Social Media for Job Hunting
We are all aware that employers and recruiters use Social Media to search for new talent, but there is little advice given on how jobseekers can best use Social Media to help them land their next job. So today I am going to outline a few tips on how to use Social Media to help you when planning your next move in your career.
Facebook (most important)…
In all probability this will be the first or second site any HR for potential employers will go to check out your profile. Often this will be to decide on whether to offer you an interview or if to offer you a job. Pictures of you looking less than at your best (maybe a little tipsy even) may not be looked upon in the spirit in which they were intended when posted to Facebook, by any would-be employer. I am not suggesting that any such pictures should be removed but rather that you consider the Facebook Privacy Settings and your right to ensure that only your close friends can see your Facebook activities.
Many people now have a LinkeIn account, but often don’t make the best use of this or indeed know how to. LinkedIn primarily a networking tool can also be used to post your Resume/CV, as a job board, and a search tool – although to be honest Google is far better. However just adding a picture and a few contacts is not enough.
The first step is to check that your profile is up to date and accurate, taking just as much care as when you write your CV. Try to post a picture that whilst being professional is also not too corporate (a smile always helps). Also you should make use of the “Add Sections” feature, especially the Certifications & Skills sections, where you can include any qualifications you have.
After this you should seek out any colleagues (past or present) and ask them to post a recommendation to your LinkedIn account. Recommendations are more than traditional references, they don’t need to be as lengthy and can come from colleagues, team members, friends or nearly anyone you’ve done business or worked with. It is always good to try and get a mix of people. As a networking site often your connection to these people is as important as what has been written or how many connections you have. By outlining “proof of your achievements” recommendations help to add character to your profile and credibility to your achievements.
Having completed the above steps many people assume they are completely “LinkedUp” and can therefore just sit and wait for job offers to come flying in to their inbox. In reality unless you have a fair sized network, this is unlikely to happen without you taking some action.
One way is to head over to LinkedIn Answers – this is where people post questions on a large variety of topics. If you have any questions you could post them here and will almost certainly get a great answer. However the real benefit here is to seek out questions related to your own field of expertise and see how many you can answer. Sharing your knowledge, proving you know what you are talking about and engaging with other professionals in your industry will help getting your name (and profile) seen by many more people in your field of work. Social Media is after all about communicating and engaging others with content of value – here on LinkedIn Answers by answering their questions. An added bonus is that you will invariably find your network of connections growing as people recognize your skills and genuine wish to help.
Again many of us have Twitter accounts but don’t always use them correctly. Ok so how on earth can 140 characters help land you a job?
My main point here is to stress that on Twitter what is important is not the quantity of followers but the quality of your following. It is far better to have just 50 followers with whom you engage than 5000 who are basically just hanging out (usually just to post garbage on your Twitter page) and contributing nothing. The easiest way to create a quality following is to start following people with whom you share interests. This means that on average their tweets will be of value to you and you will more likely be able to offer value back. That said consider that LinkedIn recently introduced a tool that checks all your connections to see if they are on Twitter. So you may wish to use that as a starting point when deciding whom to follow on Twitter.
If you have a list of companies you would like to work for then it might also be useful to follow these companies, as many companies now also Tweet when they are hiring or looking for new talent. A link to their Twitter account will usually be posted on their website.
Ok so these are just a few tips on using Social media when looking for a new job. The main things to remember are the core basic principles of Social Media Communicate, Engage and provide valuable content to your audience and they will return the favour.
Advice From a Six Figure Job Employer
Many of you will be familiar with Accenture a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company helping clients become high-performance businesses. Here is what they have to say on using social media for finding jobs:
If you’d like any more tips or have any questions, you can leave a comment below or stalk us on our Executive Recruiting Website