10 Tips for using social media in your job search

November 13, 2020

 

Social media sites are often seen as a primary driver in communications and helps us to keep in touch with friends and family, as well as building new connections.

With that in mind, it makes sense to exploit the vast potential that social media provides when it comes to finding a new job role.

Studies show that 93% of employers turn to social networks when hiring new talent. The following tips will help you optimize your social media network to something recruiters can discover easily:


1. Set up a profile

First things first - creating a standout LinkedIn profile is a vital step to take. Complete your profile with your:

  • Educational background
  • Location
  • Professional summary
  • Up to date profile picture
  • Notable skills
  • Link to your resume if you have it online

For example, if you're in the construction industry, you may articulate your ‘about’ section like this:

"Certified lead civil engineer known for teamwork and timely project delivery."


2. Connect, connect, connect

The people in your network can be crucial for your success. The power of social networking sites is in having the right people in your circle. Once you have created your professional profile, search for previous and current colleagues, bosses, or supervisors.

You can also add college mates and friends in similar occupations. This will help build a robust professional network. A previous colleague with a new job may let you know when there are openings and help you to get your foot into the firm.

Additionally, you could connect to strangers if you notice that they are in the same area. Make your connection request personal and precise, e.g.:

"Hi [First name], I have noticed that you work in the petrochemicals industry, and I have worked in the same industry for [specify amount of time]. It would be great to connect with you.”


3. Join Facebook groups in your niche and contribute to discussions

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While LinkedIn is often seen as the primary networking social media channel, Facebook is also great for developing your professional network.

An effective way to meet other professionals in your industry is by joining groups on Facebook and contributing to conversations.

For example, joining an engineering group would provide access to knowledge from other engineers, networking opportunities and even career opportunities or job openings.


4. Get endorsements

If you haven't used the endorsement feature on LinkedIn, it’s well worth looking into.

The endorsements section allows you to include personal testimonials about your work and skills. It may feel a bit strange to ask for endorsements, but think of it as the occasional job reference you get for your resume.

You can request endorsements from people you know (e.g. your previous manager, customers or even friends) to include positive reviews on your LinkedIn page. Their endorsements will give a good indication of credibility and authentication to recruiters and hiring managers.


5. Google yourself

Statistics show that many companies reject prospective candidates after evaluating their social media profiles.

Google your social media usernames to get an idea of how your online presence might look from the outside.

Clean up anything that you find that could chase away potential recruiters. This could range from old implicating photos on Facebook to angry or overly political updates on Twitter that you may have forgotten.

You can also use the privacy settings on your social channels to hide anything you don't want to be made public.


6. Contribute to discussions on Twitter

Another way to use social media to your advantage during your job search is make relevant contributions on Twitter.

Search for popular trends and hashtags related to your field and join the discussions. This will be seen by anyone searching that trend, and will help you establish yourself as an industry expert.

You should also follow and engage with thought leaders in your industry. This will help you to build relationships with professionals in your field and potentially get noticed by hiring managers and recruiters.

Trending topics are often related to world events, so it’s worth staying abreast of what’s happening in your industry.

For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, an analysis of the Oil & Gas Exploration Influencer Platform found that ‘Production Cut’ was a popular topic on Twitter. Being aware of when to join the conversation is key when it comes to getting noticed by potential employers or colleagues.

You could also search for discussions around major projects or industry developments and retweet anything that stands out to you. The ‘retweet with quote’ feature on Twitter means you can share insightful tweets and include your own commentary alongside them.


7. Research employers’ profiles

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Considering the expansive nature of social media, you might choose to narrow your job search down to a few companies with a niche in your interests.

Visit their website, blog, and social media platforms. This way, you’ll get the most current information and learn more about their business culture.

If you have a specific firm you aim to work for, you can use social media to actively engage with them. Regularly comment insightfully and helpfully on their posts. Share their content to get it seen by your wider connection base.


8. Answer questions on Quora or Reddit

Forums like Quora and Reddit can be a goldmine of information for professionals in any industry. But as well as using these platforms to build your own professional knowledge, you can also leverage them to establish yourself as a thought leader.

Quora and Reddit are sites that people go to to find information, and you may find that many users have asked a question directly related to your niche.

By answering these queries, you can make your mark as an industry expert.

The more questions you answer, the better. It could help you get recognised by other experts in your field of expertise.

Your answers may even appear in search results when users type the questions you’ve answered into search engines.


9. Build your own personal brand

After you have everything set on your social media profile, it is time to shine and build yourself a brand. Create a personal LinkedIn brand and grow your reputation.

Got a new certification? Update it on the skills section of your LinkedIn profile. In addition, list all your accomplishments and work experience on your page so that potential employers can easily see whether you’d be a good fit for their company.


10. Consider your social media etiquette

The key to good social media etiquette is to ensure your choice of words and how you present yourself is in check.

Remember to adhere to basic business practices and introduce yourself as knowledgeable and professional within your field.

Lastly, avoid voicing personal opinions such as politics on LinkedIn and non-personal social accounts - try to keep your profile as business-focused as possible.


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This post was written by: Sara Howren, VP - Global Recruitment Delivery