Navigating the job market is challenging. Nowadays, job-hunters have to contend with an array of career search engines, websites, networking events, job boards, social media groups and more. You’d be forgiven for wanting to return to an easier time, when all you had to do was consult the listings in your local newspaper.
But today’s multifaceted job market also has many benefits. Skilled, experienced candidates have an excellent opportunity to build a career that fits closely with their values and interests. With many companies opting to recruit employees on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, social media has a significant role to play.
In this post, we’re going to show you exactly how to leverage social media platforms to supplement your job search and find the perfect opening.
LinkedIn is the most important social media site for job seekers. Most large companies have a presence on the platform, and many actively use it to find new employees.
Searching for jobs on LinkedIn requires a two-pronged approach. On the one hand, it’s important to create an engaging profile which appeals to recruiters and head-hunters. On the other, you should actively consult job listings and even reach out to companies that you like that aren’t actively hiring.
Here are some practical tips for getting the most out of LinkedIn:
- Complete your profile – Half-finished profiles scream unprofessionalism. Ensure that you’ve listed all your skills, qualifications and past experience. Also, pay attention to the “About” section and ask for feedback from colleagues once you’ve finished writing your bio.
- Take a professional headshot – Your headshot is the first thing that recruiters will see when they land on your profile, so it’s worth paying for a professional photograph. Research shows that headshots in which the subject is smiling and dressed in formal work attire tend to be viewed more positively.
- Set your status as “Open to work” – Doing this will let recruiters know that you’re open to offers.
- Research and target relevant companies – Don’t be deterred if a company you like isn’t actively recruiting. LinkedIn provides an excellent opportunity to conduct research, identify individuals responsible for hiring and send a tailored pitch to your preferred employers.
- Search LinkedIn job listings – LinkedIn has its own employment search engine, which works in the same way as a typical job site. You can use it to search for relevant openings and set alerts for new postings that meet your criteria.
As a skilled, highly-qualified graduate, there’s a good chance you’ll receive multiple offers on LinkedIn. Don’t be afraid to turn down recruiters and, if you do receive a proposal you like, always be ready to negotiate on salary, hours, benefits and so on. Graduates, in particular, are often eager to find work after finishing university. But keeping a cool head and stopping yourself from rushing into a new role will pay dividends in the long-term.
As a final point, it’s worth considering taking a LinkedIn Premium membership, at least for the period in which you’re actively looking for work. Membership has a number of benefits, including “InMail”, which allows you to reach out to prospective employers. You’ll also be able to see who has viewed your profile.
Facebook is second only to LinkedIn when it comes to finding jobs. Facebook has many groups dedicated to advertising openings, its own career search engine, and the broadest reach of any network on the web.
Here are the three main ways you can use Facebook to find work:
- Leverage your network – Facebook is hands-down the best tool for asking your personal network about openings. A simple post on your page will likely yield numerous responses and is an excellent first step when beginning your job search.
- Search job posts – Facebook allows businesses to create job posts to advertise opportunities. You can use Facebook’s search engine to filter posts and find positions that are a good match for you. You can also choose to receive notifications about new jobs that fit your criteria.
- Join relevant local job groups – Recruiters often post in dedicated job groups, which are usually focused on a particular profession or area. Join high-quality groups and opt to receive alerts whenever a new post goes live.
Although it’s not as widely used by employers as LinkedIn and Facebook, Twitter is still useful as a job-hunting tool. Often, companies that take a more informal approach to filling open positions will use Twitter to connect with candidates.
Twitter’s messaging features also provide an opportunity to reach out to specific individuals that are responsible for hiring when other channels have failed.
Here are some tips for using Twitter when you’re looking for a job:
- Follow companies that you like – This is perhaps the most important point. Companies will often tweet messages like “We’re hiring” or “We’re expanding” before posting on other job sites. If you see a message from a company you like, you’ll have a chance to submit an application before the majority of other people. Many companies even have dedicated accounts for posting about new openings.
- Make your profile more professional (but don’t overdo it) – Remember that Twitter is an informal platform. It’s ok to stay casual, but keep an element of professionalism in your headshot and posts.
- Search for jobs – You can use Twitter’s search function to find jobs by using relevant hashtags like #jobopening and #nowhiring.
- Reach out to relevant companies – If you haven’t heard back from a company about an inquiry, you can send a message on Twitter. It’s usually good practice to avoid doing this with personal accounts, however, unless they are clearly work-related.