Using social media in today’s world goes far beyond updating your job role on LinkedIn and deleting those drunken pictures from your Friday outings. If you want to enhance your personal brand and be the first to discover new opportunities, you’re going to need to be a lot more active on social media.
Besides showing off your skills, social media platforms can be a great way to connect with industry professionals and build long-lasting relationships that can help you secure a new role.
To ensure you’re fully equipped, we’ll walk you through the 10 tips to help you benefit from using social media in your job search.
1. Create a job search social strategy
If you’re serious about finding a job, you’ve probably already created a list of companies that you’d like to target. So, now that you’re armed with a list, you’re going to need to create a strategy on how you will successfully use social media within your job search.
Firstly, you can start off by connecting with the right people via LinkedIn. Just be sure to not overdo it and to send a note along with your connection request. It could be something along the lines of: ‘Hi, I’ve been admiring your company for a while and wanted to connect to get more insight into what you do! I’m a marketing manager and would love to discuss your marketing efforts.’
If you fail to send a note with your connection request, it can appear impersonal, and the other person may be wondering why you've requested to add them as a connection. To help build a relationship with someone you've never met before, it's essential that you virtually introduce yourself and explain why you're interested in forming an association.
Once you’ve made the right connections, you’ll need to ensure that you’re sharing valuable information that will catch their attention. To share your content without getting overwhelmed, make a posting schedule and try to automate it using a social media scheduling tool.
2. Follow hashtags
Although Twitter is generally used to share news and personal thoughts, it’s also a great way to uncover jobs in your city or industry. You can simply search for hashtags like the following:
- Industry-specific: #marketingjobs #greenjobs #itjobs #telecomjobs #salesjobs #techjobs
- Professional level: #graduatejobs #entryleveljobs #executivejobs
- General job postings: #nowhiring #jobposting #jobad #jobopening
- Job search: #jobs #jobhunt #careers #hiring #employment
Jobscan marketing coordinator Linda Qu also suggests that you can take your Twitter job search further by tapping into Twitter’s Boolean search. ‘You can type “marketing OR sales” into the search window to generate posts with either or both of those exact phrases,’ she says. ‘Putting the phrase “tech job” in [quotation marks] means you want that exact phrase to be searched. Putting parentheses around phrases like "Seattle tech job” acts as an AND Boolean search, pulling up Twitter posts where each of those words is mentioned, but in any specific order.’
3. Create a professional Facebook account
Many jobseekers underestimate the power of Facebook when it comes to job seeking, but if you’re in a creative role, it definitely shouldn’t be overlooked! Just like LinkedIn, you can add information on your experience, include a link to your portfolio and share industry-related posts.
Moreover, Facebook has a plethora of industry-related groups that can help you land the job of your dreams. Let’s say you’re an animator; if you search for the word ‘animators’ plus your location, you’ll be able to find dedicated animator groups in your area. Within these groups, creative professionals share their work and any information on upcoming roles. They usually schedule meetups, too, so it’s a great opportunity to widen your network and meet new people!
4. Follow employers on LinkedIn
Following your targeted companies on LinkedIn is a great way to gauge their company culture, view their latest projects and get notified about any new vacancies. Reuben Yonatan, founder and CEO of GetVoIP, explains how ‘some companies will post openings on social media before listing them on job sites. As such, you will be among the first to apply, which increases your chances of getting hired.’
In addition, following companies is entirely acceptable and doesn’t seem as pushy as a connection request might! It lets you view them from a distance and judge whether you would want to be part of their organisation and future projects. Besides finding out more about their work, you get to know the people employed at the organisation and assess their work, too.
5. Join industry forums
Another overlooked method of finding job opportunities that aren’t advertised on job boards is by using job forums. For example, if you’re a content writer, you can join communities on Reddit where employers and professionals comment on industry news and share new job opportunities.
By joining groups in your field, you’re able to stay up to date on new trends and can make new connections with people who may be able to help you in your job search. They may know of a job in their company that has only been advertised internally, for example, and may be more inclined to help since most companies have a referral scheme set up. Besides, even if job posts aren’t shared, you can make new connections who may be able to offer advice and guidance.
6. Showcase your skills within your profile
Regardless of how good you are at connecting on social media, you’re going to want to have something impressive in your portfolio to capture your targeted employers’ attention and secure an interview.
It’s vital that you keep your portfolio updated and share your latest work and projects, as well as any past gigs that will showcase your skills. In addition, it’s a good idea to get endorsements and references that will impress anyone who visits your page. You can showcase your recommendations on your personal website or request that they share these on your LinkedIn page, too.
7. Use social tools
Social tools can help you automate your job search and speed up the process. As mentioned above, using a scheduling tool will ensure that you post regular content. But besides scheduling, a tool like Hootsuite can help you filter out the hashtags that you need, organised in one stream.
Furthermore, IFTT will allow you to organise job posts from your desired companies by gathering updates from their RSS feed. However, if setting up this kind of alert is too difficult, you could always rely on Google alerts for targeted information delivered straight to your inbox.
8. Enhance your LinkedIn SEO
Being active on LinkedIn is great but knowing which keywords to use is even better! If you want to get noticed by head-hunters, you’re going to need to up your SEO game. Carefully select the words used throughout your profile to ensure you end up as a top match when new jobs come around.
In addition, pay close attention to your headline! LinkedIn automatically sets this to your current job title – but you probably have a lot more skills beyond ‘marketing manager’, so you could change it to something like ‘Digital Marketing Manager | SEO Expert | Avid Content Marketer’, which better showcases your range of skills.
9. Create lists on Twitter
Twitter also has a not-so-hidden function that can help you navigate your job search: Twitter lists! You can create a public list of industry professionals and only view their feed when you click on the link.
Besides having an organised list, the user will get notified once they’ve been added to your list, so you have a great chance of grabbing their attention. That said, instead of adding company accounts to this list, add people who actually work at the company and who are influential in their field. For example, if you add the HR manager at Apple, they will be more likely to notice you than by simply adding the official Apple Twitter account to your list.
10. Participate in Twitter chats
These online conversations (known as Twitter chats) usually take place around the same time every week and are centred around a specific hashtag. You’re probably wondering how these chats will help your job search, so I’ll tell you!
By engaging in Twitter chats, you have a great opportunity to build your network and grow your knowledge learning about new market trends. The great part? You can join in without an invitation or admission fee. And if you’re wondering how you can find them, just head over to TweetReports which lists a detailed chat schedule with times and hashtags.
Now that you know how to successfully and smartly use social platforms within your job search, you should be able to uncover suitable opportunities and grow your network while you’re at it!
Don’t believe that it works? Becky Beach, a work-at-home expert and blogger, says she has found more jobs via social media LinkedIn and Facebook than from more traditional methods, and says that ‘social media gives employers a glimpse into what a candidate is really like.’
So, if Becky can find jobs via social media, you can, too!
What’s your best job searching tip on social media? Join in on the conversation below and share it with our readers!
This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 15 February 2017.