Many people underestimate the power of social media. Most have a recreational addiction, but did you know that you can also use social media to promote your competencies, and to find suitable job opportunities, often before they’re even advertised?
In the year of 2019, social media has become even more of an inter-connected nexus of online accounts, and we have become the digital resource of global data miners. We willingly hand over all of our personal information by virtue of the way we interact online, and seeing as we are not invisible to the world any more, due care should be taken to keep your digital footprint as squeaky clean as possible.
Most employers today will check your social media accounts as part of the recruitment process, looking for any red flags, trying to dig up dirty laundry, controversial beliefs, or signs of misbehaviour.
Not that it needs to be mentioned, but it’s obviously important that you clean up your social media accounts, and keep questionable content out of the public domain.
This includes drunken photos from university days, beliefs with the potential to cause controversy, foul language, or anything else which might hinder a stranger’s first professional impression of you before actually meeting you.
Social media can be used to showcase your skills and competencies. By interlinking your various outbound links to your various online accounts, you demonstrate transparency, and you provide potential employers with a complete background picture of yourself, since they won’t have to spend too much time researching you.
For example, a trader can demonstrate their trading skills by adding a link for their tradingview.com account to their LinkedIn profile and vice versa; a graphic designer can add links to their Behance portfolio; a handy man can link their Facebook business page to their LinkedIn page to showcase reviews or photos, and so forth.
If you don’t have online credentials to showcase, then create them. Start a blog or vlog which you can use to showcase and demonstrate your skills. You can blog your way into a job, and by providing more exposure into what you’re capable of, this implies less risk for a hiring manager to consider your application, since they would be more confident that you are, in fact, able to do what you say you can do.
This really does apply to all industries, and it’s also a good idea to link all of your social media accounts so that it’s easier to find one social media account from another social media account.
Make it easier to find your professional accounts, such as LinkedIn. By connecting your various accounts even further, you can demonstrate your competencies and personality in the process.
It’s quite important to reveal, at least part of your personality. Your CV / resume only provides a professional background, not much of a background into your actual personality (not just the professional personality you’re trying to portray). This is just one way how to use social media to find a job, through transparency and an array of all your good qualities on full display.
To demonstrate some of your personal qualities, you can share a link to your personal Twitter account, where you share appropriate articles, tell appropriate jokes, and show good qualities which you carry in normal day-to-day life.
Put yourself out there. Advertise what you’re looking for on LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit etc. and let all of your contacts know that you are looking for a new opportunity, what you are looking for, and what you can offer. This would obviously be a terrible idea if you’re currently employed though!
LinkedIn is perfect for contacting companies, decision makers, and hiring managers directly, and might get you that dream job before it is even advertised, but don’t add hiring managers as network connections, at least not yet, as this might come across as a bit cocky. Rather send them a personal message or email but do this professionally. Do not contact them on Facebook or using their personal email address.
LinkedIn provides the search filters to find the management team of each company directly. If you are unable to contact the hiring manager and HR directly, use their name to do a quick google search and very often if you look around the web and use various search strategies, you’ll find the work email address for the person you’re trying to contact.
One tip is to find any email address you can find for the company, and see how the company structure’s their email address. Then apply the same structure to the email address of the person you are trying to contact. For example, I find a [email protected] after a quick google search and I’m trying to contact Ruth Hathway, Head of Marketing at Centrics for a potential Marketing position. You can try [email protected], since this seems to be the standard format for Centric’s email addresses.
If after trying everything, you have no luck contacting the correct person directly, try send an email to the company’s general office email address with “Att: *contact’s name*” as the subject. The idea here is to contact companies even if they are not currently advertising for a position. You’re trying to keep ahead of the curve and within mind’s eye.
Even if you don’t get in touch with the right person, very often someone else can point you in the right direction. If all of your credentials are available online, you’ll put yourself in a good position. Don’t be afraid to tap into your own connections, and without annoying them, see if there’s anything suitable available.
Not only does this direct and personal tactic show strong initiative, but you might just be contacting a company, at the same time, or before a role is becoming available, and if you’re the right person for the role, they might not see any point in advertising further for the role.
You can learn a lot about a company’s culture through their own social media accounts. Head to glassdoor.com and have a look at what ex employees have anonymously had to say about working there, and check their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for company updates, events, photos, customer feedback etc.
You can also use LinkedIn to research the team and management structure. This would be usually be considered stalking if you were doing it on Facebook, however LinkedIn is there for business networking, and your professional profile is your key to potential opportunities.
Put yourself out there, showcase your skills and competencies, and treat your digital presence as an SEO exercise for ultimate exposure. Remember, nothing ventured, nothing gained!
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Head over here for tips on how to write the perfect CV or resume. Thanks for reading and hope we covered at least a few tips on how to use social media to find a job.