According to Jobvite’s “2017 Recruiter National Report,” social and professional networks beat out job boards and direct applications for high-quality talent. That should convince you to take social media seriously as part of your job search. These tips will help you land your dream job:
Polish Your Own Social Presence
Before you even think about searching via social media for a job or reaching out to prospective employees through direct messages, make sure your profiles are up to snuff. You don’t have to be on every single platform. Pick two or three that you are genuinely interested in using and manage them professionally. (Pro tip: Include keywords in your bios so you are more easily found by recruiters.)
Follow Important People, Companies And Job Boards
If you’re looking for a job, follow any account you think could help your search. You can organize your follows by using “lists” on Twitter. It will help you categorize the accounts. (Bonus: If you add people to a “list” you created called Dream Job Companies, it will alert those companies that they’ve been added to a new list. It may just put you on their radar.)
On Twitter, you can search relevant hiring hashtags. And, on Instagram, you can now follow a hashtag. So, try adding #hiring, #imhiring and #nowhiring to your feed. This will ensure you see any posts from companies that are recruiting. Your industry or role might even have a specific hashtag (like #hiringdevelopers) or even your location (like #hiringlondon). Consider using a social media tool like Hootsuite that allows you to monitor hashtags in one stream. (Bonus: There is a free plan option.)
You have a list of dream companies, right? Do research on the company culture to see if you would be a fit and seek out hiring events they may be hosting or attending. You’ll be surprised how much you can find by starting on a company’s social media page then letting the information lead you. Branching out to looking at executives and other employees, especially their work history, may be helpful in strategizing outreach.
Reconnect With People
Hopefully you’re leveraging social media to immediately connect with those you meet in a professional setting now. But what about all those contacts you missed connecting with previously? If you’ve had coworkers or other professional contacts that you didn’t follow on Twitter or connect with on LinkedIn, go back and request them. Additionally, if you’re connected with people you haven’t spoken to in a while, it’s time to reach out. Send a genuine note to see how they’re doing and let the conversation grow from there. It’s probably best to rekindle the relationship before asking for a job. Stay on track by setting a specific goal for how many people you’ll reach out to each week.
Join LinkedIn Groups
There are millions (literally) of LinkedIn Groups on all different subjects. Find a few that interest you and make sure they are active – then join in on the conversation. Try looking for groups for your industry, role type, interests and location. Making new (but meaningful) connections is just as important as engaging current ones.
Pipe In On Twitter Chats
Do a Google search to find what Twitter Chats are out there on specific topics. You might even come across one on accident while looking at Tweets in your stream. Twitter Chats are usually recurring weekly or monthly and at a specific time, so you’ll know when to jump on and participate. It’s a great way to make new connections with people of similar interests. The host usually asks questions and the participants answer them and further discuss. (Examples: There’s one on user experience at #uxchat and one on education at #edchat.)
Become A Thought Leader
You may think, “I’m just starting out; I’m not a thought leader.” But I bet there’s something you are an expert on or you can teach yourself to be. And it just might be the way you get noticed – and hired. The main idea is to love your topic and be committed to learning about it. Then, publish blogs on LinkedIn, chime in on Twitter Chats and build a personal (and social media) brand around it. (Pro tip: Set Google Alerts to ensure you don’t miss news on your topic of interest. Just by sharing this information in relevant networks will get you noticed.)
Ask For Connections
There are several ways to gain your own new connections, but there’s no shame in asking for them either. On LinkedIn, you can see if your connections are linked to others of interest – they’re called second or third connections. It should be fairly easy for you to ask your connections (if you’ve been maintaining these important relationships) to introduce you to someone of interest in their network. Just make sure you explain why you’re interested in a conversation.