If you’re like many people, you use social media to keep in touch with friends, watch videos and post pictures from your life. Social media can also be a great tool for your job search. Did you know that 83% of people looking for a job say they use Facebook in their job search? 36% use LinkedIn and 40% use Twitter. On the flip side, 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn, 65% use Facebook and 55% use Twitter (source: Jobvite 2014 Job Seeker Survey). Job searching on social media is only increasing in popularity.
Ready to start? Keep in mind that employers DO look at your social media presence. Make sure all your accounts are cleaned up before you even start your search. For the purpose of this post, we’re assuming that all your profiles are professional looking and ready to go.
1) Think like a detective. Let’s say you see a job posting online that looks appealing. Don’t just apply and hope to hear back. Go to your LinkedIn account to see if the company has a presence on there. If so, follow them. Look through the company page to get a feel for the company culture. If they don’t have a page, do a search to see who works there. It’s highly likely that some employees are on there and searchable by company name. Many times, you can find out who the hiring manager is, and, if you’re lucky, people who may have held the position in the past. At the very least, you should be able to get a name for your cover letter. You weren’t going to just send that in without a name were you? Of course not!
2) Actively search for mutual connections. People like to help people they know. If you find one of your LinkedIn connections has a connection at your target company (SCORE!), send a message to your connection to see what their relationship is with that person. Ask if they can make an introduction. Don’t just stop at LinkedIn. Go on your Facebook account and see if any of your friends are friends with anyone who works there.
We’ve heard many stories of people landing a job this way. Sally wants a job at Acme Corp. She sees on Facebook that her friend Adam has a friend named John who works there. She sends a Facebook message to Adam, who in turn messages John. The result – her resume is handed – in person – to the hiring manager. It may sound a bit confusing and convoluted, but it’s really quite simple. You’re just asking your friends to help you make new connections. And, don’t forget to reciprocate the favor should they ever need your help.
3) Turn to Tweeting. On LinkedIn and Facebook, it can be seen as too forward to connect with people you don’t know. Twitter is a different story. Search for and follow your target companies and hiring managers. Follow related associations and industry leaders. Retweet helpful links (i.e. information in your field that would help others), reply to other tweets and mention other people in your tweets. Be helpful, positive and interesting.
Twitter is also great for uncovering jobs. Make use of hashtags to find new opportunities. Commonly used hashtags include #jobs #job #career #hiring and #employment. Don’t forget to hashtag the city and job title too. If you’re looking for an accounting job in Dallas for example, put #JOB #Dallas in the search bar.
Social media should not be your only job search tool, but it can be a great way to research employers, make connections and find opportunities. Just think, your dream job may be only a few mouse clicks away!
* Bonus tip: Posting a status update that you’re looking for work is an immediate way to spread the word – if you’re currently out of work and looking. If you’re employed, this is not the best option. On Facebook, you can set up a custom group to share your status to only a select few, but be careful.
P.S. Did you use social media to find your job? Let us know! We would love to hear what worked for you.