIn interaction, and the other two recommend it. Simply put, you need to learn how to use LinkedIn, and you should begin using LinkedIn regularly right now. Start by updating your profile. Once that’s done, make connections, give and get recommendations, give and get endorsements, then join some groups and so forth. To help you get started here are two good links:

2: Learn How to Follow and Interact with Facebook Company/Fan pages

Following company (fan) pages is one of the best ways to plug into the public face of a company you might like to work for. You’ll see what they’re promoting, how they position themselves, issues and regulations they take interest in, and other valuable information. You can follow company pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. These links tell you how:

3: Learn Twitter

Twitter is used by businesses and thought leaders in many industries. Whereas following company pages plugs you into the public face of an organization, Twitter provides you a chance to see another side of that public face, but also to view tweets from key influencers that work at the organization. This can give you insights into their personality, interests, and what influences them. It lets you connect with them on a personal level. Some people say they don’t understand Twitter. That’s okay. The best way to understand Twitter is to get on Twitter and watch how other people use it. These resources will help you do that.

4: Learn how to interact on social media

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Social media is for establishing relationships. You can build real lasting connections with people that can help you in your job search, employer vetting, and interview preparation. In my presentation I give some tips for interacting with others on social media. It’s difficult to find articles on this for individuals. Most articles are marketing related, teaching organizations and thought leaders how to engage key influencers. I found three good links for you from those resources:

5: Learn how to Blog or Video-Blog (Vlog)

Some people in my class were very excited and wanted to take their social media game to the next level and start creating their own content. Blogs are a great place to start. It's important to note, a blog doesn't need to be articles. You can publish videos, graphic images, infographics or other content. Use the format that helps you best express your personality and topics. Whatever you do, make sure to emphasize quality over quantity. One great post a month is better than four mediocre posts a month. For beginners, pick something from the previous month that inspired you and that you’re passionate about. Spend a month putting together a good post. Publish it at the start of the following month. Rinse, repeat.  For beginning bloggers, here are some helpful links:

Okay. That’s it. Get online and get to it!

-Bob