Using social media for job hunting


You probably already use social media to catch up with your peers, arrange a night out or stalk old school friends, but are you using it effectively for finding a job? Networking has always been an important and useful tactic for finding a job, especially since the majority of vacancies are never advertised. With the advent of social media, networking has moved from the water cooler to the online sphere and is therefore much more accessible. With graduates job prospects appearing limited and frustrating, now isn’t the time for university leavers to be sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring. Job seekers need to be proactive and resourceful when it comes to finding that first graduate job or internship.

With all this in mind, we have put together a helpful guide to using social media for getting a job.

Blogs

Creating your own blog is a great way to showcase your abilities. You can write articles, publish your CV, or show videos or photographs. By creating a blog, you are essentially creating your own brand and showing employers what you are capable of. You can start a blog using a site such as WordPress or Posterous.  You may even want to purchase your own domain to make your blog look even more professional. You can also subscribe to other relevant blogs to keep up with industry developments and stay ahead of the game.

Facebook

With over 500 million users, Facebook is the biggest social network in the world. In fact, if it were a country, Facebook would sit as the third largest in the world. Companies are now using Facebook for marketing, customer service and recruiting, so it’s a great place for graduates to do some valuable networking. Facebook is also indexed by Google, so if recruiters or hiring managers type in your name, your Facebook page may crop up.

Before you start interacting with potential employers, make sure you go through your profile, info and photographs and make sure there are no dodgy wall posts or too many drunken pictures. You can either play it safe by deleting anything you wouldn’t want your future boss to see, or adjust your privacy settings (including choosing who gets to see your status updates). Facebook offers employers an insight into who you are as a person and how you will fit into a particular company. Remember, personality can often by just as important as skills when it comes to graduate recruitment.

Once you’ve cleaned up your profile, you want to use your information tab to make it clear that you’re looking for a job. You also want to use this tab to list your skills, education and past work experience, as well as your interests. You can then join relevant industry groups, interact with members and ‘like’ companies you’re interested in working for. Use your status bar as a way to link to relevant articles, post your own articles and link to your CV.

Twitter

Whilst Twitter can be great for stalking celebrities and keeping up with the latest high profile rows, it can also be a fantastic tool for job hunting. Twitter is now almost twice the size of LinkedIn and like Facebook, is indexed by Google. The more followers you have, the more relevant your profile will be. Again, the first step is to create a relevant profile, including a recent picture, biography, location and links to your other social media profiles and blog, so those who are interested can find you and get in contact. Be sure to make it clear you’re on the lookout for a job.

Once you’ve got your profile sorted, you can then start following people. Following relevant recruiters is a great move, especially since many of them will tweet job vacancies. We tweet all of our internship vacancies through Twitter. Like your Facebook status updates, you can use Twitter to link to relevant articles, link to your own blog and ‘retweet’ any relevant tweets. If you’re looking for a job in design, you should use your Twitter page as an opportunity to showcase your work and design your own background. You can also use hashtags to make your posts easier to find. We always follow our vacancy tweets with #internship #graduate and #jobs to allow people who are searching for these words to find our tweets more easily. It’s important to bear in mind that once published, tweets cannot be deleted, so check your spelling and links before you post.

LinkedIn and Viadeo

LinkedIn and Viadeo are designed for professional networking and are therefore fantastic places to connect with potential employers and recruiters. 95% of companies using social media use LinkedIn as a tool for recruitment. Again, start with your profile and make sure you list relevant work experience, education and skills. LinkedIn and Viadeo are also great places to show off any great references, so be sure to get at least one recommendation from a past employer. Building up your network is the key to using these sites successfully, so start by connecting with past employers, friends and any other contacts. You will find that you have shared contacts or links to people you’d love to connect with. By building your contacts, more networking opportunities will open themselves up to you. By joining relevant industry groups, you can also directly message group members, get involved in discussions and keep up with the latest news

YouTube

YouTube is a great place to post a video CV. Here at Inspiring Towers, we create a video CV with each and every candidate who comes through our doors. You can check some of them out here to give you an idea of what to include. A video CV is a great way to showcase your enthusiasm and personality and sit perfectly alongside your written CV, so be sure to provide a link to that with the video. Again, make sure you use relevant keywords when tagging your video, so it can be easily found by employers.

Now you’ve set up your social media outlets, you need to be sure you link them all together. Provide links to your other profiles and ensure that each profile is consistent. You also need to live up to your online persona, so don’t sell yourself as something you’re not and don’t forget to make your CV accessible. If you need any help sprucing up your CV, check out our blog post on creating a CV, succeeding in an interview and making the most of your internship.

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