Social media isn’t just a way to keep in touch with friends. It’s also a useful tool to help find the perfect job. Tapping into social media to hunt for your next position is now as important as emailing your résumé to recruitment companies. So, whether you’re trying to secure your first job, considering a move up the career ladder, or looking to change career completely, getting social media on your side is the first step toward finding the perfect role.
Cherry-Pick Social Media Platforms
Although social media can open up plenty of doors to finding that coveted position, not all of those opportunities will be right for you. As with traditional recruitment tools, make sure you search through the various online communities and cherry-pick those that relate to your interests and the sector you’re in; putting a little effort in at the beginning will make your search more tailored and, ultimately, more successful.
deviantART is one of the largest art websites in the world, boasting a staggering 12 million members. It’s a great site that allows new – and experienced – graphic designers to showcase their work and sell their pieces. Translators Café and Proz.com, two online bases for freelance translators and agencies, provide links to freelance work and even full-time translation, interpreting or project management roles. Social media platforms aren’t just for the more creative side of the professional world, either; NurseLinkup is a professional social network for the 3 million nurses currently registered in the U.S.
Social media platforms are also a great place to meet like-minded people, offering you a source of contacts, a place to share tips and ideas, and generally keep your eye on the industry ball. Always remember to think further than the familiar. If you’re looking at jobs in another country, check out whether they have their own social media platforms. VKontakte is a huge social media platform in Europe, second only to Facebook, while Orkut is popular in Brazil.
Remember Larger Social Media Platforms
Industry-specific platforms are great for getting that specialized insight into a sector, but don’t let your enthusiasm for the more niche channels take away from your participation in the bigger ones. It’s still important to maintain your online profile on larger social media platforms.
Twitter and Google+ can give you good insights into your sector and allow you to identify key industry influencers: look at who’s at the top of their game, see what they’re writing about, and look to follow them on Twitter. By getting involved in the conversation and showing a passion for the topic you can build strong industry contacts. Google+ Conversations are also a good place for open discussions about topics, while Google+ Hangouts facilitate group video chats.
If you don’t already have a LinkedIn page, then it’s time to get one fast. LinkedIn is your online résumé, so any time you update your hardcopy CV, you should be doing the same to your LinkedIn page. Upload a photo and join groups and discussions that relate to your industry. By keeping your profile active on LinkedIn you make it easier to connect with influencers and recruiters in your sector.
Find People and Jobs Will Find You
In business it’s often who you know and not what you know that counts. Now with the help of social media, it has never been easier to find key contacts when job hunting. Take a proactive approach and contact human resource managers or the head of the department you are interested in online and get your résumé to them before a position is advertised; it shows you’re really passionate about the role and the business. However, there’s a fine line between showing you’re interested in a role and harassing someone online; if it’s a platform that you wouldn’t feel comfortable discussing work on (for example, Facebook), then chances are they aren’t, either.
Create an Online You
Unlike with a traditional CV, social media gives you a chance to really show who you are to an employer; what gets you excited, what you’re passionate about, and why you love the job that you do. If you’re not making the most of this opportunity to showcase your brilliance, then you’re missing a trick. Use social media to be passionate about what you do and demonstrate your skills before you enter the interview room.
Be Part of the Social Media Conversation
Social media is exactly what it says it is: social. Whether you’re using it for your own personal use or for maximizing job opportunities out there, there’s no time for wallflowers. Social media platforms feed on interaction; so make sure you’re part of the conversation and get your thoughts and ideas out there. Look to answer questions, set up profiles, and simply get involved with the general buzz in the sector you’re interested in. You never know, someone may start up a conversation with a job offer you can’t help but accept.