How to find a job with social media: an overview
There are only about three things that are more convenient without the Internet and looking for jobs is not one of them. We now have all of the world’s job ads and company information at our fingertips, while we can showcase our talents and skills in myriad ways. To make sure all of your information can be found by HR staff and recruiters, we present an overview of the most used social media networks and sprinkle it with some tips to successfully use the channels to find the job of your dreams.
Meet the mother lode for all things career: If you are looking for a job now or in the foreseeable future, you will need a LinkedIn account, as this is the one-stop shop to show the world your resume and let everyone know about your experience, education, expertise, and language skills. Even though all LinkedIn profiles look similar, you can stand out with a catchy headline, unique content, and a professional yet personal picture. Then, show off your online networking skills. Make sure you don’t just connect with people you already know, but also with influencers and experts in your field by sharing content and by joining groups. It’s crucial to keep your profile up-to-date, and not just give it some TLC when you’re actually searching for a job: there could be people out there who are looking for everything you have to offer – if only they could read about it on LinkedIn.
If you thought that Facebook was only to keep an eye on your friends’ life while commuting to work or school, you’re wrong. The social network has a few nifty features that can help you amp up your job search: Make sure you update your education and work experience, put your friends into different groups to share work-related posts more efficiently, or find “people who work at (insert company name)” in the search bar and expand your network that way. Last but not least, why not cut to the chase and use FB ads to get the attention of your dream company?
Twitter is quick and immediate, which makes it the perfect place to get the latest updates, job postings, and career advice. You can follow and interact with influencers and leaders in your field, track hashtags to get job postings, or find advice on all kinds of topics. Ideally, you don’t just follow or retweet people but actively tweet yourself: Twitter is a great place to initiate contact, show up on people’s radar, and share your content and ideas.
Not everyone needs or wants to have a website, so a blog is a perfect way to show off your skills, share your knowledge, and position yourself as an expert in a certain area. Remember, every blog is only as good as its last post, so you will need to put in the work. Writing know-how is a plus, but there are a lot of creative ways to blog. No matter what you do, post at least weekly and make sure the content brings the readers value.
Instagram doesn’t just turn regular photos into filtered masterpieces, it can also help you with your job search if you’re a visual person or have a photo-friendly profession. You could use Instagram as a way to promote your portfolio, advertise what you do in your professional life, and use all kinds of relevant hashtags to connect and interact. Of course, you should take visual networking to the next level and follow and interact with your favorite companies and brands to learn more about their company culture. Referring to a post or a complete Instagram strategy is a great icebreaker for your cover letter, networking event, or at the beginning of a job interview.
Pinterest is similar to Instagram, but you don’t really have to take pictures yourself. However, you have to be a bit more creative than just posting random things on random boards: Why not create a fun and visual resume or show off particular talents that are relevant to your career? If you want to take things slowly, just sit back and let the inspiration wash over you: There’s a ton of career advice on Pinterest – from resume tips to wardrobe suggestions. Of course, you can also follow and interact with your favorite brands and learn more about their products, employees, and company culture.
And now that you know the major players, here’s how you can get the most out of your social media job search:
First and foremost: Clean up your social media presence and delete all photos and posts that are not suitable for future employers. Whatever you have online, they will (probably) find.
Comment, tag, and hashtag – but within reason. Do not become that person who only posts random things.
Think outside of the network box: to make meeting online more memorable, try to connect and engage in creative ways.
Careers and resumes are all about stories and storytelling – use social media to tell your story with words, images, and creative (and consistent) combinations thereof.
Choose your accounts wisely – what channels work best for your skills, talents, and goals?
It’s common that people have two profiles for all or certain networks – one where you post cat pictures, the other where you promote your professional expertise.
Social media is a great place for your 15-minutes of fame, but be aware that most successful long-term careers are built through hard work.
Learn about employees and decision-makers of your favorite companies. Social media is a perfect way to initiate contact and get a foot in the door.
Be willing to help out by answering questions, engaging, and sharing – this will help you build priceless social capital and are good ways to (casually) demonstrate your expertise.
Be patient, it will take time to connect, build, and nurture a network.
Image by Jason Howie, Flickr / Creative Commons