If you want to find a job, let employers find you, and the way that’s done in 2019 is through social media. Finding a job was once a matter of scanning job boards like Monster or Careerbuilder – or even the classified ads in print media, back in the day!
Data shows in order to find a job, you need to do some form of networking. According to ABC News, (and written about by Bob McIntosh on Recruiting Blogs), a whopping 80% of jobs are filled via networking – and that was back in 2012. While there’s no question that attending networking events is a great way to develop personal connections with people in your industry, it does require you to be in the right place at the right time. And no small matter for the unemployed – these events often cost money to attend.
Social media, on the other hand, provides you global networking opportunities without having to lay out event fees or juggle your belongings in order to shake hands. Of the many social networks available, I have found that LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook (in that order) provide the best opportunities to find a job as well for recruiters to find you!
Here are 3 tips to help you use social media to get a job
Get a professional photo taken as your online avatar and upload it to your LinkedIn and Twitter profiles. You’ve received this advice countless times, and yet nearly 70% of the profiles I see have really awful selfies of people staring at their laptop cameras. Equally inappropriate are photos that include one’s personal life, with children and pets. Or non-professional dress. Not to mention some downright goofy ones. I get that you want your network to understand that your family and personal interests make up a huge part of your personal brand, but on LinkedIn especially, it’s your professional brand that matters. Facebook and Instagram are where you can display your family and cute pet photos. You don’t have to get a photo taken by a professional photographer, but you do need to get someone to take a picture of you in professional dress, smiling and conveying self-confidence.
Once you identify a job posting that matches your career goals and skill set, apply for it through the required channel (this will frequently drop your resume into the ATS, which makes this next tip all the more critical). Next, type the company name into LinkedIn’s search engine to see who within your network works there or knows someone who works there. Contact that person directly. You can find most people’s work email addresses through Hunter.io (a browser extension) and/or the free version of findthatemail.com use that. When you write to that person, explain your connection, and ask if he or she is open to getting your resume directly in front of the hiring manager. Some people are reluctant to even implicitly endorse someone they don’t know, but don’t be self-conscious. By forwarding your resume to HR or the hiring manager with the note, “this candidate is in my network and may be a good fit for the [fill in the blank] position,” your contact not only helps you, but likely will receive a referral bonus if you are ultimately hired.
With regard to Twitter, check out these great tips from Career Waymark for identifying a good opening.
(Don’t) Tell people you’re looking for a new opportunity. I know – you think this is bad advice, but be judicious how you let people know. I see a lot of LinkedIn profiles that read, “looking for my next opportunity!” Given that most employers – rightly or wrongly – reject candidates who are currently unemployed, why hinder your search by putting it all out there? More importantly, recruiters often search on LinkedIn using keywords that describe the attributes of the candidate they’re looking for. And nobody is searching on the term “looking for my next opportunity,” or any variation of it.
I recommend letting people know that you are looking so they can let you know about opportunities they may be aware of, but I would limit that to Facebook, not LinkedIn or Twitter. Use Twitter to find out where employers are in real time, and consider showing up to meet them face to face and use LinkedIn to leave cogent comments on anything that your target employer posts. You can even try to connect, but you’ll have better success if you write a brief note explaining why you’d like to connect. Once people get to know you and understand your value proposition, you can explain that you are currently unemployed.
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