Social media plays a big part in many aspects of our lives these days. But have you considered that you could use your favorite social sites to help you find a job? If you’re looking for a new role, social media can be a really effective way to network, demonstrate your skills and find career opportunities. Here are a just a few tips that might prove useful in leveraging social media as part of your job search.
Whether you’re employed and looking for a change, unemployed and looking for a job or self-employed and looking for business, LinkedIn is an essential place to have an online presence. It’s often the first port of call for potential employers, so it’s essential that your profile is professional, accurate and up to date. You can use LinkedIn to:
- Create an online resume and link it to your profile.
- Network by following companies and joining groups in your industry.
- Share and comment on topical issues to demonstrate your knowledge and enthusiasm.
- Add recommendations from previous employers or people you have worked with.
- Add a PDF link to your resume so recruiters can print it off.
- Add a portfolio of your previous work and/or integrate projects into your profile.
- Show your contact details, making it easy for recruiters to get in touch.
You might not think of Google as a part of your social media presence; however, your Google profile is likely to be the first thing that appears when someone searches your name. Google yourself to see the results, then:
- Make sure your profile is complete by adding a suitable photo and any pertinent links that will give a quick snapshot of you and your experience.
- If you haven’t already done so, then head over to Google+ to create your profile. Google+ has a vibrant community and might provide you with yet another great way to network, make industry related connections and show off your knowledge.
On the surface, Twitter is a simple, fast-moving and sometimes frivolous conversation. Dig a little deeper, though, and it can be a powerful source of content and connections that can help with your job search. Use Twitter to:
- Connect with others in your industry to stay up to date with breaking news and trends.
- Follow companies you might like to work for. Interact and engage with members of their team.
- Use keyword alerts to help you spot new job opportunities as soon as they are tweeted by prospective employers.
- Participate in Twitter chats, many of which are dedicated to the job search process.
- Share and comment on relevant links to demonstrate your experience.
While the visual nature of Pinterest means that it’s an ideal showcase for job seekers in the creative industries, it can be an asset to your job search whatever your chosen career. You can help build your personal “brand” and be creative on Pinterest by:
- Using images to highlight your areas of expertise.
- Creating a visual portfolio of your previous work.
- Adding visuals of awards you’ve won or certificates you’ve received.
- Pinning and repinning quality content from leaders in your field.
- Adding text comments to images to demonstrate your knowledge.
- Searching for prospective employers.
- Curating content specific to the industry you’d like to work in and showcasing how you think and what you’re passionate about.
You might not want to turn your Facebook profile into a professional job search but why not use it let you friends know what job you are looking for? Referrals are often the best source for great job opportunities. You can also “like” the brand pages of companies you’d like to work for and follow the things they have going on and what they share, as well as interact and engage with them.
It’s not unusual these days for individuals to have personal blogs or to use Tumblr or another blogging platform. Writing or creating visual content for a blog — no matter what field you’re in or what you want to do for a living — is a terrific way to demonstrate your knowledge, ability to articulate what and how you think, and your skills. Plus, writing a blog that focuses on the industry you want to secure a job in, then sharing that in social media channels helps with your overall personal brand awareness and could be a point of differentiation that sets you apart from other candidates in the job search process. You never know!
Whatever platform you choose, be sure to connect with others, share and comment on their content and join in conversations. It’s the “social” actions that’ll get you noticed. And if you’re looking for a job in the engineering field, why not start by connecting with us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. We’d love for you to stay up to date with our latest job opportunities on our Careers page.
Which social media platforms have you used to enhance your career prospects? We would love to hear your thoughts.
Mike Myers is a recruiter on Burns & McDonnell’s HR team. He actively uses social media to find new talent for the firm. If you’re interested in learning more about Mike or about opportunities available at Burns & McDonnell, connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter (@MSMrecruiter).