We all know that social media is everywhere these days. Everybody is using at least one of the platforms to communicate with friends, or maybe just to keep up with your favourite celeb.
But did you know that more and more employers are using social media to hire new talent? A report from High Fliers which looked at the graduate market found that 94% of employers used social media to promote their vacancies.
What can you do to make sure you that you aren’t missing out on the opportunity to apply for your dream job?
LinkedIn is commonly referred to as the ‘professional’ social network. It is different from the likes of Facebook & Twitter in that it focuses on your professional experience, skills and education. LinkedIn also has a jobs section which allows you to search for jobs in your chosen industry that are local to you. Another major benefit of LinkedIn is that it allows you to connect with people in your industry eg: the manager of a company you want to work for, meaning you can start building a network of contacts.
You can also follow companies, and you will be recommended jobs based on the companies you follow and your interests, so just by signing up you could come across job opportunities that you didn’t know existed.
Lots of recruiters use LinkedIn to try and find candidates, so make sure you have your profile set to ‘open to new opportunities’. This is private and won’t be visible to your network or (more importantly) your current employer if you are already working, but it signifies to recruiters that you are on the job market.
Last year Facebook decided to get in on the action and launch ‘Jobs on Facebook’. With it being the nation’s most popular social network, employers have jumped at this and began using the site to hire new recruits by posting jobs on their accounts, which users can apply for at the click of a button.
To make the application process as seamless as possible, it is a good idea to fill out the ‘Work and Education’ section on your profile fully, adding in achievements such as promotions etc to your ‘Life Events’ so as any prospective employer will be able to see an up to date work history alongside your professional achievements.
The flipside to applying for a job via Facebook is that you have to be careful that your profile does not show anything that could jeopardise your chances of getting an interview or the job if you are successful. You should screen your profile and remove or hide anything that may be deemed unprofessional.
This is also true even if you did not apply through Facebook. It is very common now for potential employers to check applicants’ social media profiles to see whether they will be a suitable fit for the company. Avoid making negative comments about previous employers or sharing anything that could make you look bad. Or alternatively, you can change your privacy settings to make sure that your profile content is hidden to people you aren’t friends with.
Unlike LinkedIn and Facebook, Twitter doesn’t have a dedicated jobs feature on their website, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to find a job. Lots of businesses use Twitter to promote their services, announce jobs, company news and try to and entice people to their website. You may also be able to find key contacts within your industry who you can follow in order to keep up with their updates and announcements.
A good idea is to follow the companies you would like to work for. You may then be able to find employees within the company who are good contacts to have and follow them as well. Engage with their tweets through comments or by retweeting them and start to build a network of useful contacts.
Make sure your bio sells who you are and what you are looking for (in 160 characters, make it snappy!). You could also include a link to your CV or your LinkedIn profile where interested parties can find more information.
If you are going to use Twitter in your job hunt, you must make sure that your profile is appropriate and will attract the right kind of attention! It is an informal platform, but if you are trying to attract the attention of recruiters or hiring managers, you want to make sure you are representing yourself in a positive and professional light.
Here is a summary of our top tips:
- Ensure your social media profile is appropriate for the audience you are trying to attract.
- Make sure to mention that you are actively job seeking, what kind of role you are interested in and where you are based in your bio.
- Follow relevant companies and individuals in your industry.
- Engage with individuals and companies from your industry, start conversations to help get your name out there.