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Using Social Media to Boost your Career in Finance

Today, nearly half of employed Americans are actively seeking jobs, and The New York Times reports that financial advisors are firm-hopping more than they used to. Networking online provides financial executives within and outside their mutual companies and industries a chance to connect in a virtual space where they can share business interests, career opportunities and unlimited informational content. Maintaining online profiles isn’t only helpful for job-seekers, it may be unavoidable.

The Stats
According to a study recently released by Jobvite, a career website based in Burlingame, Calif., 80 percent of all job seekers have at least one social networking profile like Facebook, Twitter or Proformative, and 64 percent have at least two profiles. The Polling Company partnered with Jobvite to survey 2,108 adults. The study found that 23 percent of respondents had been asked for information about their social media accounts. According to the survey, one of six people surveyed credited their jobs to online networking sites. Professionals look to their online networks for job hints, endorsements and opportunities. Employers want executives who they can depend upon to connect with the financial community and the client. Here are some tips on getting the most out of social media.

Connecting and Staying Connected
-Fill your profile with qualitative, not quantitative content. Use rich words that relate to both your career and your goals. Think about the words you’d look for as an employer. Focus on being specific and brief. It’s a good idea to use the same active language one would use in a resume.

-Keep your profiles consistent. Speaking of resumes, job seekers should make sure their employment history is consistent. Update your profile frequently and sync your profiles if you wish to use multiple platforms for professional networking.

-Recognize the difference between platforms. Remember that your audience and connection circles will vary depending on the site you use. If you plan to share your blog with professional acquaintances, make sure it’s not only appropriate, but also relevant to your financial career.

-Make your online self accessible. Consider putting your social media information on your business cards or including it in your email signature. Be sure to respond to messages in a timely manner and voice yourself online often to show your presence.

-Share professional insight and interests. Miriam Salpeter, author of "Social Networking for Career Success," suggests using social media platforms to pass along insightful industry advice or input on relevant news. On her website, Salpeter recommends reminding colleagues, friends and other connections of your professional identity and goals when posting.

-You will get what you put into developing your online presence. A developed profile that includes a photo and proof that you’ve been online in the past week shows an employer your investment in professionalism. Salpeter writes that many people jump online looking for jobs, while the real benefit of social networking lies in the chance to make connections and place one’s resume at the top of a pile. She suggests giving via posts and profile development before expecting to receive anything. 

How has social media affected your job search? What do you look for in a strong Proformative profile?