How to Use Social Media to Get a Job
The way people find jobs is changing rapidly. Using online job boards like CareerBuilder and Indeed is still important, but there’s another factor that’s quickly developing and becoming equally important: social media networks.
Most job candidates know their image on social media sites should be clean, and they should refrain from posting questionable content. But using social media to find a job goes beyond the basics of having an account on popular sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
Many recruiters today use social media to do quick and free background checks. They verify facts on resumes and get a glimpse of candidates’ personalities, seeing if they fit with their company’s culture.
If you don’t have a strong presence on social media, you may want to consider working on it. Nearly half (47%) of employers told CareerBuilder in a recent survey if they couldn’t find a potential candidate online, they’d be less likely to bring them in for an interview.
Empire Resume will delve into the importance of social media for your job search, including what you should do on sites like LinkedIn and Twitter, and ways to use social media to have recruiters find you.
LinkedIn is a No-Brainer
LinkedIn is clearly the most important social media site for job searching. Hootsuite estimates there are more than 260 million active users on LinkedIn, and that 95% of recruiters use the site. An active presence on LinkedIn is, therefore, essential for every job seeker.
Make sure you optimize your LinkedIn profile and provide the most up-to-date information. Recruiters and hiring managers will compare your profile to your resume and, if it doesn’t match or is missing information, they may assume you’re not serious about your job search.
LinkedIn is one of the first things recruiters check when they receive your resume, so creating a great profile is vital. Use a professional photo, write a killer summary that outlines your career objectives, and expand your network with people in your industry.
Recruiters also reach out to people on LinkedIn about new opportunities directly. Staying active on the site and drawing traffic to your profile is one way to ensure you’ll be contacted more by recruiters.
A great way to draw traffic to your profile is by commenting on posts by other users, posting your own updates, or writing articles on LinkedIn. A general rule of thumb to follow when posting on LinkedIn is to stay positive and provide useful information.
Achieving an All-Star profile status increases your chances for being contacted by recruiters by more than 40x. Also, it’s not terribly difficult to so and it will show hiring managers that you’re take your career seriously.
Gain a Following on Twitter
Twitter isn’t necessarily known as a social media site for business, but it can help your job search. The site has gained notoriety for divisive political discussions, but many companies and business leaders use the platform to exchange positive ideas and build an audience.
The first step in using Twitter for job searching is to clean up your profile and keep it clean. That doesn’t just mean refraining from profanity or not posting pics of you out on the town. It also means not tweeting or re-tweeting offensive material, such as political rants.
Recruiters and employers may check your Twitter profile, and your tweets and activity will reflect upon you. So, make sure you keep things professional and put thought into what image you’d like to convey.
One of the best ways to use Twitter during your job hunt is to follow people and accounts that provide helpful information and advice. Follow major players in your industry, companies you’re interested in, people who work at your dream companies, and accounts dedicated to business and job hunting. Some useful Twitter accounts to follow include @EmpireResume1, @CareerBuilder, @AdamMGrant, and @LinkedInNews.
Target companies you’re interested in working for and follow their accounts. Interact with them (but don’t overdo it) by liking, re-tweeting, and commenting on their tweets. By following their accounts, you may also get the inside dish on if they’re hiring – before they post a job opening elsewhere.
While you may not be a thought leader yourself, you can establish a brand on Twitter by sharing insights, personal experience, interesting articles, and thoughts on business trends. This is how you slowly gain followers, as people interact with your tweets and leave comments.
Staying active on Twitter isn’t as crucial for a job search as being active on LinkedIn but remember to check Twitter periodically. One bad look for social media profiles on any platform is not updating them enough.
Lastly, while you’ll want to share personal experience and establish a brand, be careful you don’t share only your own content. Users on Twitter and recruiters are usually turned off by people and accounts who simply, and relentlessly, promote their own stuff. Make sure you interact with others on the site and share and comment on exciting projects other users are doing.
Use Facebook to Your Advantage
When talking about social media, Facebook is the site that usually comes up first. Facebook has a staggering 2.6 billion monthly active users, according to its own statistics, and about 69% of Americans claim they use the site in some fashion.
But can the king of social media sites help your job search? If used correctly, it can. Like all social media networks, the first step is to make sure Facebook is helping – and not hurting – your image and brand. Clean up your profile and think twice before posting questionable content.
Review your privacy settings on Facebook. Empire Resume advises keeping most things private and restricted, such as personal information like relationship status. But make sure employers can see some information, like employment and educational info.
There’s also a job search tool on Facebook that functions like the one on LinkedIn. You can’t upload your resume through the Facebook job search function when applying to the posting, but there is a text box where you can write out a cover letter. If the company’s interested, they’ll reply via Facebook’s Messenger app.
Another tip: Join professional and industry groups on Facebook to connect with potential colleagues and perhaps get leads on job openings. If you’re publicly seeking work and not currently employed, you can also post on Facebook that you’re looking for work. Networking is one of the best ways to find a job, and you never know who your Facebook friends can connect you with.
What’s Your Online Reputation?
Having a LinkedIn account is essential, and a Facebook and Twitter account is also a plus for job searching. However, don’t think you need to open an account on every single social media platform.
It’s better to be active and consistent on a few sites than to have multiple accounts that haven’t been updated in a while. The goal is to create a consistent and professional brand for yourself. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are the big three to keep up with.
Depending on your industry, other social media sites could help your job search, too. If you’re a photographer, for example, having a presence on sites like Flickr, Instagram, or Pinterest makes sense.
Using social media to find a job is partly about connecting with companies, finding opportunities, and networking online. But a big part of it is also managing your overall online reputation and how employers will view you.
Google isn’t known for its social media presence. But in today’s digital job market, many say Google search results have become almost like the “new resume.”
Your “Google resume” is what recruiters and employers see when searching your name on the search engine. Almost all recruiters do it, and it’s vital to periodically search your name and be proactive in maintaining an excellent online reputation.
Two common problems job seekers face with their Google resume are:
- Lack of visibility. If there’s not much info related to your name, or most of the information is way outdated, this will reflect poorly on you as a job candidate. Employers view candidates with low visibility or outdated info online as not being engaged or up to date with the latest business and digital practices.
- Mistaken identity. Another common problem is someone else with your name is more prominent in the search results, and recruiters mix the two of you up. This can be especially problematic if the search results for the other person are unfavorable.
So, how do you manage your online reputation and Google resume? The best way is to practice what some experts call “defensive Googling,” which is keeping a close eye on how you show up in search results. One way to do this is by setting up Google alerts for your name.
Experts advise changing the spelling of your name on social media accounts if there’s a chance of mistaken identity. You could do this by using your full first name or your middle initial – just make sure you’re consistent across all accounts. Taking this tiny step will put some distance between you and someone else who shares your name who could damage your online reputation.
Be Positive, Professional, and Helpful
Using social media to find a job goes way beyond opening an account on LinkedIn and updating it from time to time. Social media has become one of the biggest ways we interact with each other, and your presence on various sites presents recruiters with a more holistic view of you.
Pay close attention to the overall theme of your accounts and present a consistent online image. Each site has different norms and expectations, but a good rule of thumb is to be positive, professional, and helpful.
Your social media presence and online reputation is so significant because most recruiters and employers look you up online before they decide to bring you in for an interview. But remember that it works both ways.
A part of using social media for a job search is also keeping tabs on companies you’d like to work for (and the people who work there). If you don’t like how a company presents itself online, it may be a sign you’re not a good fit there.
For more insights on social media and optimizing your LinkedIn profile, contact Empire Resume today at 801-690-4085 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The experts at Empire Resume can help you write a stellar LinkedIn profile and coach you on expanding your network.
Keep tabs on Empire Resume’s blog, as well, for regular updates on resume writing tips, job search help, and the latest career and employment trends.
Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.