More and more companies are beginning to actively use social media to post jobs and engage with potential new employees in ways that were previously not possible. The following post outlines some best practices on how you can use social media to help you get a new job. We will be focusing on LinkedIn and Twitter as these are the two social media tools best received by potential employers and are viewed as professional networks, unlike Facebook which is known as a social network that is only “open” to your friends.
At the beginning of 2010, LinkedIn reported that there were over 2 million active users in Canada. The LinkedIn Platform allows you to re-create your resume online, connect with your network and keep them updated with your career path. It also allows you to join groups in your industry, view job postings, and search other LinkedIn users for the purpose of networking online.
The following are some tips for using LinkedIn:
- Ensure your profile is as complete as possible and include relevant experience and education. This will help increase your chances to appear in searches by other users. Include keywords that are used in your industry to describe your skills and talents. Also ensure that your profile is public (viewable to everyone).
- Start building your online network. Connect with current and previous colleagues and classmates to start your network. Once you begin networking at events, invite people to connect with you on LinkedIn. When sending an Invite to another user, make sure you personalize the personal note on the Invite as this shows the other user that you are genuinely interested in networking with them and are not just trying to inflate your online network.
- Another great way to connect with users in your industry is to join Groups on LinkedIn. Here you have the opportunity to communicate and engage with users who have similar interests and backgrounds. By posing and answering questions within the group, you can demonstrate yourself as a leader in your industry and this could potentially increase your chances of potential employers take notice of your profile.
- Ask a few of your trusted LinkedIn network to write endorsements for you so that these recommendations can be part of your profile.
- Check the job postings section on LinkedIn regularly; some companies will post on LinkedIn exclusively.
- If you have blog or a Twitter account, make sure you connect them to your profile as well.
- Keep your comments and status updates to a professional level as well as choosing a professional photo to add to your profile
Twitter has dramatically changed how companies and individuals communicate with each other: who knew so much could be said in just 140 characters! Twitter is an open social media platform and can help you connect with thought leaders in your industry and companies you are interested in. Because it is so open, anything that you say on Twitter can be seen by anyone on the Internet even if they do not have a Twitter account. Caution: only tweet things that you are comfortable saying in a public setting.
Here are some tips on how you can use Twitter to help you find your next job:
- When creating your profile, add a picture as this helps to put a face to the “tweets” you are sending and makes you more legitimate in the Internet world. The picture should look professional. Make sure you complete the profile section to let other users learn a little bit more about yourself.
- Start following people and companies who you are interested in and don’t be discouraged if they don’t follow you back; they may have a policy on who they follow.
- Tweet about subjects that interest you, not just about the industry you work in. This will help add some personality to your profile.
- Some companies post job openings exclusively on Twitter, so make sure you follow all the companies you might be interested in working for.
- Start following users who frequently post jobs in your city or industry. This will save you from having to search all job boards and you may even discover some jobs and companies that you may not have considered before.
- Some users will use hashtags (#) to ensure that their tweets are found in searches. For example, if you are searching for jobs in Vancouver create a list using the following hashtags: #jobs #Vancouver.
- Start communicating and engaging with other users on Twitter, even if you have not met them offline. Most users are open and interested in meeting like-minded individuals on Twitter!
Good luck Tweeting yourself to your next job!