Job Searching Using Social Media

 

popular   sOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS

LinkedIn

1.  Complete Your Profile

2.  Connect With Others

3.  Get Recommendations

4.  Join Groups

5.  Job Search

6.  Maintain Your Network

Twitter

Facebook

Google+

Social Media   Tips

1.   Build Your Brand

2.   Keep It Simple

3.   Polish Your Online Presence

4.   Think Before You Type

5.   Nurture Your Network

6.   Don’t Give Up!

 

 

 

9781896324470QuickLearn Guide - Job Searching Using Social Media

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Job Searching Using LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+

socialmediaSocial media has become a crucial part of the modern job search. The simple fact is that over 50% of companies now have a presence on social media sites. This number will only grow in the years to come.

As well, companies are not only choosing to be present on social media, but actively recruiting on these platforms and incorporating social media into their hiring process. Social media sites are essentially replacing traditional resumes. These sites have become so popular that anyone who is not on social media is at a disadvantage.

Using social media will add credibility to you as a viable candidate, allowing you to demonstrate to employers that you are tech savvy. But more importantly, it allows you to advertise your brand, creating exposure for your skills and attributes.

Sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook have changed the landscape of the job search. Thousands of jobs are now posted through social media sites such as these. There is very little downside to using social media in your job strategy. However, like any job search tool it must be used effectively and appropriately. Take the time to create a thoughtful social media strategy. Below we will outline the basics of some very familiar social media sites, and how best to use them in your job search.


 

icn-li LinkedIn

LinkedIn is by far the most business-oriented of large social media sites. It has been called ‘the professional equivalent of Facebook’. It has changed the way people look for work, and employers hire. Two new members join LinkedIn every second.

It allows you to network and connect with other business professionals based on factors such as industry, geography, skill,and many more. Ideally, your profile on LinkedIn should convey a great resume, interview and reference document all in one.

LinkedIn allows employers to picture what kind of candidate you will make. If done properly, you should be able to communicate with other like-minded professionals that you otherwise may not have met through traditional job search methods.

To effectively use LinkedIn we have compiled a list of important steps that will get you up and running.


 

Step 1: Complete Your Profile

Creating a detailed profile on LinkedIn is not only the first step, but also the most important. Begin entering your profile on the main site. Similar to a resume, the content you put in your profile is critical to convey the proper message and image you want others to see. It also ensures that you are found on LinkedIn with information you include about your skills and experience.

Make sure your profile is 100% complete. Update your headline with a catchy, professional phrase. Instead of saying ‘Business Owner’, why not say ‘Entrepreneur and Business Strategist’?

The summary section is extremely important as it is the first section under your headline that employers will see. Use this section to advertise your strongest qualities. What separates you from other candidates?

In your profile include major skills, accomplishments, experiences, education, and any other professional achievements you would include on your resume. Pack your profile with keywords and skills. These can be searched by an employer to find you. Your profile should be constantly updated and reviewed, and ensure it is 100% free of errors, both spelling and grammatical.

Make sure to upload a professional photo with your profile. An up-to-date headshot is recommended with you in business attire. Remember, you want to connect with professional people in your industry. A photo of you on the beach is not appropriate for LinkedIn!

Once you feel confident that your profile is complete, take the time to show it to other people that now you well. What do they think of your profile? Is your profile a good reflection of who you are and the image you want to portray? If you need inspiration in completing your profile, then look at other LinkedIn profiles from industry leaders and those you respect.


 

Step 2: Connect With Others

Now that your profile is complete, it’s time to establish connections with others who also have LinkedIn profiles. You can do this right away, however, it is important to be strategic with your connections. Firstly, start by connecting with family and friends that also have profiles on LinkedIn. Then move on to people you work with, or have worked with at past employers. To save time, LinkedIn allows you to import your address book to add people you know.

Decide on the type of connections you want to pursue. Individuals who share similar industry experience, work skills, or general business interests can all become strong connections. Valuable information can be shared and important networking contacts established with these individuals. If you connect with too many people with little or no similar interests, then you run the risk of receiving message and information that is of little value to you.

When requesting a connection, don’t just use the standard text given. Personalize it with a message of how you know this person, or why you want to connect with them. This will increase your chances of the connection being accepted. Alternatively, don’t accept requests for connections from people that you don’t know, or are outside your business interests. Try to add at least a few connections each week.


 

Step 3: Get Recommendations

Recommendations are extremely important on LinkedIn. Great recommendations can mean the difference between getting a job or not over somebody else. Similar to good references on a resume, strong recommendations will set you apart from others.

A great recommendation can’t just come from anyone. It needs to be someone who knows you well in a work setting, or can vouch for specific skills and experiences you have stated in your profile. It needs to be somebody you’ve possibly worked with in the past on a project, or in a past job.

A recommendation from someone who doesn’t know you well will end up being ‘He is a great guy!’ for example. This is not the specific comments you want of someone who should be able to vouch for you. An employer will want specifics. Why should they hire you?

The best way to get recommendations from others is to ask for them. Don’t wait for someone to send you a recommendation, as you may wait for a long time. The easiest way to obtain one is to make a personal and polite request. For example, ‘Hi John, remember when we worked on that project together? Would you consider giving me a recommendation based on that project?’ Chances are an individual would be open to responding based on this request. Thank the person if they send you a recommendation. It is the polite and courteous thing to do.

Remember to be careful of requests asking you for recommendations as well. Make sure you know the person and can vouch for their credentials. You will have a greater chance of success on LinkedIn when you ensure that you follow good etiquette in regards to recommendations.


 

Step 4: Join Groups

There are thousands of groups on LinkedIn. When you first join this site it can be very intimidating and overwhelming. The best way to get your ‘feet wet’ is to join a group and start following the discussion. However, don’t just join any group. Find one that is within your industry, or speaks to an issue in which you are passionate.

Groups are a great way to network with like-minded people, however, as with all of LinkedIn there are informal rules that should be followed. Firstly, spend some time reading and listening to others who are posting within a group. What do they say and how do they say it.

Don’t just blurt out the first thing that comes to mind once you’ve joined a group. Take the time to think about what you wish to say. Respond to a discussion where you feel you have some insight, expertise, or a new angle on a topic that you can share with everyone.

As you become an active participant in a group, and are truly engaging members with a discussion you have initiated, than you’ll have the opportunity to be recognized as a ‘Top Infuencer’ in a group page sidebar. Visit each of your top 2-3 groups a few times each week.

Becoming an active participant in a group will help you get noticed as an expert in the field. It will increase your overall visibility on LinkedIn and open up targeted networking opportunities.

You typically will get the most visibility if you target the most popular discussions within each group. However, as mentioned ensure that you have something valid to say. Other members can see a sales pitch a mile away!


 

Step 5: Job Search

To effectively use LinkedIn it is necessary to incorporate all of the outlined steps. When it comes to the job search, LinkedIn offers some great features that will directly impact your job search efforts.

Firstly, if you know of a company or organization that you are interested in, simply use the ‘Company Search’ to find it. You will see a company profile, stats, current employees and many other valuable pieces of information.

You can use this search to explore and research people employed at these companies and find contacts to connect with. You will also see related companies that you may have never known existed.

You can also ‘Follow’ companies you want to work for. By doing this you will get company notifications on their updates, including job posts. You can also see which of their employees are on LinkedIn.

An added benefit of this social media site is that in addition to searching for companies and people specifically, you can search for available positions using the ‘Jobs’ tab at the top of the page.

While this feature may seem similar to other large job search sites such as Monster.com, a huge advantage of LinkedIn is its networking capability. In addition to specific jobs listings, you will also see anyone who you are connected with at those companies.

If you aren’t connected with anyone directly, it is possible to see if any of your contacts are connected with someone at the company. This feature is invaluable for your job search!

The key to job searching on LinkedIn is to be proactive. Take charge of your job search and establish relationships based on a clear and logical direction.


 

Step 6: Maintain Your Network

To use LinkedIn effectively, it is crucial to maintain your network even after you have found a job. Networking is about give and take. Reinforcing the relationships you have established, along with reaching out to others who you could potentially help, is what LinkedIn is all about.

If you have landed a job make sure to update your profile with the new position. Take the time to thank your contacts for their assistance. Pick up the phone, or send a thank you card to those contacts that you felt made a significant difference.

Continue to follow and participate in LinkedIn groups that are of interest to you. People will appreciate your expertise even after you have started your new job.

The most successful professionals know that building and maintaining networks is a long term process. It should never stop when you have a new job, and in fact if you nurture your relationships correctly, they will be there for you in your next job search.

If you can only choose one social media site to use in your job search, then LinkedIn is the one. It will allow you to find better opportunities and grow your business network more effectively than any other site.

Many companies won’t even interview someone without a LinkedIn profile. If you cannot be found online you will be thought of by employers as out of date or not tech-savvy.

If you’re not using LinkedIn, or have a profile but not using it to its full potential, it’s time to get started. Start today and see the huge benefits that can be gained from building a strong network on LinkedIn. A wealth of opportunities awaits you.


 

icn-tw Twitter

The next best social media site for your job search is Twitter. Over the last several years Twitter has become immensely popular, with over 500 million users. While not typically thought of as a job search tool, Twitter has proven to be an effective tool for personal branding.

As a micro-blogging site, Twitter allows users to communicate in ‘tweets’ with 140 characters or less. Similar to LinkedIn, you can also ‘follow’ influential people in your field. The only difference is, you don’t have receive approval or confirmation to follow someone. It happens automatically.

As a networking tool, Twitter allows you to access people you might not have otherwise. It brings your brand to the forefront and helps you get noticed. Some have said it is like being a networking event all the time. There are no guarantees that it will help you get a job, but Twitter is definitely proven itself as a valuable networking tool.

To use Twitter in the job search, the first thing to do is create an account. It makes sense to make your username (or Twitter handle), your personal name. If your name is taken include a combination of your name and industry. Include a personal photo that is professional and makes a good first impression.

Create a bio that uses keywords from your resume and include a link to your LinkedIn profile. Users will be able to search for keywords and tweets by topic, so a good bio can get your some valuable exposure.

When you first start out on Twitter, don’t just blast a message out to people that you are looking for work. Build momentum slowly by following individuals in a company you’d like to work for, or influential people in your industry. Follow their tweets, and get a sense of the kinds of information being sent out. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the functionality of Twitter.

Once you feel comfortable, start tweeting yourself by offering opinion on news and industry happenings. Not only can you follow others, but you can establish yourself as an expert in your field.

If you like what something someone has tweeted then retweet (forward) it. Send a direct response to the person in an informal manner. You can begin to establish a connection with this person. This is what Twitter is all about!

As a job seeker starting out in the new  Twittersphere, you may want to familiarize yourself with hashtags. A hashtag is like a category that tells Twitter how to categorize tweets. It is essentially a keyword or lablel followed by # that people can post in their tweets to tag their message to a specific category.

A job seeker may want to follow a hashtag about their industry such as #pharmaceutical or #sportsjobs. You can also follow a company of interest like @TD_Canada and watch for job postings.

There is a website TwitJobSearch.com that compiles all the jobs on Twitter. It is a global site where you type in what job and location you are looking for. It is worth checking out.

Keep in mind with all social media sites that there is a fair amount of ‘noise’ that occurs, especially on Twitter. Individuals don’t always follow proper etiquette in tweeting and as a result there is much useless information floating around. Twitter is not the professional site of LinkedIn. Keep focused on your task at hand when using Twitter – to brand yourself and establish a network of influential people in your industry.


 

icn-fb Facebook

Chances are that you are already using Facebook to communicate with friends, family, etc. While not considered a professional networking tool, the mere fact that over one billion people use this social media site means that it is hard to ignore in the job search.

Most people and companies that you would like to establish a connection with are likely on Facebook. Therefore, it makes sense to take advantage of this networking powerhouse.

With this in mind, you need to decide whether to keep your Facebook profile social, or update your existing page to be strictly used for professional networking. Even if you choose to not use Facebook in your job search, you will need to polish up your online presence, since employers will be able to easily access your information.

If you choose to use Facebook for professional purposes then take a look at your profile and decide what you want employers and business contacts to see, and what you don’t want them to see!

Make your profile simple, and remove content, graphics and widgets that don’t advance your job aspirations. Keep photos to a minimum and ensure that you post content relevant to your job search. Remember you may be tagged on many photos outside your profile as well. If any of these photos don’t present you in a positive light they have to be removed as well.

Once you feel comfortable your Facebook profile is professionally sound, reach out to former employers, business colleagues and other professional contacts and ‘friend’ them. You can still have personal friends, old high school classmates, etc. on your page. Just be sure to choose your friends wisely. Keep your page strictly professional.

The first thing to do with your Facebook page is change your status update with your current situation and what you are looking for. Everyone in your network is a valuable contact that could potentially help you, and you never know where a job lead may come from. Keep people in your network informed of any progress you have made, so your job search will be top of mind for them.

You will also want to join and become active in groups where jobs are posted. You can also learn valuable information from industry experts. How is the industry changing? Who are the major companies in your field? Who are their major competitors? Facebook is not only for networking, but also for researching and learning as much as you can about the industry you wish to work in.

While Facebook has been thought of in the past as being strictly social, it has become much more and now has a robust job search engine. In 2012, Facebook launched the Social Jobs Partnership app that allows users to search and apply to millions of jobs. It combines jobs from many of the large job sites like Monster.com. While there is no Canadian equivalent at the moment, stay tuned.

Many employers are now listing positions on Facebook, so be sure to follow those companies you are interested in working for. Ensure to ‘like’ company pages that you are interested in. By doing so, you will be able to follow company news and recent job postings as they become available.

Facebook can be the ultimate job networking tool if used in the appropriate manner.


 

icn-go Google+

Launched in 2011, another social media site, not nearly as popular as LinkedIn, Twitter or, Facebook, is Google+. This online medium is thought of as Google’s social network and is quickly gaining a following with some 343 million active members.

Google+ is intended to combine all of Google’s peripheral products (Gmail, Google Maps, Google Calendar, etc.) into one cohesive network. With Google+ you create a profile, post messages, upload photos and videos, plus much more.

Google+ is becoming important for job searching and networking, but what makes it different from other social media sites?

One of the biggest differences is that when you connect with someone on Google+ you add them to ‘Circles’, or organized groups of people. In other words, you can choose to make a post, picture, or video public for all to see, or specify the ‘Circle’ of friends or colleagues who you wish to view the content. This is extremely handy when you want to share posts with friends, and keep other content strictly for professional contacts.

Another major difference is that conversation is much more enhanced on Google+. The platform encourages interaction through content sharing, status updates, online and video chats (Hangouts). If you are interested in a post a hiring manager has shared, you can ask them directly about it, or set up a face-to-face chat online.

Make sure to complete your profile as much as possible on Google+. It will be easier for others to find your information online. Also remember to include links in your profile to your other social media sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) This way hiring managers will be able to view your other accounts easily.


 

hintstips Social Media Tips

Below are some important Social Media Tips to help you stay clear of major pitfalls and assist you in maneuvering the world of online social media. Good luck in your job search!

1. Build Your Brand

Give thought to what you want your brand to be and then make sure it is consistent across different social media platforms. Always keep your profiles updated.

2. Keep It Simple

Join LinkedIn and master this platform before moving on to another social media site. It is better to be effective on one site, than ineffective on a large group of them.

3. Polish Your Online Presence

Even though your LinkedIn profile is professional and complete, an employer may see your Facebook page as well. Make sure to polish your online presence on all sites to remove any inappropriate content. Don’t forget to Google your name to see what comes up.

4. Think Before You Type

Always think before you send out a post or tweet. You don’t know who may read it. Remember tweets can show up in Google searches as well. Treat every post and tweet like your boss is going to read it.

5. Nurture Your Network

Effective networking involves give and take. Always strive to build and nurture your network, even after you’ve found a job. Connect to new people, post interesting articles in groups, and continue sending messages to close contacts. Your network will be there for you next time you need it.

6. Don’t Give Up!

Establishing a strong network takes time. There is no quick fix in using social media in your job search, however, the benefits to you can be enormous. Do a little bit each day and keep at it. Be methodical and determined in your approach. Don’t give up!

 

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