Social media has changed the way people and businesses interact. Social media which can be loosely defined to include social networking websites, blogs, forums, etc. has not only changed how we people communicate with each other socially but has also opened various possibilities for businesses. For example a small shop can now use Facebook to market its services, a chef can broadcast his recipe to the world using Youtube etc. While marketing seems to be an obvious business function where social media has significant impact but that is not the only one.
Companies and Head hunters today use social media
More and more companies today use social media to identify and also gauge candidates they hire. Gone are the days when companies had to depend completely on placement firms and resume databases to find out right candidates, now with the use of professional networking websites such as Linkedin, Xing, etc. they can themselves search. Thus role of social media has become very important in case of hiring too. This also implies that you as a job seeker should be aware how you can use your social media presence to ensure you are considered for right openings.
Many firms not only check the professional profile of their candidates but his / her social profile too by searching over Facebook and other social networking websites.
Thus social media has provided a powerful tool in the hands of companies to refine their candidate search and has allowed them to weigh their choices on various parameters (such as hobbies, groups joined in Facebook, activity in Linkedin groups etc.).
Using Social Media for Job Search : Linkedin
Linkedin is one of the most powerful social media tool you have for job search. Your linkedin profile is like your resume which can be searched by anyone including company HR people and head hunters. The first thing you need to do on Linkedin is to have a professional profile and you need to be very careful how to position your profile over Linkedin. Some simple but very effective tips include:
- Write about yourself highlighting your qualities and skill sets. Keep revising this whenever you need to. This summary should also include what you plan to do / your areas of interest.
- Put detailed profile, i.e. do not forget to add education and all the positions you have held in past
- Describe your past positions briefly and what you did in them. This can really help a recruiter to get picture of your work experience
- Get recommendations from your past and present colleagues, especially from the your boss / manager.
- Join groups of your interest, many recruiters get reference from these groups while searching for candidates
- Make sure all your data is accurate and also written in good language without grammatical errors (strictly avoid using SMS language in your profile)
Other ways to use Linkedin for effective job search
- Linkedin can also be used to showcase your knowledge. You can answer questions posed by your connections or group members on Linkedin. With constant effort this would establish you as a knowledgeable person in that field, exactly what a company needs!
- Another important way to use Linkedin is to connect with people with similar interest or people you would love to learn from. Many people on Linkedin will be willing to connect to you if they feel you are a genuine person. This is where your profile, profile recommendations and your groups interactions can play a very important part. Please remember one thing do not start asking favours as soon as you connect with a person. Establish communication and then only discuss such matter.
- You can also connect directly to placement agencies and HRs of companies you would like to join. This will help you keep posted on every important announcement or requirement they post.
- Another great use of linkedin is to find present and former employees of a company. This can help you find references in a company which can help in recommending you for the job or in any other way possible. Also many companies post job openings on their Linkedin company page – you can also use that to track job postings
- Linkedin has also started paid job postings where companies pay to attract talent. You can search these job posting for relevant jobs for yourself.
- Effectively use your status updates to let others know what you are looking for and what you are upto.
Using Social Media for Job search : twitter power
Twitter is also a great way to connect to people whom you do not know but share same interest. For example, if you are interested in Solar technology and frequently tweet your thoughts on the same, in sometime you will develop a group of tweeters with same interests. This group can really come handy when you want know of opportunities ( a twitter follower can let you know one), references (he can refer you, if needed), provide feedback (on the company you plan to join / apply).
All these help a lot in a job search. It takes some time to develop a twitter following and is a bit more difficult than say Linkedin, but it is absolutely worthwhile. If you start using twitter with a long term plan it can be of great benefit.
Using Social Media for Job search : Facebook
Today almost everyone is on Facebook, so are your potential recruiters. Most people feel Facebook is your personal space and you one can do whatever they want on it. But this is not true. Recruiters have started studying Facebook profiles, wall posts, etc. of their applicants to understand how they behave socially. This helps them find a person best fit for their organization. Many companies pick up certain wall comments to develop psychological profile of a candidate. Thus be careful what you post. Thus, keep your Facebook profile as clean as possible. This does not men don't be you but it is advisable to be in limits. Also ensure your pictures are in private mode and visible only to friends.
But Facebook can be great tool too. Almost every company has a Facebook page and by visiting it you can keep yourself updated on what's going on with the company. You can also find present and ex workers whom you can contact and ask for help too. many companies post job openings on their Facebook page. Facebook groups (similar to Linkedin groups) can be great to meet people interest in same kind of topics, thus a platform to connect with them.
The key advice for Facebook is – be in certain limits and keep enjoying the social networking site too.
Using Social Media for Job search : Your blog
Your personal blog can also become a powerful medium of marketing you to potential recruiters. Make sure to connect it with your Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter profile. A blog can do what your Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook profile cannot do easily – it can establish your personality. This is because you have liberty to write on your blog and whatever you write is attributed to it. People read it, comment on it, appreciate it etc. Thus, you can use your blog space to present your knowledge on various aspects – maybe things of interest, hobbies or whatever.
As your blog becomes popular, your circle of influence will also increase. This circle can come handy when you need favours in terms of opportunity identification and references.
In the end ..
Social media is a powerful tool which is playing a very important part in connecting recruiters with candidates. You need to make sure you use this tool wisely to get maximum benefit out of it for your job search.