Social media encompasses some of the largest networks in the world, with LinkedIn and Facebook reaching 500 million and two billion users, respectively—making the use of these platforms one of the best ways to establish your own network and find a job.
You wouldn’t be alone in your social media usage: While you’re updating your profiles, employers are searching through them to find the right job candidates. Ninety-two percent of companies leverage social media for hiring purposes.
Given the abundance of social media tools available, it’s important to have a game plan to streamline your job hunt. Let’s take a closer look at the different ways to find a job using social media.
Start By Building Your Personal Brand
Branding doesn’t just apply to companies. You want to create a strong personal brand to enhance your career opportunities and stand out in the crowd—and social media can help with this. Figure out your personal strengths and career goals, and let those be a guide when determining which social networks to use.
For example, if you’re a graphic designer, use Instagram to showcase your visual design savvy. If you’re a writer, share your published articles on Twitter or LinkedIn to showcase your expertise.
Link your social media accounts to projects you’re working on, your personal blog or portfolio, or anything else where audiences could learn more about your background. That said, be sure not to spread yourself too thin. You want to concentrate on the social media platforms most relevant to your industry. Again, if you’re a photographer or designer, an image-focused network like Instagram probably aligns best, while other industries, such as journalism, are best-suited to Twitter.
When crafting your personal brand, remember to keep your message and image consistent across all platforms. Make sure you’re telling a cohesive story to control the perception of your online image. If one platform shows up with content or images that don’t accurately represent you, that could be a detriment to your personal brand.
Lastly, delete anything unprofessional. That doesn’t mean you have to remove your cat photos on Twitter. Just make sure your social media is a reflection of your professional self.
Network, Network, Network
Networking is essential to building and maintaining your connections. Since 85 percent of jobs are acquired through networking, growing your community is one of the best ways to find a job. You can effectively network by regularly connecting with people on social media. Follow industry experts that inspire you on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Engage with their content by sharing their posts, asking questions, and contributing to conversations.
Stay engaged with your other professional contacts by sharing information they’d find helpful, such as a blog post, white paper, or local networking event. Like, tag others, and comment on articles your connections are sharing on their social media.
Don’t forget to reach out to your network on a regular basis. Send a private message if you found out a contact landed a new job, or say thank you if you landed a promotion using the tips that contact gave you. Remember to keep your messages brief and genuine to maintain a relationship you can both gain value from.
Create a Compelling LinkedIn Profile
Creating an engaging LinkedIn profile is another way to help your online job hunt. As the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn helps you connect to recruiters, hiring managers, and industry experts. Improve your visibility by creating a descriptive, keyword-rich headline and compelling summary describing your background, interests, and achievements. Your accomplishments could include being a published author, increasing sales by $300,000, or managing 10 employees of a new division within your company.
Endorsements are another powerful way to stand out on LinkedIn. LinkedIn users with five or more skills listed receive up to 17 times more profile views. Emphasize your most valuable industry-specific skills, such as analytics, copywriting, or project management, then have your network endorse you for your top skills—and remember to endorse your network in return.
In addition, recommendations can give you more credibility and help highlight your industry expertise. Ask for recommendations from those who can speak highly to your achievements. This will impress employers by showcasing the value you bring to a position.
Follow Company Profiles
Follow companies you’re interested in on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to see if they list job postings or relevant networking events.
You can also put your favorite companies into a private Twitter list to keep track of their updates. Keep an eye on the topics those companies discuss, the articles they share, and the people they retweet. These are all helpful clues to discover the company’s values.
Join Groups on Social Media
Join and participate in social media groups to connect with industry experts, increase your visibility to recruiters and hiring managers, and make other online connections that could turn into potential offline job opportunities.
Start by joining several groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. Check out the job sections in your groups to see positions that are tailored to that specific industry. You can then start discussions, comment on conversations, and submit relevant blog posts and articles. This will help grow your network and more easily position you as an industry expert.
In addition to LinkedIn and Facebook, check out Twitter for industry- and location-specific hashtags, such as #marketingjobs for marketing postings and #bostonjobs for positions throughout Boston. Some companies also have Twitter accounts specific to their hiring needs, such as Sony Music Jobs for positions related to the music industry, Condé Nast Careers for those interested in magazine publishing, and Life at Google for job postings, interview tips, and a cultural spotlight on the organization.
Help Others Out
Social media can be a powerful tool to provide value to others. As you build your network on social media, you’ll be exposed to people within a wide range of professional circles. This will make it easier to not only find a job, but to connect people with each other.
Don’t be shy to make introductions on LinkedIn and Facebook, and ask for people’s input on what they need. Take the time to figure out how you can support your closest contacts by asking questions and listening to their feedback. The guidance you give someone can help them jumpstart their career and, in return, is another useful way to find a job. By helping others, you are opening up your network and increasing the opportunities you have to advance your career.
Are you interested in learning more about finding your ideal job? Read more articles from “The Employer Perspective,” including “7 Must-Haves to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile” and “Your Go-To Guide for Job Hunting in the Digital Age.”