Most of us check our social media accounts numerous times throughout the day. For some of us our smart phones are an extension of hands in use several times an hour. While spending what amounts to hours per week on social media, why not devote a few minutes each day to your job search? Social capital is one the best venues for finding new job opportunities.
An Aberdeen Group study, released in 2015, disclosed that job seekers are increasingly more often finding their jobs using social media platforms. Young professionals —73% of those ages 18-34— found their most recent jobs using social sites, including LinkedIn, Plaxo with Simply Hired, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Jobster, Craig’s List, Snagajob and JobFox. In addition to websites, apps like ItyHour, Indeed, Jobaware, JobCompass, Jobs by CareerBuilder, LinkUp, Rake, Monster, Reach and JobR and Switch have proven quite useful in finding the ideal job. If you think it’s not relevant in the Madison area, think again. Even local entrepreneurs, Mark Richardson and Mark Clear, have developed an app, GigBlender, that provides best fit opportunities for “gig” seekers and potential employers.
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Becoming adept at online and app based job search tools can also facilitate shortening response time, networking, social branding, and interviewing. Using social media is not only easy to use, it can also speed up getting you straight to hiring managers and recruiters. You can elevate your resume from the pile of papers on a desk to front and center on hiring managers’ mobile devices and laptops with tools like VisualCV. You will have the ability to more quickly move into your next job by using job apps and sites like JibberJobber to manage contacts (think no more stacks of business cards), organize networking and interview follow-up activities and maintain your calendar.
According to adweek.com, 92% of companies use platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for recruitment and 45% of Fortune 500 firms include links to social media on their career page sections. With these trends, you should make social media a must for your job seekers strategy. As you decide how you’ll use social media, here are a few tips to consider:
- Start with your network to determine what contacts can connect you to job leads, hiring managers, company insiders and recruiters, as well as provide insight about companies on your target list. Ask for 20 to 30-minute networking meetings with those who have experience in your area of interest. Explore their background and share yours with the goal of gaining feedback for your job search.
- Research you target companies and positions by visiting websites and social media outlets to find relevant company information and job openings. Don’t forget financial sites that often contain up-to-the-minute news and data affecting company performance.
- Attend webinars, especially those hosted by recruiters. Online job related courses are often free and provide excellent opportunities to have your questions answered in real time by industry experts.
- Reconnect with former bosses, mentors and colleagues. Don’t overlook any opportunity or neglect anyone on your contact list as a possible bridge to your next job. Catch up on their careers and discuss your career goals and transition. Ask for advice and referrals.
- Use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and career related apps to let your network know you’re looking. Tell them what kind of work you’re looking for. Doing this simple step can help you hear about openings before they’re posted on job boards.
- Make sure your Facebook profile is private to avoid potential employers’ ability to see details of your profile, photos and personal updates.
- Hyperlink your resume by adding the URLs for your LinkedIn profile or Twitter handle. Empowers will have additional ways to contact you and know that you are a tech and social media savvy, a valuable skill to most employers these days.
- Neglect to update your LinkedIn profile. The first place recruiters look after receiving your resume or application is LinkedIn. Be sure to include a professional head shot and a value interest headline.
- Be a nuisance by endlessly pestering your connections about job opportunities.
- Share unprofessional or inappropriate personal information on social media profiles or walls (e.g. questionable photos, content, or language)
- Forget to follow up with and thank recruiters and networking contacts. Return Inmails, emails, texts, tweets, and inbox messages.
- Forget to join industry groups or chats. Joining online conversations helps keep you up-to-date on your industry, make new connections and exhibit your thought leadership.