How to use social media to find a job

There is no denying that social media networks are having a dramatic impact on how candidates find new job opportunities.

Wed, July 31st, 10:53

   

Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and many other mass media communication platforms have become powerful networking tools for the modern jobseeker and indispensable resources for employers and recruiters when it comes to sourcing new talent. In this article I will discuss how best to utilise social media websites in your job search.

Facebook: If you intend to continue using your personal Facebook account, ensure that you have removed any inappropriate photos and status updates. An ever-increasing number of employers are now screening social networking accounts of their job applicants and they will most likely take an unfavourable view of compromising images. I would strongly recommend that you create an entirely new Facebook account specifically dedicated to your career. What you do and say online speaks volumes about you, and your intention should be to build a high-quality professional brand.

Begin the networking process by communicating with the company you wish to work for by ‘liking’ their Facebook page. This is an excellent way of interacting with your potential future employer. In addition, you will be presented with their latest job ad postings and gain an insight into the company’s culture. Become a regular commenter on their status updates and provide them with meaningful feedback. Frequent contributors on a company’s social media pages often get noticed and their opinion is highly valuable. This can lead to the development of a relationship between you and their marketing department. From there, a direct line of communication with their hiring manager can emerge.

Google+: During the process of creating your professional Google+ account, try to organise your contacts into different circles. Google+ lets you categorise connections into friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances etc. In many ways, Google+ lets you have the best features from both Facebook and LinkedIn because it functions perfectly as both a personal and professional social networking portal. Your goal when using social networking websites is to make connections with influential people in the companies you wish to work for. You are more likely to get their attention if you engage frequently in their discussions and become a trusted subscriber of their content.

I would also strongly advise you to take full advantage of the powerful front-end, search engine within Google+ called Sparks. This feature lets you identify interesting content from your industry of interest. You will be presented with all of the latest news and conversations from your Spark searches on the left-hand navigation panel of your Google+ homepage. These live feeds will help you keep up to speed on the latest developments in your target industry.

LinkedIn: This website provides employers with an excellent way of gaining an at-a-glance impression of a candidate. With LinkedIn you can connect with people you know, like friends, work colleagues, former bosses and just about anyone you think would make a valuable contact. Once you have created your LinkedIn profile, you can begin searching for companies you are interested in working for and connect with employees of that business. You can do this by finding people in the company who may be already connected with some of your own personal connections and then request an introduction. It is important that you try to tailor your LinkedIn profile to the kind of job you want, not the job you have, and request recommendations from your references. You can then tag them to your previous employment experience. Try to think of LinkedIn as a kind of online representation of your CV.

Make use of LinkedIn’s powerful job search engine to browse suitable roles of interest, then attempt to identify the hiring manager or recruiter who posted the job ad. You can achieve this by finding out how many degrees of separation exist between you and them. Perhaps you know someone who knows that person. You can then ask your contact to send your CV to that person directly. This personal recommendation could potentially give you a major advantage over other applicants.

Lisa Holt

The Irish Times