Using social media to get a job
Looking for a job? In this guide, we tell you how to use social media to find and secure the best opportunities.
Forget about trailing through your local high street with a bunch of CVs in hand, or even popping to the Post Office with a prospective application. These days, in-the-know job hunters go about their business online.
Social networks aren’t just for posting pictures of cats, and they’re actually a pretty good way to find yourself work.
As graduates these days are part of the internet generation it’s well worth using your knowledge of social networks to get yourself the perfect job.
General hints and tips
Be careful with what you say
It’s easy to get carried away when you’re sitting behind a computer screen, so always bear in mind that potential employers could see what you’re saying.
If you’re looking for a job, it’s not a wise idea to share loads of photos of you on a wild night out, or post a status that could be offensive.
Twitter in particular is quite open and if your account is not locked any potential employer can read every single one of your tweets!
Check your privacy settings
You might want to use some social networks purely for chatting to your mates, and that’s fine. If this is the case though, make sure you aren’t accidentally caught out.
Recruiters will often search for you online, so make sure there’s nothing there that could paint you in a bad light. To be extra sure, go and review your privacy settings right away.
Anyone can search for you on Facebook by just using your email address. If you head to the privacy settings you can actually turn this setting off in order to stop yourself from being found so easily.
Using Twitter to get a job
Identify and followe industry influencers
The great thing about Twitter is that many industry influencers use it to voice their opinions. When you follow them, you get the latest insight into your field and keep up to date with any developments.
It’s the sort of news that might not have hit the papers yet or you might not find elsewhere, so it’s a brilliant thing to have in your toolkit.
What’s more, some of these influencers might follow you back. If you can build a good community of connections then this will give you a good head start.
Get involved in conversations
Reach out to these industry influencers, and your peers, and get involved in conversations. Ask questions, respond to queries, and start to get noticed for the right reasons. Don’t go overboard and come across as a spammer, but don’t be scared to take part.
Imagine that someone in your desired industry was looking at your Twitter feed. What would they think of you? Are you someone who looks passionate about (your chosen industry)? Are your “extra-curricular” activities interesting?
Find hashtags for your area of expertise
Twitter chats can be organised according to hashtags, making it easy to follow conversations on certain subjects. Find out which ones are used in your area of interest and expertise, and use them when you’ve got something interesting to say.
It’s a fantastic way to make new connections and very easy to do using Twitter’s search function.
Don’t be too professional
It’s easy to be too straight laced on Twitter. Just remember that it’s a social network and employers would want to see that you have a fun side too.
Updating people by telling them what you are doing every single second of the day might be a bit over the top but it’s a great idea to share a joke or a tweet about a top film that you have just seen! Life isn’t all work after all…
Using LinkedIn to get a job
Optimise your profile for search
Recruiters use LinkedIn to headhunt potential candidates, so make it easy for them to find you.
Use keywords for your chosen industry, and think about the terms that people would search for if they were looking for individuals with skills just like yours.
It’s a good idea to view LinkedIn as an online CV. Make sure you fill in as much detail as possible without giving your life story.
Join relevant groups
Groups are pretty self-explanatory, and are simply a place to chat with other professionals with similar interests. For the best results, identify two or three active groups and make a point of responding to questions or starting discussions on a daily basis.
You could get noticed by some influential people, and this could open up many doors.
Use the Jobs feature
LinkedIn has a built in jobs board, and many of the vacancies aren’t advertised anywhere else. Get into the habit of checking for new opportunities on a daily basis.
Many of them will close as soon as they’ve had enough responses, so being speedy will definitely work in your favour.
If you endorse other people’s skills on LinkedIn it’s likely they will do it back (which will make your profile look more impressive).
You can also ask your past employers or anyone that has worked with you to write a reference for your profile.
Using Facebook to get a job
‘Like’ relevant pages
Most of us use Facebook every day, so it’s a great way to catch up with news from your favourite businesses without going too far out of your way.
‘Like’ the pages of companies you’d like to work for, and any industry figures who share their knowledge on the network. You could find out about interesting job openings.
Use your existing connections
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. One of your Facebook friends might know about a position coming up in their workplace, or they might be recruiting for their own business.
You never know what might happen, so try posting a status just letting everyone know that you’re job hunting but don’t overdo it or sound desperate.
Which ones are best for me?
New social networks pop up all of the time. Most have some potential for job seekers if you can get creative and take a proactive approach. It’s pretty much impossible to use them all though, so try to focus on one or two that seem relevant to the line of work that you won’t to go into (eg. Pinterest for fashion).
Stick with it, and realise that you’re probably not going to get a job offer overnight. Building relationships online takes time, just like in the real world. The goods news is though that few people have the patience to do it effectively, so you’re on to a winner if you do!
Are you using social media to help you find a job? Have you found any success so far?