Networking is one of key elements of job hunting, and social media has become a very powerful tool in the recruitment process. Learning more about how to make an impact online could be the principal factor in securing the role you desire. These days, not only do employers promote vacancies via social media, but you can also use it to your own advantage by tracking down new opportunities and making contact with companies where you’d like to work.
But, before you even go about sending a speculative application to any potential employer, it is first essential that you check your social media pages to ensure that when a recruiter visits them, you will be viewed in the best possible light. It is estimated that over 70% of employers will check a candidate’s social media profile before offering them a job, so avoid posting inappropriate content or language, anything illegal such as drugs-related posts, or any discriminatory comments related to race, gender or religion. You can manage your privacy settings to protect yourself, or even consider setting up a private account separate from your professional one. The best advice, however, is to go by the Nanna rule – if you wouldn’t want your Nanna to read it, you probably wouldn’t want a potential employer to see it either, so don’t post it in the first place.
Instead, you can use the platforms available to you to sell yourself. Anyone can build accounts on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. When creating your handle, be sure to use an appropriate username and image, and include a clear biography. This will help recruiters locate you and find out further details about the type of role you are looking for. Once your profiles are perfected, you can then concentrate your energies on engaging with relevant companies and building up your online contact base.
LinkedIn is a social network for professionals, and it’s the easiest way to make connections in your industry from the comfort of your home. Your profile should detail relevant professional information including your previous experience, skillset and education history, and from there, you can build up your network of contacts. LinkedIn recommends a minimum of 50 connections to increase your chances of the right people getting in touch. You can also join related groups to keep abreast of industry news and future job openings, as well as incorporating work samples and endorsements from previous employers to help boost the strength of your profile. It’s a good idea to make sure your information is always up-to-date and to contribute to discussions to enhance your visibility.
The nation’s most popular platform, Facebook can reach millions of the UK’s population through advertising, so employers are increasingly choosing to list job opportunities on the site, which users can then apply for at the click of a button. You will find these listings by searching for ‘Jobs on Facebook’ in the search window, and you can make the application process as smooth as possible by filling out the ‘Work and Education’ section, adding any notable achievements to your timeline. Perhaps the greatest value of Facebook, however, is the ability to reach out to your contacts to assist you in your job search. There is no harm in asking your contacts if they are aware of any suitable positions, as well as joining any groups that could be useful. Just be careful if you are currently in employment, as you wouldn’t want your line manager to hear via Facebook that you’re applying for a new job.
One of the benefits of Twitter is the relaxed approach to social networking, allowing a free-flowing conversation in which you can talk directly to recruiters… A well-timed tweet could help you to secure your next career move! Follow relevant companies to get a feel for their brand, search for hashtags that relate to the industry you’re interested in, and keep up-to-date with breaking news and announcements. Your bio should provide information potential employers would need to know, so use it to introduce yourself, your location, and the type of work you want to do. You can also link a website, so why not include your LinkedIn profile where people will find examples of your work?
Instagram is a good way of demonstrating your social media skills if you wish to pursue a role in marketing, for example. You can post images related to your professional or academic projects, presenting you as the ideal candidate for the job. You might also choose to use it to find out further information about a company, so you’d be able to demonstrate how you’d be a good fit should you be chosen for interview.
Admittedly, this platform isn’t for everyone, but when used to incorporate video samples of your work and evidence your communication skills and personality, it’s the perfect tool. This appeals to job seekers within the entertainment industry, such as actors, musicians and performers, but other professionals could also use it to create a profile that reflects their career-related skills. You never know, a potential employer could catch sight of your latest video.
This site is most useful for creatives looking to post visual representations of their work e.g. florists, interior decorators and cake designers. It’s fantastic for showcasing your portfolio and promoting your services to other Pinterest users.
Social media is therefore a great job searching strategy. It’s more important than ever before that you have a clear online presence and all your social media accounts marry up. If you spend a couple of hours each day looking for new opportunities, it would be wise to include social media into your daily routine in order to best enhance your career prospects.