5 Ways to Use Social Media in Your Job Search
Gone are the days of finding a job you’re interested in, submitting your resume, and hoping for the best. In fact, those days are long, long gone.
As applying (and recruiting) for jobs has shifted to become almost exclusively digital, there's also been increasingly more crossover between our social (media) lives and our professional careers. The good news is, this doesn’t have to be a scary change - unless, of course, you have some blatantly inappropriate New Years Eve photos on your profile (in which case, probably best to start deleting).
There are plenty of helpful ways in which you can leverage social profiles to gain an edge on your competition - take a look at these social job search tips.
1. Get an inside look on Instagram
If your goal is to work for a Fortune 500 company - or even a flashy startup - your first port of call should be a quick search for them on Instagram.
Until I got a job in the recruitment marketing space, I had no idea that so many awesome organizations were providing an authentic inside look at their workplaces on their social media pages – and they’re doing it for us.
On Instagram, Deloitte regularly shares engaging images of corporate events, awards, and other goings-on in their offices, providing prospective employees with an inside look at their work culture and community.
Can you see yourself at their next conference or fundraising event? Now you have even more of a reason to hit the apply button.
Before a job interview, I like to do a deep dive of my prospective employer’s social media pages for talking points when you’re in the hot seat. Getting an insider’s perspective will help you tie your own interests and hobbies ban into the company’s culture and values, and can give you points for memorability once you’ve fostered that personal connection.
2. LinkedIn can help you personalize your cover letter
When you’re on the receiving end of resumes, nothing's more snooze-worthy than yet another Dear Hiring Manager… We’re living in the golden age of the internet, people, there’s simply no excuse for that generic greeting.
Most job descriptions will identify who the position reports to, and even if they don’t, it’s not hard to guess. Say your dream job reports to the Director of Marketing at 123 Company. Head over to LinkedIn and put a name to that title.
Once you’ve figured out who your potential boss is, you can go a step further and take a look at their LinkedIn summary to get a quick idea of what they value most.
If you were writing a cover letter to me, based on my summary, for example, you’d want to mention how you’re an out-of-the-box thinker who values authenticity in a brand.
3. Give your prospective employer some social love
Unless you’re applying for a social media job, the hiring manager is probably not the one monitoring your future employers' Twitter account. That said, there’s a pretty good chance that they do follow and engage with your potential employer on social media, so your name will stand out if they see you liking their company’s posts.
If you want, you can take this a step further and tag @YourFutureWorkplace in a post mentioning your visit to their office, complimenting them on their awesome decor and/or friendly employees. Those are the kinds of messages the social media manager will share in the company-wide Slack chat.
If the game is getting noticed, this is how you play.
4. Use your pinned post to show off
While you might have a hilarious viral tweet about your #mood, when you’re engaging with potential employers on Twitter, it’s best to save your pinned post for a different kind of update. Instead, pin a tweet showcasing your portfolio, your charity involvement, or your new online certification.
This'll be the first thing anyone who visits your profile sees, which can help make a strong first (online) impression.
5. Send a secret signal to recruiters
It always blows my mind when I mention this great LinkedIn feature to a job seeker and they haven’t been utilizing it.
LinkedIn allows you to turn on a secret signal which marks your profile as ‘Open to new opportunities’ in recruiter searches. You also have the ability to list where you are in your job search, the job titles you’re open to hearing about, your preferred industries, company size, and location.
LinkedIn says this option doubles your chances of receiving relevant messages from recruiters, and I really think this is true. When I was job searching, I would receive messages daily from recruiters looking to fill roles I was interested in which fit my skill level. I noticed the most significant spike once I turned this feature on.
You should be wary of this button, however, if you’re trying to keep your job hunt on the down low. While LinkedIn tries to hide your ‘hire me’ signal from recruiters at your current company, it’s not guaranteed that there won’t be a glitch - which could result in an awkward meeting with HR.
Despite what our parents and professors have scared us into believing, employers don’t mind if you have an online life that’s not career-related - so long as it's not radically inappropriate. By leveraging your existing social profiles, you can catch a hiring manager’s eye, or get a little insider info that can help you land the job of your dreams.
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