When it comes to your next job search, it’s time to expand your horizons. Like many of us, you may have relied exclusively on sites like Craigslist and Monster.com in order to find jobs. And while those are still excellent go-to sources, you might be missing out on a plethora of job opportunities via social media. Many companies use social media as their primary source of recruitment, and many of them also hire recruiters to seek out qualified applicants. It’s a two-way street that has major job-landing potential. So don’t write it off just yet!
- It starts with a stellar profile.
Social media, whether in a professional context or not, allows you to brand yourself. As a job-seeker, you can focus on honing this brand to the industry you want to work in, making it as relevant as possible. Plus, you’ll attract more recruiters! It goes without saying that this may mean scrapping the public settings on some of your less-than-professional photos and posts, though.
- You can actually find job listings.
Perhaps the most notable social media site to scour for job listings in LinkedIn. You can search by location, keywords, or other advanced criteria to find job vacancies. LinkedIn goes a few steps further, too. They offer a myriad of job seeker groups you can join, which may increase your chances of having recruiters reach out to you. You will also find job postings on Twitter, just be sure to follow the companies you’re interested in working for to stay up-to-date!
- Networking got a whole lot simpler.
Well, by simpler, we mean that networking no longer requires attendance at fancy functions, expensive travel, or even business attire. That said, you have to abide by the rules of e-networking. Build relationships with recruiters, companies, or any other professional in a steady but not overbearing way. Quality connections take time. Be genuine, concise and polite in your messaging, and present yourself in a professional light. As with in-person networking, taking it to social media can lead to some vocationally rewarding connections.
- Upgrade your research methods.
Until social media came along, company and employee research was pretty limited. You’d have had to go to the company’s website, if they even had one, and comb through the often outdated or incomplete information. If you were lucky, you had some word-of-mouth contacts and referrals. Or perhaps you saw the company in the news every so often. Now, you have a multimedia archive of companies and employees at your fingertips. You can research confidently, knowing that the information is current or finding that you have some common ground to start on, for example.
- You can organize a personal “street team.”
Social media allows you to broadly reach out to your friends, followers, or the general public (depending on your privacy settings, of course) in order to help you land a job. If you send out “feelers” to alert your peers to keep an eye out for a job within your industry, they might come back to you with some great finds. You can even enlist their help in editing a resume or making an introduction as a mutual friend of someone you’d like to connect with.
Even with the assistance of social media, don’t expect to find a job overnight. Cultivating your personal brand, networking connections, and friends’ help takes time. And the more time and effort that you invest in the process, the more likely you are to have a favorable outcome. Just because it doesn’t guarantee expediency, doesn’t mean it won’t be worthwhile. So go ahead—start socializing!
David Grover is a Communications Manager at Timeo, a useful tool for businesses in the UK. He’s also a freelance career coach, who’s always eager to share his experience. In his free time he enjoys traveling.