Want a new or better job this year? Social media is perhaps one of the best ways to locate and network your way to a new career. It’s a known fact that recruiters have been using social media to check out candidates behind the scenes for a while now, but they did so without candidate’s knowing for the most part. Now, this has changed drastically, with the addition of new applications such as LinkedIn’s recruiting portal and Facebook recruiting apps making their way onto the scene.
Recruiters are coming “out of the shadows” to connect with candidates on social networking sites, so as a job seeker it’s to your advantage to put yourself in the best possible position to do the same. Here’s what you need to know about social media for your job search, so you can do this successfully.
- Create a professional profile. The personal profiles you have been using are not going to cut it with a serious job search. Too many posts and embarrassing photos are the norm with personal profiles. Instead, start from scratch with a professional profile that includes a business headshot photo (get a friend to do this for you), a copy of your resume, a link to your professional portfolio or blog, all tied together in a business-worthy looking template. Add in a phrase that describes you and what you want – much like your resume objective statement.
- Show off your accomplishments. Your social networking profile should be the spot where you showcase your talent, so make it work for you. Include intelligent posts, with links to your published articles, blog posts, artwork, and projects. Make sure to promote these across many channels by adding them to popular sharing formats like Digg and Sharethis for starters. Write interesting posts in industry forums and link back to them in your social media networks.
- Do your research on companies. Social media can be a great way to scope out potential companies you might like to work for. Simply go to each company website and become a follower on all social networks. Then take the time to learn more about the company culture, objectives and people there. Be sure to “like” or follow posts that appeal to you to show your support. Never use social media to blatantly self-promote, but rather to encourage others to get to know you by befriending them.
- Participate in social network groups. Social networking is fun because it allows you to go directly to industry specific groups and get to know your peers – oftentimes from around the world. If you are hoping to get into a specific career industry, or if you are about to graduate with a new degree, this insight can be invaluable. Besides, many recruiters visit these groups and post job opportunities on a frequent basis, so you may put yourself in the right place at the right time simply by participating.
- Connect with people who count. If you want to land a job, very often you must pass the “gatekeepers” to get in to certain companies or industries. These are people who look at candidates to determine if they have what it takes to join them. Find out who these gatekeepers are and get to know them on social media networks by politely asking for introductions from peers who know them, or inviting them to become your friend. Then take the time to thank each person individually and asking them to share something about themselves first, before launching into your career aspirations. Use this very effective targeted approach, and you may just end up with an invitation to interview for a new job.
Need more tips to be successful with your job search in 2012? Be sure to come back often to the Advance Temporary blog for great job search ideas and support with your career through our temporary staffing services.