With the advent of social networking sites, employers and recruiters are using social media more and more in place of traditional job boards, in an attempt to access a much wider network of candidates.
If you are not on social media nowadays, you are almost invisible within the jobs market. And when you’re trying to promote yourself, being invisible is never a good thing.
From your social networking profiles alone, recruitment consultants and employers are able to glean the following information: how well you communicate, what you do in your free time, your interests, who you work with, your academic background and so on.
If you’re looking for a job, it may be time for you to think about assessing your online presence with a view to projecting a more professional image. Additionally, it is totally possible for you to utilise social media to find your next job. Here’s a guide as to how…
LinkedIn is undoubtedly the most prolific social media network in terms of job opportunities. Often described as some as an online CV platform, LinkedIn has developed into being so much more. It’s now being used by recruiters as an effective job board to advertise vacancies and look for candidates, exposing them to almost the entire workforce, rather than just active job seekers who account for only 20% of this workforce.
Here are our tips on using LinkedIn to get the job you want.
- First and foremost, make yourself visible to the whole network, not just connections. This way, you’re making it easy for people to find you.
- Update your profile. Studies have shown that people who update their LinkedIn profiles most likely do so because they are seeking new opportunities. Make sure your information is up-to-date, and by making changes to your profile, you’re giving recruiters a heads up that you want to be contacted.
- Upload a professional-looking photo. If your company had provided you with a professional headshot, we’d recommend using this. A picture of yourself from the neck up will be fine. Please don’t upload any pictures of yourself on a boozy night out, in swimwear, pulling a face or in a provocative pose. And, of course, upload a picture of you alone, and not with anyone else.
- Create a strong headline. Other than you profile picture, this is the most visible part of your profile. You want to entice the reader to want to know more about you. If you’re unemployed, do not simply put “unemployed” as your headline. Filling it with your current job title if you’re not unemployed is not as appealing as using a sentence to describe your skills and experience. You have 120 characters here – use them! A good example for a design engineer would be “Designing structures for future generations”. A good example for a recruiter would be “Experienced recruiter, connecting top talent with top employers within the oil and gas industry.” If you’re stuck, make use of LinkedIn’s comparison tool to check out how others in your industry are describing themselves. Simply click on the edit option for your headline and then select “Show examples” and “See what others in your industry are using”. You must have an industry selected in order to do this.
- Create a strong summary. This should be a quick overview of your achievements to date, especially ones you particularly want to highlight. Do not regurgitate phrases from anywhere below in your profile – this space should be used to supplement that information.
- Upload media. This can include a paper or journal you’ve written, or snapshots from your portfolio.
- Add links to relevant websites. This can include your own website if you have one, a link to a certain project you’ve worked on, or even a link to an online CV, such as www.visualcv.com.
- List responsibilities for each role using as many relevant keywords as necessary. Think about what recruiters will search for when looking for a candidate like you. If you’re lacking inspiration, check out a job description for a role you want. What keywords have they used in there? Sprinkle those across your LinkedIn profile to make it keyword rich.
- Ask for recommendations. Preferably from current and previous colleagues, and preferably from those who have managed you directly – these recommendations hold the most credibility.
- Follow companies you’d love to work for. This way, you’ll receive updates on your news feed whenever they post jobs or information. It’ll also display which of your connections know people working within these companies who you can be introduced to.
- Join industry-specific groups. Quite often, recruiters and employers will advertise jobs here or join simply to look for candidates like you. By getting involved in discussions, you’ll increase your exposure to them and get yourself noticed.
- Apply for jobs on LinkedIn. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ll notice on LinkedIn there is a Jobs tab at the top of the homepage. Use this section to review jobs LinkedIn’s algorithms have deemed to be of interest to you, or use the search function to look for opportunities yourself. Simply search by job title, location or company name, and use the refinement filters on the left hand side to further narrow your search. LinkedIn will use your profile for job applications here, so make sure it is up to scratch beforehand.
- Use your profile to apply for jobs. Many job adverts are now providing candidates with the option of using their LinkedIn profile rather than uploading or creating a CV. If using this instead of a traditional CV, make sure your LinkedIn profile contains enough detail for a recruiter or employer to assess you adequately.
- Connect with recruiters. It is highly recommended you accept invitations from recruiters unless there are any red flags, of course. Not only will it make sure you’re easily found, it will hugely widen your network and give you much-needed exposure to other recruiters who may be looking for someone just like you. Obviously, it is also encouraged for you to send invitation requests to recruiters yourself, and to reach out to them via to start a conversation about potential jobs they may have for you.
Whilst Facebook pales in comparison to heavyweights LinkedIn in terms of power in a job search, it is investing heavily into developing a solid platform to serve the recruitment industry, but this is mainly from a recruiter’s standpoint, rather than a candidate’s. So far, Facebook has introduced Graph Search, a tool which allows recruiters to find candidates and contact them for as little as $1.
Some tips for candidates on how to maximise your Facebook profile to optimise job prospects:
- Clean up you public profile. Ensure your profile photo is not inappropriate, and the same goes for your cover photo. No drunken, naked / semi naked / provocative / racist pics here, please. We would recommend deleting any inappropriate photos, but if you don’t wish to do this, make sure you change your privacy settings accordingly, so that only your friends or yourself can see certain things. Think of the story you want to tell. Do your photos convey that story?
- Update work information on your profile. Simply edit your profile to include your job history. Facebook now allows you to not only add your job title and place of work, but also to include a description. Use this space to provide an overview of your responsibilities and your achievements in each position. This will make it easy for recruiters to find you on Facebook.
- “Like” company pages. Almost every company with a social media presence has a Facebook page. They use these pages to advertise their products and services, to allow customers to engage with them, and they also – from time to time – advertise jobs and hiring programs on these pages. By liking their company pages, you are ensuring you receive their updates and will be able to respond quickly if a job opportunity is advertised.
- Join groups on Facebook to meet like-minded professionals. For example, if you’re a designer, join the Design Professional group and participate by liking and commenting on uploaded content, and interact with other members. Promote yourself!
- Check out Facebook Marketplace for jobs. Recruiters are forever trying to broaden their reach and drive traffic to their jobs posts, thus increasing the number of applicatios they receive. Some savvy recruiters are exploiting Facebook Marketplace to advertise their jobs. Yes, that’s right. You can search for jobs on Facebook! You can search for jobs by location, company, job title, keywords and more.
Just like Facebook, almost every single business has a Twitter page nowadays, and it really can be an excellent resource for a job search if used correctly. Here are our tips and insights for using Twitter to find a job:
- Make sure your Twitter username is work-appropriate. It doesn’t have to be work-related, but it really shouldn’t scream “weirdo”. If you already have a Twitter account which is laden with info or pics that may put a prospective employer off you, simply create a new, different account dedicated to your job search.
- Use a professional-looking photo. If in doubt, use the same one as on your LinkedIn profile.
- Make your profile public to increase visibility. Very important, this part.
- Make the most of your bio. Sum yourself up by highlighting your skills using keywords, rather than focusing on being funny, unique or witty. A good example for a bid manager would be: “Bid manager, 10+ yrs exp managing private & public sector proposals within the construction sector. Seeking new opportunities [insert link to CV]” Remember it must be 160 characters or less, so use a link shortener like Bitly if you must.
- Insert a link to your personal website or online CV on your bio, or a link to your LinkedIn profile page.
- Tweet about your achievements. Perhaps you wrote an article for your company website, or the project you were working on won an award. If so, tell the Twittersphere! And more importantly, include links to articles/photos/portfolios back up your claims wherever possible.
- Retweet industry news. Keep all tweets relevant to your job criteria and industry.
- Tweet opinions and information which your audience will find useful or interesting. Put yourself in their shoes – what would they want to read about? Know your audience and cater to them. BE SOMEONE WORTH FOLLOWING.
- Use hashtags to increase tweet visibility and sprinkle lots of hashtagged keywords all over your profile.
- Occasionally tweet about your job search to remind your network that you’re on the market. Tweets often get buried within minutes, therefore it won’t do you any harm to post about your skills every so often.
- Follow recruitment agencies so that their advertised jobs show up in your feed.
- Send recruiters or employers direct messages. Be succinct as you only get 160 characters.
- Browse Twitter directories to find professionals to follow. Be targeted with who you follow – only follow those who are either likely to follow you back and/or might have jobs on offer.
- YouTube can be good for online biographies, animated portfolio work and video CVs.
- Viadeo is the French equivalent of LinkedIn and now boasts up to 65 million users worldwide.