Using social media during your job hunt

By Jovan Sterling-Noel.

A couple of weeks ago, I came across an interesting statistic stating that 1 in 6 people, according to Jobvite, had found their latest job through using social media in 2012. It just so happens that last year I was one of those people who did and I think I know why. I had a strategy for using Twitter primarily for research; using the list feature to follow companies I was interested in. By doing this I was able to bring up some small talk in my interviews and even talk to my employer before meeting them. So with further ado, this blog will highlight a rough framework for using social media in your job hunt.

Before embarking on any job hunt it is important to recognise that social media is one of many potential paths to employment and should be treated as such. But taking some time to devise a strategy is useful for not just your job search but your career as well.

First things first

Set your goal and objectives before you begin designing your strategy. Remember (S)pecific (M)easureable (A)ctionable (R)ealistic (T)ime-Bound? Use this acronym to set your objectives. For example, if your goal is to be in events management, then find which companies you want to work for and make sure to follow and engage with their social media pages within the next week. Now that you have a goal and objective, you need to design the strategy. Ask yourself, which social networking site(s) should I be using? How should I use them and how can I measure its effectiveness? What is my personal brand?

LinkedIn

A LinkedIn profile is like the bread and butter for job seekers. It’s often the first place employers look to see what you have achieved, what you have done and who you know. Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and synonymous with your CV. Use Wordle to find out keywords an employer might use when searching for your skills through LinkedIn or Google. This also gives you a stepping stone to finding out what your personal brand is. If an employer views your profile, don’t hesitate to connect with them and talk to them. Gather a few recommendations, preferably from your previous boss or a client you may have worked with. Ones from colleagues are also valuable. There is nothing better than someone else singing your praises. Add a link to your LinkedIn profile on your CV.

Twitter

Ever used the list feature on Twitter? Well now is your chance. List the companies you’re interested in and make it public so they can see that you’re interested in them. Follow the people who work there and make light conversation with them. Send them information you think would be of interest to them and tweet industry specific content as this often gathers people in the industry to follow you. If you blog about goings-on in your industry, tweet it and send it specifically to people you think would be interested to read it. Just be careful not to be spammy.

Finally, consider other social networks you can use to help you job hunt. If you are a creative, Dribbble and Behance are often good social networks to showcase your work. If you are a developer, GitHub or Quora are good places to showcase your work and knowledge. If you are a business student, then LinkedIn and SunZu could be your holy grail. Just remember to use SMART objectives and watch what you say!

Jovan is the founder of The Interviewerz, a career management company. He tweets about technology and recruitment at @cyberrec and you can check out his blog at onlinerec.org.

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