Using Social Media For Your Job Search: A Definitive Guide
Social media isn't just for connecting with that high school friend you haven't seen in years, and sharing juicy updates on what's been going on in your life - you can actually leverage this online tool to help you get a job. The explosion of social media in the last few years has meant that many companies and recruitment managers have taken to platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to source for fresh talent and improve their company profile and presence. In this post, we'll be giving you actionable information on how you can use social media to advance your career prospects.
1. Build a Great Online Presence
Before a company decides to send you that 'Congratulations, You've Been Hired!' email, they'll do the obligatory search for your name online to determine what kind of presence you have. You want to aim for a professional one that highlights your professional achievements, passions and connections. A cursory search on Google by a company recruiter should come up with things like your resume, your LinkedIn profile or Twitter page. It might also be a good idea to come up with a blog that details your passions in relation to what you're good at. For example, if you are an aspiring graphic designer, you can come up with a pictorial blog on some of the designs you have done, interspersed with text posts.
2. Tweet About Your Job Search
Twitter's fluid nature means that things on this platform are dynamic and fast-moving. If you're subscribed to the right people, it's pretty easy to get the attention of industry specialists. Tweeting about your job search and enthusing about your dream job, while at the same time asking others to retweet your job search, can be a powerful way of bringing you exactly what you want. Twitter has a character limit of about 140 characters, so keep your tweets fresh, concise and eye-catching to get the reaction you need.
3. Research, Research, Research
Social media provides you with organic sources of content that will help you stay up-to-date on new developments in the job industry of your choice. People are always sharing links to blog posts, articles and Facebook pages. Make sure to check out any links that seem interesting and that may turn out legitimate job leads. Sites such as www.glassdoor.com are perfect for checking out company reviews put up by current and former employees of companies that you may be interested in working with.
4. Stay Active on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the Facebook for professionals. It is a great place to connect and network with like-minded individuals, and may be a good first place to look during your job search given its large database of professionals. The main thing to keep in mind while using LinkedIn is making sure that your profile is 100 percent complete. This allows LinkedIn to rank your profile higher in its search results, making you more visible to recruiters and human resource staff.
5. Engage With An Employer
When you're following a prospective employer on Twitter or Facebook, the key is to keep it subtle. You want to look like you're interested in the company and have the knowledge about what makes them tick before pitching your application. This should ideally come after a few weeks of engaging the employer. This is because if you approach most people on social media with job requests, they most likely will clam up and you'll lose your chance at being employed with that company. At the end of the day, it's all about timing, being respectful and demonstrating passion for your chosen field that will get you noticed.
6. Join Social Media Groups and Forums
These are available on platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook, and give you a chance to demonstrate your expertise on a particular subject area. At the same time, you should demonstrate ideal qualities that are in high demand by most companies today; you can assume a leadership role by starting discussions, or be a mediator in discussions by encouraging debate and enhancing an open space where everyone can express themselves freely. Just don't overdo it, as you'll run the risk of appearing overbearing and loud.
7. Be Creative - Video Resume, Anyone?
There are hundreds of thousands of applicants, all clamoring for that prized job. How are you going to capture the attention of a recruiter online? A unique way of doing this would be to present your skills in video form, where you talk into a camera, highlighting your experience, achievements and reasons why an employer should choose you. Invest in good grooming, and ask a friend to shoot the video. You can post this video on Facebook and tag your friends and family. If done well, this strategy might see your video resume going viral in a few days, bringing you more employment opportunities that you can ever imagine.
So, there you have it: seven ways in which you can use social media to get your name out in the job sector. Please make sure not to over share information or spam any of your networks while carrying out these strategies. Happy job hunting!
Richard McMunn is the director and founder of How2become.com; a career and recruitment specialist. Richard spent 4 years in the Royal Navy and 17 years as a Fire Officer and now provides recruitment training for those looking to join the army, navy and RAF. Find How2become on Twitter