Job Hunting - Social Media Style
Job hunting nowadays seems like an endless search – believe me, most people you know have been through it or are going through it – but it’s also an exciting time because unlike our parents, who subsisted on word-of-mouth and circling classifieds, we’ve got the big wide world of the Internet to let people know we’re looking.
In a way, it’s a bit overwhelming. There are so many social media sites out there, job-hunters are left with the stress of too much choice. So, as someone who has navigated similar waters, I’ve got some handy tips to make the process a little less crazy.
Social Media Job Search Advice
1) You don’t need to be on all of the sites.
While it may seem effective to sign up for every site you set your eyes on, it’s not feasible. Look at your current situation. If you are unemployed, you’ll have more time to properly update and contribute to more networks than if you are hunting while employed.
In both situations, it’s still important to be a bit choosy. Stick to three or four that you know you can keep up with and are interested in keeping up with. You might do an overhaul of your Facebook profile to make it more employer-friendly, sign up for Linkedin and connect with previous colleagues, or check out what Twitter is all about. The more you feel like you’ve got a handle on your networks (rather than feeling insane pressure to update 16 profiles everyday), the more likely you’ll update with quality content that will get noticed.
2) Focus on who you know and what they know.
Social media has been touted as being fantastic for connecting with like-minded individuals from across cities, provinces and countries. But, for your job hunting purposes, sometimes the most helpful thing it can do is connect you with people you already know, and therefore what they know (particularly about your industry). What I mean is while Facebook and Linkedin are great for reconnecting with old high school friends, they’re also a great way to send out an advertisement promoting you. Find old co-workers or professors on your networks, send out a status that you’re on the lookout – be polite, but don’t be afraid to sell yourself. I’ve tried this before and was fortunate to get great responses with suggestions on where to look or even job applications.
3) Keep ahead of the curve.
Got an organization you want to apply to? Follow them on Twitter, “like” them on Facebook – the more connected you are with the organization online, the more you’re likely to hear about openings. Reply to their tweets, comment on their blogs. Check out who they’re following. By staying abreast of your industry on various social media networks, you can find some gems. I know from staying alert to retweets and posts, I found some great industry insiders who post job applications throughout the week.
Job hunts are a big process – they require more than just checking the usual job boards and hitting apply. Social media is a great tool to get more engaged in your chosen field and to meet some key players – plus, knowing how to effectively use social media is a valuable asset to add to your resume. But it can’t be used just on its own. Old school techniques like sending emails to family members or just chatting people up at events, parties and more (hello holiday season!) are also vital to the search. Admitting you’re job hunting can be awkward, but you’ll find that people love to help once you put it out there. So get chatty, online and off – and good luck! It’ll come when you least expect it.
Jessica Ireland is an editor, reporter and freelance writer. Her work has appeared in the Windsor Star, the London Free Press and online. She is a lover of many magazines – to the point of obsession, hence the blog – and sequins. You can find her on Twitter at twitter.com/jessireland.
Do you have any social media job search tips you can share with CIK Marketing readers? Share them below!