Do you use social media every day to stalk makeup gurus and style bloggers? Is your Instagram feed full of lovely photos of traveling, yogis, and shoes? We all use social media for similar reasons. But did you know you can also make it part of your job hunting experience? Your potential employers are out there; you just need to impress them with your awesome personality.
What’s the first thing you do when you’re after a new job? Try to make connections, right? You also gather information about the company you’re interested in and get informed about the entire industry. You can do all these things using social media.
Norah Daniels, a team leader at SuperiorPapers, shared an interesting anecdote about this.
“I always knew I wanted to be a writer,” she said. “My main interest was academic content. I had no idea how to look for such job, so I became part of a Facebook group for writers. I connected with the best companies in the writing industry before I knew it, and here I am still working for one of them.”
Now, you must be wondering — how can you, like Daniels, use social media to get a job? It involves more than just following industry types on Twitter and waiting for something to fall into your lap. Here are seven ways to use social media in your job hunt:
1. Show you’re an expert.
The real effort should go into building your online reputation. Let’s say you’re an architect looking for a new firm. You’ll need to show the world you’re good enough for every firm to want you. You can do that by promoting your own work through blogging. Whatever projects you’ve worked on, feature them on a blog and share them via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
If you don’t yet have much work to brag with, you can post reviews. Focus on your industry and put yourself in the role of a critic. When you prove yourself as an expert through the blog and comments on social media sites, cool job offers will start coming your way.
2. Tell people you’re ready for a new job.
As an example: “I just updated my LinkedIn profile. Check it out! I’m looking for a job in marketing.” Of course, this status or tweet will be followed by a link to your LinkedIn page. If you implement tip No. 1 first, you’ll have established yourself as someone worthy of attention. With this step, you’ll inform the world you’re open for suggestions. Some of your friends may suggest openings, and others will recommend you to people they know.
3. Learn about a company’s culture.
When you follow a company on Facebook or Twitter, you’re getting insights into its culture and way of work. You’re also learning about the current projects and marketing campaigns.
Why are these insights important? First of all, they can help you decide if that company is the right fit for you. However, they will also do you good during interviews, since you’ll be able to show how you fit into that culture.
4. Show you can use social media well.
You don’t have to be a marketing expert to use the full potential of social media. Remember that blog we recommended you to build and maintain? Well, you’ll need to promote it everywhere: Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube… you name it.
You can even create a Pinterest board that will serve as your virtual portfolio and resume. Show you’re not afraid of technology — hiring managers are very attracted to such candidates.
5. Make connections.
This is a crucial part of every job hunt. You already have some connections that you’ll use, but don’t be limited to those alone. Find out who you need to know to land a specific job you’re interested in. Who’s the hiring manager or team leader? Follow them on Linkedin.
And don’t stop there. Retweet their tweets so you’ll hopefully get them to follow you on this network. That’s a great tricks that connects you with professionals without necessarily intruding upon or bothering them.
6. Add a link to your LinkedIn profile in the bio.
Have you noticed how people use the bio in their profiles to link to their website? You can do the same thing, but you’ll link to your LinkedIn profile. This will help in two ways: It directly leads more people toward your virtual resume, and it shows your own confidence in your social media use.
7. Make your profiles flawless.
Let’s say you sent a resume that got a hiring manager’s interest. Now what? Their first instinct will be Googling your name. They will find your profiles on all social media. What will they see on Instagram? Puppies, cats, loads of makeup, and images of shoes? If you’re not in the fashion industry, that’s not the impression you want to leave.
Be smart and make your social media profiles private. When someone lands on your public profile, they should see the most professional version of you. Facebook allows you to set the privacy on each post. Keep your private photos private, but make the links to your blog and smart notes public.
The best thing about social media is that you can start working on it today. You already know how to use it, right? All you need to do is improve the impression you leave as someone who’s looking for a job.
Joan Selby is a productivity coach and a blogger; a graduate of California Institute of the Arts and a fancy-shoe lover; and a writer by day and reader by night, giving a creative touch to everything. Find her on Twitter and Facebook.
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