The job market is not a fun place to be right now. Whereas job hunting can be a time of excitement, inspiration and anticipation, when you’re unemployed and sending of hundreds of fruitless applications, it becomes stressful, tiring and disheartening.
Even though it can be tough living in a period of recession, there is also ample space for opportunity. Digital technology makes it much easier to be connected. Utilizing and harnessing the power of this technology can make a job search much easier.
Here are five tips for using social media to help you find a job:
Setup Professional Accounts
Twitter and Facebook are great platforms for interacting and being part of a digital community, but if you are looking for a job then you need to think and look professional.
Setting up professional accounts will make it easier for you to sell yourself and your skills. It will help you stay focused and, if a potential employee searches for you and your details, it gives them a chance to read more about you. You can even start a blog and write about news and ideas from your industry and publicise the blog through social networks. Include the details of the accounts on your CV so people can find them. When you’re job-hunting you want to put a professional, experienced and articulate version of yourself forward. You don’t want a potential employer to read about what you think of a soap opera or that you’re heading out with your friends. You also have to play it straight. Don’t publish jokes or comments that might offend; it’s too easy to be misinterpreted in 140 characters.
LinkedIn is the social network for business. It allows you to list your experience, your skills and your interests, as well as connecting with people you’ve worked with in the past or want to in the future. LinkedIn is the only online network where you can invite potential employees to come and see you, to see how you could fit in with their business. You can join groups and discussion relevant to the industry you work in. Use standard English and avoid textspeak abbreviations; you wouldn’t use them on a CV, so you shouldn’t online.
When you’re networking face to face what do you do? Before the event starts you look at who is going, you work out who you want to talk to and why. The principle is exactly the same on a social network. If there’s a company or an individual you want to work with, then you can connect with them on social media and strike up a conversation. You can showcase why you think you’d be right for them and how your skills might benefit them and their business. You can make yourself appear relevant as well as picking their brains for advice and guidance. Don’t be too controversial, don’t be antagonistic. You’re joining a debate and a discussion platform but you have to professional at all times. No one wants to hire an employee who could cause the company embarrassment.
Use whatever Media you can
One of the benefits of social media is that if you don’t like your writing, or think you find it hard to get your point across in words, you can try pictures. Pinterest, Flickr and YouTube allow you to illustrate your thoughts, inspirations and ideas. If you’re a photographer, graphic designer, videographer or work in a visual industry you can use one of these social networks as a gallery or channel for your work. You can connect and interact with other work in the same field as you, keeping up to date with trends and new technology or practice while showcasing your own work.
Set-up Searches, Alerts and Filters
Social networks are not simply for communication and putting a professional profile together – they can also be used in the job hunt itself.
A Twitter search will reveal companies looking for staff. It isn’t just recruitment agencies that use social media for job ads; you can contact and find the companies posting directly with no middle man. Set up a filter or a search on Twitter and LinkedIn so you get the news of a new job vacancy immediately.
Social media is a great tool for making connections. When you’re job-seeking, it’s also a great platform for selling yourself, your experience and what you can offer a company. It can help you raise your profile and get in front of a potential employee. A written CV might never land on the desk of a top CEO but through social networks you can interact with them daily and show them why you’re relevant.