How To Use Social Media On Your Job Search
Virtually everyone can be found online today. For job searchers, this is a good thing. Searching and applying for jobs online is probably the most effective way to spread your resume around to different potential employers in an efficient manner. You can find hirers, and hirers can find you. Another effective aspect of online job searching is networking, specifically networking and applying through social media. Job searchers likely know that networking is one of the keys to landing a career job, but knowing how, and where, to spend your online networking efforts is vital.
Most everyone is familiar with the most popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Using these sites for job searching and networking purposes is much different than using them for regular social media. The first priority when job searching through popular social media sites is cleaning up your profile. Job searchers should audit every comment, picture, and post to ensure nothing can be seen as inappropriate by employers. If you wouldn’t say it or show it in an interview, remove it from your profile.
Every job searcher and every career professional in general should be using LinkedIn. LinkedIn is essentially the working professional version of Facebook. Your LinkedIn profile should be comprised of your resume, a professional looking picture, a short bio, and a brief summary or list of your skills. Users can apply directly for jobs on a company’s LinkedIn profile, as well as make connections with other professionals in their field. One of the most attractive things about LinkedIn for job searchers is the ability to see who has viewed your profile. This lets you know if employers are considering your application and also lets you know to whom who you can address your follow-up emails.
A good idea is to aggregate all of your social media profiles so that you can efficiently search for jobs across all platforms. Many various sites and apps like Career Arc exist for the sole purpose of social media recruiting. There are even career-specific sites that will help you narrow your search further.
Certain sites you can use for job searching will depend upon the career you’re going into. For creative-focused seekers, Behance and other portfolio sites like it will prove helpful. Employers and other creatives can view your work and provide comments. For healthcare professionals, sites like Medzilla allow you to view industry-specific job openings. There are numerous specified job sites like these for virtually all industries.
For anyone with any kind of professional portfolio or body of work, it is a good idea to create your own personal website specifically to show your work to employers. Simple website building sites like Wix or Squarespace allow anyone to create professional looking website for free. There are also a number of sites for hiring web designers to create sites for you. The more work you put out there, the better your chances are of employers taking notice.
Letting your social networks know you are job searching can be a delicate matter. Posting or tweeting an announcement on Facebook or Twitter isn’t always the best method, especially if you currently have a job and don’t want your employer to know you’re searching. Instead, send personalized, professional messages to connections informing them you are on the job hunt and would appreciate any connections or references they could provide. Personal messages on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are far more likely to elicit responses than general posts or tweets for everyone to see. In these personal messages, include links to your website, portfolio, resume, or any other valuable information to your job search. If you do not already know the person you’re messaging, write the message like you would a cover letter, only much more condensed. Introduce yourself, briefly explain you’re on the job hunt, and politely ask if they would be willing to lend you some connections or advice.
Job searchers should spend at least an hour a day looking for job openings and potential connections on social media. The old phrase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” is extremely relevant in the job hunt. Far too often searchers only spend their time filling out online applications instead of trying to make connections with people at the company with an opening. Remember that all you need is a little help to get your foot in the door. The rest is on you.