Social media is a powerful marketing tool. You may be forgiven for thinking that its power only applies to businesses and organisations. However, you can use it to market yourself and find a job too. Using social media wisely can make or break the job hunting process.
Okay, employers are well aware that you have a life and you like to have fun. However, if your social media accounts are comprised of drunk night out pictures, followed by hangover tweets, followed by more drunk night out pictures, they may not want to hire you. Similarly, no employer will want to hire someone who consistently makes offensive statements or swears. Make sure your profile reflects the best side of your character. Use it to talk about the field you want to enter and show a little passion!
Use LinkedIn, but don’t close yourself into the site and hope that jobs will come to you. Begin looking for connections from school and past places of employment. Join your university’s alumni network, and highlight your skills so that you appear in job searches when prospective employers are looking for a particular individual. When you update your LinkedIn profile, tweet about it using relevant hashtags. This helps you get discovered, and you never know, your friends may be able to point a prospective employer towards your profile.
Another great way to use LinkedIn is to hyperlink your resume to other sites where you have an Internet presence. Twitter is great for this, especially if you spend time tweeting about issues that are relevant to your chosen career. If you have a blog, that is even better! Employers often come across prospective employees via their blogs, but have no way to contact them. Add it to your Facebook too. While it is advisable to keep your Facebook primarily private, it doesn’t hurt to have a LinkedIn link there for friends to share around when they become aware of positions.
Many organisations now have dedicated social media profiles for their recruitment teams. If you want to stay up-to-date with positions and recruitment news, follow them. Naturally, the accounts you follow can get lost in a sea of tweets, especially if you are an avid follower. Prevent this happening by adding accounts to a ‘list’. On Facebook, you can do this by selecting certain pages to receive notifications from.
Don’t let yourself become a one-man or one-woman island on Twitter or LinkedIn. Begin following and reaching out to others in your field. Engage with them on a regular basis. This doesn’t always have to relate to finding work; simply networking with interest helps you build the connections you need to get an insider’s knowledge of upcoming positions. You never know, doing this may also get you a recommendation too.