Social media has broken down many communication barriers and allows you to connect with people you might not know on a personal level but have shared interests with, which can be useful in finding your next job. By carefully managing your online brand, you can create job opportunities for yourself.
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Make yourself visible
Gone are the days of sifting through the papers to find a job. Today’s graduates need to be savvy to compete in the global job market. Over 90% of employers use social recruiting so making yourself visible on social media could help you get noticed.
A personal profile on LinkedIn acts as your online CV and is a great way to showcase your experience. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date, complete and matches the CV you’re sending out. LinkedIn focuses on work and an achievement so is more professional than other social networks (and it is widely used by recruiters to source candidates).
Why use Social Media?
An increasing number of employers are using social media sites to recruit and to advertise for employees. The majority of open jobs is not posted on job boards, but is found through networking. Using social media sites as a networking tool can help you find unofficial job postings or find out about job openings through your online connections at the companies you are most interested in.
- It demonstrates to employers that you are well versed in current internet and social media capabilities.
- It helps you to develop and showcase your “personal brand” or your online profile.
- It connects you to opportunities that are otherwise never made available to job seekers because they aren’t posted on job boards.
- It builds your professional networking contacts, which are crucial to your job search.
- It allows you to research industries, companies, and positions of interest.
- It makes you visible to hiring managers, recruiters, and other decision makers.
Inconsistent, unflattering information.
It’s a good idea to do an audit of your online presence before you begin to network online. As easy way to do this is to “Google” yourself and see what kind of an online presence you already have. Make sure all your online profiles are in sync and consistent in terms of the information shared, and that all the information is on brand, relevant information that portrays you in a good light.
Where do I find the relevant sites?
Listed below are some of the key social networking sites. However, this is such a dynamic area that there are bound to be new ones emerging, merging or disappearing all the time.
Ecademy Perfspot FaceBook Plaxo LinkedIn Tagged Friends Reunited MySpace Twitter
Networking > ‘Who you know’ plays a big role in finding job vacancies so utilize your online connections. If you’re openly looking for a job, tell everyone in your social networks – you might be surprised how many people ask for your CV. LinkedIn Recommendations are also a great way to add credibility to your online CV. Ask people who know you to write a recommendation, it could be from a teacher, employer or colleague.
Follow the headhunters.
Recruitment companies are also using social media to promote open positions. Follow the profiles of leading companies in your area and review their updates often
Create a LinkedIn account.
Fill in your relevant employment and education history, check that the spelling and grammar is correct and make sure that your profile is open for people to look at your experience. You can also add skills and expertise. Word your summary carefully – as choosing the right keywords can make sure your profile shows up in searches.
Request recommendations* from your previous supervisors and co-workers.
- Their praise is credible and will impress viewers of your profile.
- Ask for social media recommendations as you would a regular recommendation. Ask in person, professionally, before sending the generic form.
*Only write recommendations for people that you know well and can honestly recommend
Follow career-related hashtags on Twitter.
You can search Twitter for posts on topics of professional interest to you. You can also set up a regular feed for job-seeking hashtags such as ‘#jobsearch’, For example, try searches such as #jobs, #vacancy or #recruiting to instantly find a stream of relevant tweets. There are different tools available which can help improve your search or set up a regular alert, such as TwitJobSearch.
Make your Twitter presence ’employer-friendly’ *accordingly to Guardian Careers
- Put your job pitch in your Twitter bio
- Use a professional-looking avatar
- Tweet about your job search
- Include a link to an online CV in your bio.
- Use a tool like VisualCV
- Establish yourself as an expert in your field on Twitter
Facebook & Google+
When it comes to Facebook and Google+, I recommend joining groups/communities to network with people. It’s a great way to meet new people, and hopefully find job opportunities. Try to engage regularly with other members and be on the lookout for any offers. You can also follow companies’ pages and try to interact with them and get yourself noticed, just like on Twitter.
A creative approach to job hunting has become increasingly common in competitive industries such as marketing and media so don’t be afraid to push the boundaries beyond the regular CV. “YouTube is a great channel to promote your personal .You could create a video CV, such as a short and traditional video including a general rundown of your career and skills, or you could film a more creative ‘out-of-the-box’ CV.”
Finally, if you plan to use social media as part of your job search, remember that recruiters regularly carry out Internet searches on the names of potential employees. Keep your personal life private on Facebook and make sure that all your online content is positive and professional.
As important as social media is, remember to step away from the computer once in a while. Online methods should supplement, not replace, in-person job-searching techniques.
Have you ever used social media to find a job? Or to screen a potential employee? Do you think employers should base their hiring decisions based on peoples’ social media profiles?