Social media has long been a great way to increase your profile and get recognised, but it has perhaps never been quite so essential as it is now. With the Coronavirus putting a halt on travel, preventing large events for the foreseeable future, and throwing a spanner in the works with just meeting face-to-face, job hunting online and building a strong social presence is crucial. If you’re looking for a new role in the new normal (sorry, I had to), this article shows you how to use social media to find a job.
1. State the opportunity that you’re looking for in your e-mail signature and short bios
This only applies if you are openly looking for your next job, so if you are, start using all the channels available to you. E-mail signatures are grossly underused and underestimated when it comes to job hunting which is crazy; it’s there on every message you send so why not use it? When such a simple change can make such a large impact, it’s wrong not to take advantage of it so this needs to be the first thing you do when looking for a new role. State clearly in your signature and short bios what you’re looking for. After all, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
2. Keep an updated profile on Linkedin
It might be tempting to pour all your time and effort into job sites when looking for your next role, which isn’t necessarily wrong, but you might want to turn your head towards your social media sites too as you may get more bang for your buck. Did you know that LinkedIn currently has 690+ million members in over 200 countries and territories worldwide? Did you know that 61 million of these users are senior-level influencers and 40 million are in decision-making positions? While you do need to be on job sites like Monster, it’s just as crucial to have a presence on social networking sites for professionals too. Recruiters and headhunters tend to use these sites every day, so it’s a goldmine for getting in front of them and showing them that you’re the best person for a particular role when that role becomes available. To get the most out of your social profiles, you need to:
- Review your current profile and build one that gets you found – remove anything inappropriate and pepper keywords in that are relevant to the job role that you want and that industry.
- Whenever you meet someone, ask permission to connect with them on LinkedIn and stay in touch.
- Keep your profile up to date as you learn and develop. Note down any relevant skills and experience, even things you plan to learn.
(If you would like some FREE templates to help you build a great LinkedIn professional headline and summary, see here). A quick word of warning, make sure any internet links to you enhance rather than decrease your personal brand. You may find it easier to ramp up the privacy settings on your Facebook account to the highest level possible, rather than ask your friends to take any photos of you socialising as a student down.
3. Use LinkedIn to target companies within your preferred geographical location
As we mentioned previously, LinkedIn is a goldmine when it comes to job seeking, so learn how to use it. If you have a preferred geographical location, do a search on LinkedIn and find all the companies in that area who are likely to hire someone with your skills and experience. You can then look at the LinkedIn company profiles to find out more information about these companies and you can even contact former employees and current employees to get valuable information. Making connections and starting a dialogue is always potentially valuable, but if you’re building relationships with past or current employees, you can find out who you should contact within the company to find out about vacancies. I don’t know about you, but that information seems pretty invaluable to me. Click here to download our short free guide to creating a LinkedIn profile to make sure you are not losing business or job opportunities. (email required)
4. Write content, share articles, and get involved in discussions on internet forums
Building a strong online presence takes so much more than just brushing up your social profiles; it takes time and effort. Not only do you have to be visible, but you have to be credible too! If you want to know how to use social media to find a job, you need to be writing and/or sharing content and getting involved in many discussions in the right places. When you do answer a question on Linkedin, for example, or another internet forum, don’t forget to ask permission to connect with them on LinkedIn and start an off-line dialogue. This is a great way to build your social network. Writing a blog is a great way of demonstrating your expert skills. After all, what better way to build credibility than to write about what you know and what your potential employer is interested in? If maintaining a blog is too much work, however, then consider getting an article published on a popular online magazine instead (and when I say popular, I mean popular with potential hiring manager!). This is an excellent way of raising your profile and getting yourself noticed. (If you would like some help to think about the content you would like to share to build your online footprint, then download our free guide to content planning).
5. Use your personal status updates to keep people informed of your job hunting progress
People want to help, it’s just not always the right time, so bear this in mind when you’re using social media as part of your job-hunting strategy. When you think that every single person has the potential to be a referrer, visibility, or rather consistent visibility is key; it’s all about being front of mind consistently so that you’re there at the right time. Facebook is a great place to do this as you can use your personal updates to inform people of what you’re looking for and how your job hunting is going. You might not see the strength in this strategy, especially when it takes up your time and effort, but all it takes is for one of your statuses to jog someone’s memory on who they know who may be able to help you and you’ve just landed yourself a face-to-face meeting or interview. Even if it just gets a dialogue going, building relationships and growing your social network increases the chances of referrals which, in turn, is a strong predecessor for work and/or opportunity. (Find out how to spend less time networking but more time winning business)
6. Use LinkedIn (and other social networking sites) to expand your personal and professional network
As we mentioned above, LinkedIn is a mecca for professionals looking for ideal candidates. To emphasise this point, did you know that 80% of all vacancies are not formally advertised because they are filled through networking before they’re even published? This means that that ideal job role you’re looking for may never be published on Monster for you to apply to in the first place, so the only way for you to get it is to network. Your social network is the best place to find out about vacancies or who may be able to help you find one of these vacancies, so you need to be adding this to your job-hunting strategy; you need to know how to use social media to find a job. According to a recent study published by LinkedIn, 33% of all job hunters who use their personal or professional network to find out about vacancies, were successful. Don’t let them be one of the people that gets the role you want. (Discover how to leverage your social network to find a job!)
7. Aim to build relationships with well-connected people
To be in front of as many people as you can consistently is hard work on your own, so look to make connections with the people who are well-connected. By well-connected, we’re talking about key players such as recruitment consultants as people who run networking groups are generally one of the first people to hear about potential job vacancies. If you befriend these people – start a dialogue with them, like and comment on their posts, and build a relationship with them – they may be able to help you. If they can’t immediately, they are all over LinkedIn anyway which means that you’re getting your name out there and in front of the people they know too. I don’t know about you, but I can sense the opportunities growing as we speak.
8. Don’t forget to read the blogs of influencers and coaches too
Thinking about how to use social media to find a job doesn’t stop at your social profiles. In fact, it just starts there. The real golden nuggets come from reading the blogs and content put out by influencers or the experts in the industry that you want to get into. As we said in one of the tips above, if you want to be seen as credible, you need to be writing your own content and that’s what many other professionals are doing. Professionals who can help you. Think about it. Many good career coaches will write blogs dedicated to helping people find their next role and reading these will help you with your job hunting. The same goes for experts in the industry; they will write statuses sharing interesting articles or they’ll write their own. It’s worth reading these blogs and articles, not only to learn but to share. Sharing increases your exposure and starts dialogues, two very essential things when using social networking to find your next role. Click here to download our short free guide to creating a LinkedIn profile to make sure you are not losing business or job opportunities. (email required)
It’s important to know how to use social media to find a job
Bringing it back to what I said at the start of this article, social media has never been so essential for job hunting as it is now. Thanks to the Coronavirus, we are extremely limited to what we can do, so if you’re looking for a new role, you need to be growing your social network and building your online profile. Yes, it takes time and yes, it takes effort, but once you do this, you will be able to leverage your network to find those better job roles and opportunities that are never officially published.