No longer is job hunting about checking the listings in the local paper.
More and more employers are using social networks in the recruitment process – whether that’s directly hiring using social media platforms or simply doing some research into applicants. It’s a tough market and you need to make yourself visible and accessible.
Here are the basics to using social media to find your dream job...
Set up a LinkedIn profile
I once heard someone describe Facebook as a gathering of friends and Twitter as a party – everyone’s shouting above the crowd to get themselves heard. In that case, LinkedIn is a business networking event. Think of your LinkedIn profile as an interactive CV. You need to come across as professional so make sure you have a decent photo and are comprehensive when explaining your skills and knowledge.
Do you have a killer presentation that landed a new business contact? Host your best work using the Slideshare app which allows you to display text documents, PDFs and slideshows on your profile. You’ll find this hidden away under the ‘More’ tab.
Connect with existing and previous colleagues and contacts and then have a look at who they’re connected to. Do they know the HR manager at your dream workplace? You can ask to be ‘introduced’ via a message by one of your connections to one of their connections, so make sure you check to see if there’s anyone that might benefit you.
Finally, ‘follow’ the company pages of organisations you’re interested in. Whenever they post a status update or reveal they’re hiring, you’ll read it in your newsfeed.
Follow the industry gurus on Twitter and get chatting to them. If you comment on what they’re saying here and there, they’re more likely to follow you back and start talking to you. Be interested in what they’re doing and share your opinion.
Stay on top of what’s going on in the industry – there’ll be plenty of industry-related accounts (some may even be job-listing specific) and there might be relevant hashtags that will allow you to track pertinent conversations.
Watch your mouth (and your privacy settings)
This should be common sense but remember that if you get an interview, it’s highly likely that someone from the company is reviewing your latest tweets and Facebook posts. Do you want their first impression of you to be based on your profile picture of you boozing it up last Friday night? And if you’re not happy for your thoughts to be viewed by potential employers, don’t say them.
The rule of thumb is: don’t write anything unless you’d be happy to see it published in a national newspaper. The next thing you know, it’ll be your current job advertised in there.
Image via Nan Palmero's Flickr