Friday Favorites – Using Social Media In Your Job Search

Did you know that there are over 1 billion Facebook users? That there are 340 million new tweets per day? That 4 billion YouTube videos are viewed every day? And that 92% of companies use LinkedIn, Facebook, and/or Twitter for recruiting?!

Social media has a huge part in our lives (especially if you’re a social media junkie like I am!). Besides posting embarrassing pictures of your friends on Facebook, tweeting about what you had for lunch or looking up videos of babies laughing, social media can also be used for job searching, and here’s how:

Social Media Explained (with Donuts)

Facebook

  • If you’re passionate about working for a specific company, ‘like’ their Facebook page. They will post information about what they’re up to and possible jobs that they need filled. Even if you don’t find a job through their Facebook page, it’s a great resource to use to get informed about the company.
  • It will never hurt to post an update about what kind of job you’re looking for and the experience you have. Who knows – one of your friends might know of a job perfect for you!
  • Join groups on Facebook. They are similar to groups on LinkedIn. You can join groups specific to the industry you want to get into or of hobbies you’re interested in. Networking with other group members and being active in the group is a surefire way to help you find a job that you’ll love.
  • As a last tip, make sure you manipulate your privacy settings to make sure potential employers only see what you want them to see. It’s not a bad idea to untag yourself from those embarrassing photos from last night’s party either!

Twitter

Twitter might be an unconventional site to use when searching for a job, but it has more resources than you know. Twitter might seem confusing and silly. I definitely cringe when I see my friends posting hour-by-hour updates of their life. But if you tweet effectively, it won’t be hard to form relationships and find jobs that you’re interested in.

  • Fill out your profile. That includes adding a picture, adding a cover photo, and a description of where you live and what you do. I guarantee employers will spend more time on your profile than on someone who still has a picture of an egg for their profile picture.
  • Follow companies you’re interested in. They will post job openings, advice, information about their company. Once you’ve got a steady Twitter account, start interacting with those companies.
  • Use hashtags effectively, such as #hiring, #jobopening and #joblisting. Check out these 50 Hottest Twitter Hashtags for Job Seekers for more hashtags.
  • ‘A lot of successful Twitter job stories actually end with the punchline, “I wasn’t even looking for a job.” In many cases, these lucky new hires just found interesting opportunities serendipitously, which makes sense given that it’s Twitter we’re talking about,’ according to 6 Ways To Score A Job Through Twitter on Mashable.com.
  • Twitter is a great place to showcase your personality. Tweet articles you find interesting, stay away from retweeting too much, and interact with a substantial number of followers. Remember – you are what you tweet.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the most popular career-related site, so it’s no wonder that every day more than 86,000 users join LinkedIn and 89% of recruiters have hired through LinkedIn. This website is all about developing relationships with colleagues and potential employers. If you’re new to LinkedIn, these tips will help you get started.

  • Make sure you fill out your profile completely. More employers will check out your profile if it is 100% complete.
  • Don’t forget to add a picture of yourself! And not a picture of you from a group photo and then cropping out the others so it’s just a picture of you with random people’s arms. Get a friend to take professional photos of you.
  • Connect with your friends. Once you have a stable profile, then you can connect with employers.
  • You can endorse your friends for skills such as blogging, photo-editing, customer service, or many others. They’ll be more likely to endorse you for skills you have experience in.
  • Join groups. There are groups for pretty much every interest or hobby! You can connect with people who have the same interests as you and possibly find a job through your group friends!

YouTube

One unique thing about YouTube is that 64% of people will finish watching a video but only 24% of people will finish reading an article online, via Classy Career Girl.

  • If you’re a musician, use YouTube to your advantage! It doesn’t take a lot of work to record a video of you singing or playing an instrument and upload it to YouTube.
  • Try the Justin Bieber approach – post and hope. Justin Bieber was discovered on YouTube and is now an international pop star! It doesn’t hurt to post a video of yourself doing what you do best and then hope that someone famous watches it and wants to collaborate with you.
  • You can also create a video resume if you’re planning on going into a creative field. Make sure it’s short and appropriate, according to 5 Tips for Creating a Video Resume via Mashable.
  • Enter YouTube contests! This is a great way to show the contest host how you shine.

Blogger/WordPress/Weebly/Tumblr

These blog and professional profile sites are there to give you space to publish and highlight your work, photography, prose, poetry, or anything you wish! If you’re thinking that only nerds write and read blogs, you may be right, but having a place where your work is published may give you an advantage to those without a unique profile like this.

  • If you’re new to blog sites, I’ll help to clear up some confusion. BloggerWordPressWeebly and Tumblr are blog sites each unique in their own way. If you plan on blogging every other day, Blogger would be a good website to use, but if you want to create an online profile, Weebly might be better for you. Figure out which one works best for what kind of online profile you want to create.
  • Blogs are great to use if you’re going into journalism, public relations, communications or arts. You need a virtual space to spotlight your writing or artwork, and a blog is a great place to do that!
  • A blog might be just what you need to stand out from the rest of the candidates. ‘Just as it looks like your chances of interview are hit and miss, your blog propels you into top spot! Scanning the content you’ve posted, the recruiter is increasingly convinced you have the expertise they are looking for in this domain. Your blog has endorsed your candidacy in a way that your simple LinkedIn profile alone could never have achieved!’ From Forget LinkedIn Profiles – What Your Career Really Needs is… from Social Hire.
  • Don’t forget to link your online profile to your social media sites, and regularly post or tweet your blog posts to Facebook or Twitter to get more traffic to your blog.

If you have a social media profile like these, why not use it to your advantage and start using it to search for jobs?! Let me know how it goes, and if I’m missing any tips you’d like to share, don’t hesitate to email me at MediaCLD@uww.edu.

Photo by Chris Lott.