Anyone who has been in the job market recently knows that finding a position that fits your skills and salary expectations sure isn’t getting any easier. The question you need to ask yourself is, “Am I looking in the right places?” In a difficult economy, you need to get creative and branch out from traditional job hunt methods.
The good news is that one of the largest pools for job opportunities is right under your nose – your social media profiles. Your next position might be waiting for you if you know where to look on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, and we’re here to teach you how you can find it.
Step 1: Reconfigure Your Social Activity for the Job Hunt
There’s no need to create new social media profiles just for your “career persona.” It is, however, important that you tweak your existing profiles and leverage them as “resume-plus” presences, if you will. Here are a few guidelines to help you with that:
- Post about your work field. Use your profiles to establish yourself as an expert by talking about issues that relate to your business or industry. Browse news sites and blogs for topics that can spark conversation, and post links on your profiles along with your own reactions.
- Clean up a bit. Believe it or not, many employers actually use social media to get a picture of the candidates they’re meeting with prior to interviews. You want to make a good impression, so remove any photos, videos or text posts that you would not want a potential boss to see.
- Get in the conversation. Social networks are filled with experienced professionals and leading figures who engage with people with similar interests and occupations as their own. Locate the authorities who pertain to your field and see how you can network with them and their followers. Be respectful and cordial – no one likes it when strangers take over their profiles for self-promotional purposes.
- Announce your search. It’s as easy as that – let people know that you’re searching. Share an update (or more than one, if needed) in which you tell the world that you are available for hiring. Specify which type of positions you are interested in to avoid irrelevant referrals. Try to phrase something that stands out in a positive way, like:
Step 2: Start Actively Searching
Facebook and Twitter are filled with pages, groups and personal accounts created for helping people like you find great work. All you need to do is locate them and start following. It can be time consuming, but here are a few tips that can help:
- Get Googling. Don’t use only Facebook’s or Twitter’s search engines to find the right pages. Try Google as well and enter search terms like “Facebook engineering jobs” (here’s one interesting search result) or “IT jobs Twitter” (here you go!).
- Follow the headhunters. Recruitment companies are also using social media to promote open positions. Follow the profiles of leading companies in your area and review their updates often.
- Create a secondary, social-ready resumé. Upload your resumé, or better yet, create an online one, and use the link to interact with employers and human resources placement agencies directly on their profiles (this should not substitute the traditional application process, but rather compliment it).
Step 3: Get on LinkedIn
This social network constitutes a category on its own right, since it is commonly used both by job offerers and job seekers to find each other. LinkedIn is a terrific way to learn about great positions, but in order to stand out, you need a professional and impressive profile. These steps will get you there easily:
- Master the lingo. Before you start working on your LinkedIn profile, browse through profiles of professionals in your field to get an idea of terms and keywords you want to use (or to avoid).
- Write to be read. Be detailed but not lengthy. Describe your skills and experience in short and clear sentences, but make sure you address them all. Your future employer wants to see that you have what it takes, but he or she won’t take the time to read your entire life story.
- Request recommendations. LinkedIn allows you to connect with people you have worked with in the past and ask them to vouch for you as a professional and even write recommendations. This is extremely important, since it adds a whole new dimension to your resumé. Ideally, these will be people with impressive job positions who can write you a killer recommendation in a just a few lines.
- Connect with people. Notice how LinkedIn has a tool that shows how you’re connected to other users. Now, imagine how sweet it would be if a potential boss looks at your profile and sees that you have several mutual friends and share acquaintances in the industry. Building that kind of network without spamming might take a while, but it’s absolutely worth it.
- Add rich content. In addition to describing your amazing career path, LinkedIn lets you add fields like publications, certificates, awards, test scores and more. If you have any of these to flaunt, do it! These fields are located on the right column of your profile in Edit mode.