BY: Andrew Arnold
Most people think of social media as nothing more than social. Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms are just places to keep up with friends and discuss news.
But social media is starting to serve a much different purpose now. According to Jobvite’s Job Seeker Nation study, 48% of people used social media to search for their most recent job.
If you want to start benefiting from your social network for your job search, here are six ways to do it.
1. Let people know you’re looking
Social media is first and foremost a platform to have your voice heard. Use it as an opportunity to let people know you’re looking for a job.
This simple gesture can go a long way for your job search. Letting people know you’re available might help you learn about job opportunities before they’re advertised.
Here’s an example of the kind of post you can make:
I’m currently looking for a job in marketing or advertising. If you know anyone who’s hiring, please forward them my resume [LINK].
Make sure you have your resume uploaded online so you can share it with your social post. If you’re posting to Facebook, make sure it’s public.
For both Twitter and Facebook, you can use relevant hashtags related to your industry so it shows up in the right feeds. A person looking for a job in marketing, for example, would only need a quick Google search of “marketing hashtags” to find what they needed.
2. Use Facebook Lists
Facebook lists are a way to build your social network beyond just your family and friends. You can add professional contacts without worrying about them seeing personal things you post.
To create a list, just go to ‘Account,’ then ‘Friends.’ Then you’ll see an option to create a new list. Make sure you set custom privacy settings to keep people from seeing your regular updates.
Facebook lists will broaden your reach beyond your current social network. That said, you shouldn’t disregard your current group of friends. A Facebook friend of yours may know someone who’s hiring in your industry. Getting a recommendation from a current employee is an easy way to get your shoe in the door.
3. Join industry conversations on Twitter
Twitter in particular is a great platform to start building a network of influencers in your industry. Find and follow people who work in your area so you can join in conversations and make yourself known.
This increases your chances that you can find a new job through referrals, rather than applying. The last thing you need is to have your application one in a stack of hundreds.
You can also join general job hunt conversations on Twitter to help you find leads. Use hashtags like #careerchat or #jobhuntchat.
4. Look professional in search
Have you ever Googled your name before? You might not like what comes up.
“If your online footprint is a problem for your job search, then a LinkedIn profile will be the solution,” said social media agency CEO, Giovanbattista Cimmino. “Create a complete profile on LinkedIn, filling out your employment information and putting up a professional photo. LinkedIn ranks very well in search results, so your profile will move up to the top of results.”
This benefit can go beyond just LinkedIn. Associate your name with other social accounts as well so they rank in search.
5. Add your social profiles to your resume or website
Whether you have a personal website or just a physical resume, you should include links to your social profiles as part of your contact information.
Having an active social presence can make you look appealing to potential employers in a lot of ways. First, your website is a great place to flaunt your qualifications and certifications whether that’s a leadership degree, a fellowship or a some other bragging rights like authoring a book or keynoting a popular conference. Second, your social profiles serve as “social proof” for your value and integrity as person. Think of them as like informal recommendations.
“When hiring for a position, I like to look at the social media profiles of candidates I’m considering before making them an offer,” said Matthew Van Niekerk, CEO of DataBroker DAO. “Having open social profiles displayed for your potential employer to see shows you have nothing to hide. They can get a peek at your personal life without asking you probing questions during an interview.”
6. Follow the hashtags
Some businesses regularly advertise their job openings on Twitter. You don’t want to miss out on these opportunities.
Luckily, it’s really easy to search for and follow popular job opening hashtags that employers use to find applicants. Here are a few popular ones:
These are just a few of the many ways you can take advantage of your social network in your job search. As social networks update their features and new groups and hashtags emerge, pay attention to reap the benefits and find your dream job with social media.