Social media and social networking are the rage right now, in business and in private life. We humans like to connect with each other, and we have just discovered a wonderful venue emerging for us to use. Naturally, as with anything social, job search is a large portion of what is happening.
Social media has become a fast and cheap "background check" that is often done before inviting a job applicant in for an interview. Employers search social media to verify the facts on resumes, to check out knowledge and attitude expressed publicly (careful!), and evaluate communication skills.
Employers also use social media to find qualified applicants, often a faster and cheaper method of identifying good job candidates than posting a job.
LinkedIn, described below, is the number one social media network for job search. If you have time for only one social network for your job search, LinkedIn is the one you should use.
Social media allows you to advertise your personal "brand" and to demonstrate your skills, values, and professionalism. In a technological world, there are an infinite number of creative ways to do this. Remember that your branding efforts must work together as a cohesive and coherent 'ad campaign' that highlights why you are a great candidate.
You can also use social media to establish credibility. Tweeting, blogging and commenting about things you know builds up your credibility online. When an employer searches, you want them to find a knowledgeable individual who can fit well into their company. This passive form of job searching is what you should continue to build even when you are gainfully employed. It's important that you continue to build your network so that it is there for you when you need it.
How to effectively Use Social Media in Your Job Search?
Social media can provide information and connections that are vital to your job search.
You can research companies and industries and contact alumni who work at a company to learn more.
- Connections - Identify alumni at your target companies and review profiles of your interviewers, including their recommendations, professional associations and groups.
- Company Information - Learn about the culture, hiring process, corporate values, recruiting and networking events.
- Industry Information - See competitors and understand how skills transfer within the industry.
- Job Information - See career paths for various functions and review job postings.
Facebook and Twitter Use in Job Search
Facebook and Twitter can be just as effective in your job search as LinkedIn. Both platforms are traditionally used more socially than professionally, So it's important to be aware of your online presence and the image you project.
- More and more companies are using Facebook and Twitter for recruiting and hiring.
- Like and follow companies you're interested in.
- Retweet or share interesting posts by these companies.
- If you have a professional interest or area of expertise, become a go-to person in that area.
- Create a blog, focus your tweets on that subject or post interesting articles on your Facebook page.
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social network where millions of professionals connect. This platform provides the largest opportunity to market yourself and expand your personal network. Your LinkedIn profile provides a visible, online resume that your contacts, including potential employers, can view.
Request recommendation from previous supervisors and co-workers
Using LinkedIn to Search for a Job
- 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, professional, before sending the generic form.
- Only write recommendations for people you know well and honestly recommend.
- LinkedIn Jobs suggests open positions that align with your interests and allows you to search jobs based on different categories. You can also see how you linked to a person who posted the job opening.
- Follow companies and industry in which you are interested.
- Research your recruiters or interviewers through their LinkedIn pages.