If you would need to look for a new job, how would you do it? The traditional way? Reading newspaper job ads, looking at online job boards, sending speculative job applications? Well, there is one approach that you might not have thought about yet, the job search via social media!
We all know it, Social Media can be a great tool for promotional, recruitment, learning and social purposes. Modern jobseekers nowadays have started conducting their job search via social media. Let’s not forget that 92 % of companies use social media for recruitment purposes, and 3 out of 4 HR Managers will check on a candidate’s social profile.
It would be a smart move to use social media as a tool to shine in the online world, whenever a Hiring Manager or recruiter is looking for you. By posting positive, informative and useful content online you will attract some attention, and not be one of those who will land on the pile of rejected candidates based on their inappropriate content that they published.
Recently someone asked me ‘How can I find a job via social media?’ I would like to use this dilemma to share 45 smart and effective ways on how to make your job hunt through social media more effective. It would be a wise decision to create a plan for your job hunt in which you write down the steps that you are going to take on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Get started and stick to your plan!
Your Job Search via Social Media
# 1 – Think of companies that you would love to work for! Create a list of 3-5 of them! This will give you the advantage of engaging with companies that you feel excited about right from the beginning.
# 2 – Connect with your dream companies by following them on Twitter, liking their Facebook corporate pages and connecting with them on LinkedIn. This will help you to get automatically updates and important notifications about the company. You might also find out about new job opportunities before they get published on other sources. Follow also the employees who are working there (on Linkedin it is particularly easy to find them).
# 3 – Whenever you set up a social media account, make sure you use your real name, so that people can easily find you. Don’t think of usernames that are childish, unprofessional, highly inappropriate. Ask yourself: How do you really want to be perceived by a future employer?
# 4 – Create 100% complete profiles on Social Media platforms (Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram). Describe in detail what you did in various previous jobs, talk about your strengths and your achievements. Make it searchable, impressive and use industry-specific keywords. Recruiters are often using a scanning software when screening candidates. For example, if you are applying for a job as an Online Marketer, it’s crucial to have the term “SEO” (search engine optimization) mentioned in your profile somewhere.
# 5 – Have a great profile picture. Don’t underestimate this part in the process of your job search via social media. This is the first impression you will give to your potential employers. Find out more about the 20 No-No’s that you should avoid in your profile picture, at: http://careerheads.com/your-profile-picture-20-tips-on-what-to-avoid/ If you are unsure on how you will be perceived by others, I would advise you to use the feedback you can get from http://www.PhotoFeeler.com
# 6 – Connect with people who are working in the same industry in which you would like to work. You can find many of them also on LinkedIn Groups. Focus on finding groups that are particularly active and have lots of members. The bigger the audience, the better your chances of connecting with the right kind of people.
# 7 – Once you join these groups (or also other industry-specific forums online) try to add value with your contributions to become a well-known source. This will help you to stand out. Use the opportunity to answer peoples’ questions, show off your expertise, knowledge and experience! Doing so will also make you feel happier, knowing you were able to give advice to others. You can also ask questions and see what advice others will give you. Learn also from them in the process.
# 8 – This is important! Never make it obvious straight from the beginning that you are after a job. It’s very important to first build a relationship, get noticed in a positive way for the right reasons and then wait for the right opportunity. If you are lucky, it will be the company that will approach you first. They might have already noticed you and they find that you can add real value to their company! Please bear in mind that a job search via social media doesn’t happen overnight, it can be quite time-consuming and a long process. But if you do it right and plan for it in a strategic way, it will pay off in the long term. If other people can do it, so can YOU! It might also be the case that the company is so impressed by you that they create a new position just for you! The better you are able to show and convince them, that you can add real value, the bigger your chances are of getting your foot into their corporate door!
# 9 – You can obviously also apply for job vacancies that the company is publishing online, but be aware that with that strategy you will face more competition from other jobseekers too, as the position has officially been made available.
# 10 – If you are not employed, don’t feel ashamed to let people know that you are looking for a job. Someone who is in employment, but is planning to change job would have it a bit more difficult… you obviously don’t want to let everyone know how unsatisfied you are at your current company! Whatsoever, use every opportunity that social media can offer you to do a more targeted and effective job search.
# 11 – There are different ways on how you can spread the word about your job hunt. One example would be to use the wallpaper (background image) to announce your job search. Create a clear message with an eye-catching background.
# 12 – You can use your wallpaper also to show off your testimonials, your raving reviews from your past clients/employers. They would surely impress a future employer! This approach would allow you to use that space much more effectively rather than just showing some general background. Use every space you have at your disposal to promote yourself!
# 13 – Also think of including in your Twitter bio the fact that you are open for a new challenge. The person who reads it might not be able to offer you a job, but who says that that person might not know someone for which you would be a great fit? It’s important to be specific with regard to the position that you are looking for. If you are looking for a job in IT, don’t say that you are looking for an IT job, mention instead specifically what job in IT (a huge sector!) you are looking for. For example, IT Analyst, Software Developer, Web Designer, IT Helpdesk Assistant, etc.
# 14 – If you use the right hashtags in your Twitter bio you will also increase the chances to be found more easily by the right people, such as HR Managers and Recruiters. Some examples are: #jobtitle (e.g. #dentist), location (e.g.#London), etc. Use hashtags also when you look for job opportunities. In the search bar you can enter terms that are related to your job, for example #jobs, #hiring, #location and #jobtitle (as mentioned earlier).
# 15 – Tweet about your job search, by saying for example that you updated your CV, that you are looking for a new challenge etc. If you are attending further industry-specific courses, share what you are learning. If you are experiencing a career gap, then take advantage of some free eLearning courses on http://www.Udemy.com. Learn new skills, tweet about it, share interesting things that you learned in the process. It shows that you use your career gap in a productive way by learning and enhancing your CV. Let future employers know that you are working on improving specific skills, don’t hold back! If you are particularly satisfied with the course instructor, follow them and interact on social media with them, too. Spread positive feedback on the course and they might also like and retweet your positive course experience officially on social media. I recently enrolled in an online Digital Marketing course and got very quickly 5 Likes for it on Twitter.
# 16 – No matter how desperate you are for a job, don’t overdo it when using social media as your job hunting tool. If you are on your job hunt by using the traditional method, by sending out CVs and cover letters, it’s one thing, but if you do it officially on social media everyone can see your posts. Be selective when following certain companies, approach only those that are really important to you. It could put people/companies off, if they notice you are so desperate and chase too many companies all at once with no clear focus.
# 17 – Build several online CVs on various other websites, whose link you can add on social media too. Some recommended websites are: http://www.VisualCV.com, http://www.Branded.me, http://www.about.me.
# 18 – No matter what social media platform you use, make sure you share relevant content. Do you really want to share what food you had for lunch? (Okay, I forgive you if you are a chef and want to show off your cooking and creative presentation skills, but if you are not a chef, think twice whether it really adds value to your followers or not!) Be seen as a knowledgeable, professional and motivated person. By the way, did you know that sharing your content will make it much more likely to be contacted by recruiters?
# 19 – Recommendations can be very powerful. If you look at two candidates on Linkedin and you see Candidate 1 has no recommendations at all, while Candidate 2 has 8 impressive recommendations, who would you want to hire? Thus, approach people who you worked or dealt with, and ask them to give you positive endorsements officially on Linkedin or any other social media platform. It can definitely make a difference! People do believe in endorsements.
# 20 – LinkedIn also allows you to browse for jobs, not just to connect with people. Use the opportunity to find out about the Hiring Manager, the details of the job and (if you pay a premium fee) how you also compare to other candidates who applied for the same job vacancy.
# 21 – If you have a business card, include also your Linkedin link on it. People you meet in real life, can then easily connect with you also in the online world.
# 22 – Social Media is all about engagement and connecting, it’s not a one-way road! Seize the opportunity to comment on other peoples’ content in a way that will make them friend you, follow you, like you, retweet you and hopefully hire you in the process. Everyone welcomes and appreciates positive feedback. Apart from being perceived as a person who credits others and is a positive thinker, people will be more open towards you. If you have ideas to offer how to do certain things differently or better, don’t hold back, but do it always in a constructive way.
# 23 – Always interact with other people. No matter whether they message you, ask you a question, retweet you etc. Show that you care each time they reach out to you. Ignoring others will make you look incompetent and unprofessional. However, invest a bit more time on those contacts who you think can contribute to your job search in a positive way and are of relevant value.
# 24 – If you want to make your CV stand out a bit more try to present it as an infographic. Never heard of an infographic? Here an example:
This approach might be more suitable for more creative industries, however, it shows that you are a creative thinker. There are several sources available, two of them are www.Kinzaa.com and http://www.enhancv.com. If you think you can’t do it, find someone who is prepared to help you.
# 25 – Make sure you update your CV on a regular basis. If you learn new skills, if you work on other relevant projects, don’t forget to include new updates.
# 26 – When you connect with people on social media you will get more replies if you send tailor-made messages to them rather than just default messages. Tell people why you are interested in connecting with them and you will see your network will increase quicker with high-calibre people. If you can already tell them what value you can bring to them, even better!
# 27 – When doing your job search via social media, you are not just limited to Linkedin or Twitter, you can also use Tumblr and Instagram for your job search. Enter words like #jobs, #hiring etc. in the search bar and see what comes up.
# 28 – There are also some jobseekers who were able to land their dream job by using Pinterest. The social media network that is more appealing to all those who love images! Use a board to pin your resume. Share your experience, include pictures from your career and add links to it. Share what you learnt on different jobs, show yourself in action!
# 29 – Don’t discard Facebook as a job hunting tool. Bear in mind that the people who you are connected with on Facebook, know (most probably) your personality. So if they come across a job that would be suitable for you, they would know best whether to recommend it to you or not. Make sure you set your “privacy settings” right in order to not allow potential employers to see your photos and posts, if you are unsure whether everything you post there is employer-friendly or not. However, bear in mind that someone in your network could forward information to a potential employer without you knowing about it – in life you never know!!!
If you need some help in finding out if there is anything that might damage your career on your social media profiles, get in touch with me. I can tell you exactly what is career-friendly and what is not! (send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org). Thanks.
# 30 – Whenever you are thinking of applying for a job at a company online, check out for some information on the hiring staff. The more information you can gather, the better. Look for common ground or similar interests. That will allow you to connect with a Hiring Professional quicker and more easily. It can give you an edge over other people! Imagine … you love sports and you see that the Hiring Manager is also a Sports fanatic (see example on the right). What more could you wish to start a conversation about a common hobby that you both have? It would set the perfect foundation to get started any conversation. People like to do business and hire people they like and trust. Remember!
# 31 – Enrich your CV by mentioning your social media account names. This shows that you are social media savvy, that (hopefully) your online presence is impeccable and that you have lots to show and NOTHING TO HIDE! They will most probably check you out as it is. If you provide them with the information upfront, you will make their job much easier. A candidate who does not have an online presence might never be considered in the first place. Not many recruiters have the time to dig for information if it is hard to find. They will move on to that candidate who provides them upfront the information that they are looking for (hopefully all positive, useful and impressive!). It will also give them more assurance that they are choosing the right candidate, not just for the job but who seems to be also someone with a great personality!
# 32 – Why not also joining conversations and chats online? On Twitter you can use #careerchat, #jobhuntchat, #twitterchats etc. Look out for interesting groups and participate on a regular basis in order to extend your job search via social media.
# 33 – Follow and connect also with those people and companies that offer job search advice. You never know what contacts, tips or information you might gain from it.
# 34 – Check on a regular basis your online presence on all the social media accounts that you signed up with. GOOGLE YOURSELF regularly and put yourself in the position of a recruiter. Ask yourself if you would be impressed or put off by what you find about yourself. Make sure your online profile is impeccable on all accounts that you set up for yourself. Luckily, there is the option that you can remove content that seems to be career-damaging!
# 35 – The advice that I’m giving you now you should really take seriously, if you want to STAND OUT from the competitive crowd when doing your job search via social media. Maybe you have already thought about it… if not, keep reading. Have a personal website, a blog, a portfolio site or something similar. If you have it, don’t forget to mention the link on your social media accounts. Give Hiring Managers the chance to find out more about you. A blog can be very revealing and disclose so much more information about a person, than just a CV! If you don’t have thought about it yet, think of setting up a separate website for yourself. You can use free website services or paid ones. It impresses a Hiring Manager surely more, if you invest a bit of time and money in setting up a professionally looking website with your own domain name, e.g. www.PeterThorpe.com. You can also use free website options, however, often it looks cheap and less professional. How do you really want to be perceived? Think about it!
# 36 – If you decide to do your job search via social media, remember that whenever you post something online, it’s worthwhile to show a bit of your personality. Share things that make you look like an interesting person in other peoples’ eyes. Give them the impression that if they connect with you, they will benefit from having you in their own network. You don’t need to keep it 100 % professional at all times but you can also show a bit more your human side. But make sure everything is always of an appropriate nature!
# 37 – Check out if the company you want to work for, has a separate jobs account on social media. Some big companies thought about that already. If one of your dream companies has it, make sure you follow them. You will get notified about job vacancies in a quicker way.
# 38 – Use Google Hangouts and participate in those conversations that are related to your career goals and interests. Sometimes companies organize information session hangouts, use again the opportunity to engage, engage, engage!
# 39 – Participate in TwitterChats. These are events that take place the same time each week and are centered around a hashtag. It will help you to extend your network and followers on Twitter. Another benefit is that you will get in touch with industry leaders and learn a lot in the process. Your online exposure will again increase.
# 40 – If you write your own blog, also consider the fact of becoming a guest blogger for other people or companies. Find out if you can add your name, picture, website link and a short bio. This is a further method of getting more exposure online in an effective way! Refrain from providing ghost writing services (unless you want to earn some additional income) but if you create content and others will publish it with their name, no credit will go to you! Sad, but true!
# 41 – Place valuable comments on your dream companies’ blogs. Get on their radar again! Share your opinion, ask questions. Show your interest in what they write about. Use your job search via social media by taking full advantage of every opportunity that is being given to you! Remember, it only costs a bit of time, but no money!
# 42 – Check out also the trending topics on Twitter. If there is anything job-related, make your contribution with informative, interesting posts. Similarly, if you are attending a big conference or another networking event connect with people attending the same event. Follow the related hashtag, see who else might be there and what others are saying about it. Get noticed, make yourself visible online and offline!
# 43 – Post and tweet about interesting things going on in your life. Share your accomplishments and achievements. If it helps to promote yourself more effectively, make use of it! But make sure it’s all not just that, otherwise people will perceive you as a self-obsessed person.
# 44 – Pinterest, Instagram, Vine – don’t discard these social media platforms for your job search via social media. Yes, they might not be your first choice when thinking of job hunting, however, if you are working in the creative industry (e.g. in photography, marketing, web design, etc.) then showing something visual (as an image or video) about your work might be very helpful. Remember the saying ‘A picture can tell more than 1000 words?”
# 45 – Look for industry-specific networks and forums. If you are a Web Developer having a presence on http://www.Github.com is a must. If you are a photographer, then be on http://www.Flickr.com. Are you an artist or designer? Show your presence on http://www.Behance.com. Are you a writer, show off your skills on http://www.Medium.com.
The tips that I gave you in this article about your job search via social media will hopefully help you to maximise your reach and get further exposure in the online world. Incorporate these strategies and soon you will be able to build productive relationships and see positive results. But bear in mind, it doesn’t happen overnight. Patience and passion is key!
Don’t miss the opportunity to watch the following video with further great advice!
Would be great if you would share your personal experiences on how you did and succeeded in your job search via social media, too. If there are any further tips that you would like to add to my list, then please feel free to share them by posting a comment. I’m always interested in what my smart audience has to say! Thank you very much and good luck!
Author: Karin Schroeck-Singh
Karin Schroeck-Singh is a trilingual Career Optimizer at www.Careerheads.com. She has an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and gained 20 years of international work experience in various industries in Italy, the UK and India. Her passion lies in creating multilingual, high-quality content in career matters, giving highly engaging public speeches and helping job seekers to optimize their career by providing professional coaching. She is the author of several ebooks, among them “44 Tips for a successful Video Interview” (http://careerheads.com/product/ebook-44-tips-for-a-successful-video-interview/). She has written several career and business articles for international HR and Marketing companies. Her favourite motto is “Learn from anyone, anywhere, anytime!” Follow her on Twitter @CareerHeads.