Job searching can feel like a dead-end road. You keep knocking on all the same doors, and nobody is answering. It’s in these moments you need to think outside the box and utilize what you are already doing – using social media.
Social networking helps your job search by creating new relationships, which will open doors now and in the future. They are vehicles to help you find connections, build new relationships, solidify existing connections and convey your message and expertise to a broader audience. All of this can lead to referrals.
These referrals are crucial to your job hunt as about 50% of new hires come from referrals. This is why I suggest you put time into utilizing social media channels to help you land your dream job. Think about your job search differently… socially… collectively.
The Basics of Professional Social Networking
Curate the social networks you are already on.
A recruiter or hiring manager will likely search for your name or email address to find any mentions of you on social networks or internet searches. Make sure they are seeing information that puts you in a positive light.
Participate and Pay Attention to Key Players.
Even if you’re just starting out in your career, being an active, contributing member to professional LinkedIn or Facebook groups reflect positively on you and can help raise your visibility to recruiters and potential employers.
Find the Recruiters.
Find and follow recruiters posting jobs you are interested in on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. This helps you stay on the recruiter’s radar.
- Make your LinkedIn profile is a magnet for hiring managers and recruiters by peppering keywords in with your experience.
- A LinkedIn profile should feel like an online portfolio with links and examples of your work.
- Update your status regularly to stay at the top of the information stream.
Job Search Tip – Look for people inside target companies you would like to meet. These include people with similar job titles, company recruiters or people who are second-degree connections with people you know well.
Make Twitter Work for You
- Start following likeminded people, companies of interest and recruiters.
- Pay attention to the key players.
- Participate in Twitter chats.
Job Search Tip – Find and follow company accounts or company career accounts and retweet their content. Be sure to mention them and incorporate their hashtags being used. Recruiters want to know that you have an interest in working for their company so your interaction with company recruiters on social media is a good way to engage.
Facebook Can be Professional Too
- Recruiters are using Facebook to learn more about candidates. Make sure what is public is appropriate.
- Post articles you find interesting and tag the authors. They check and many times reshare or say thank you. If they share it, that puts your name and article in front of everyone in their network. That’s great exposure.
Job Search Tip – Find good stories or news about a company you are interested in and then tag the company or people who work inside the company. You should be following your target companies on Facebook and if they have a Facebook careers page, follow that too. This gives you more opportunities to comment and engage.
- Instagram is a great way to show what’s important to you on a more personal level.
- Instagram does not allow you to reshare posts or stories to your timeline. But you can use third party tools to reshare a post to other sites like Facebook and Twitter. This lets you link together and multiply the impact of your social networks.
Job Search Tip – Follow all your target companies on Instagram so you can see what they share. Instagram shed light on the company culture and environment. Like their updates and leave a comment when appropriate. Also look for hashtags and participate.
Pinterest Can Be Your Portfolio
- Consider Pinterest a spot where you can post all the articles and information about you and your interests. Share your Pinterest URL and make it easy for a recruiter or hiring manager to learn about you.
- Pitch your qualifications to a company who is active on Snapchat through stories.
- Make sure you keep everything the public can see professional.
The key to a successful social job search is using the right tools for the right reasons. If you’re short on time and need to prioritize, make sure the platforms you are on have appropriate content and then focus on Linkedin. It might not be hip, but it’s a versatile platform that allows you to make connections and also search for jobs directly through it. But whatever you do, don’t ignore social networks when it comes to your job search because it just might land you your dream job!
The ultimate goal, one you can’t ask for, is to develop a relationship online that can be converted into IRL (in real life). It happens every day!