How to use social media to look for job opportunities? More than half of organizations use social media to screen potential new employees, according to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder in January 2010.
At this point, 53% of companies surveyed said they had already used social media to check potential hires, with another 12% reporting they were considering adopting the practice.
The concern is that 43% of the same organizations surveyed said they found information online because they didn’t consider a candidate for a role.
Social media is likely to influence your job search whether you are actively looking or not. Here are our tips to ensure you use social media to your advantage in your job search.
Select and choose
On many social networks, you can be present and interact. However, from a time and effort management standpoint, it’s probably best to pick a few where you’d like to increase the exposure of your professional profile.
Think about which recruiters, human resource managers, and your industry peers use and use them as a priority. Of course, the industry and role you work in will play a role; but websites like LinkedIn are generally more helpful than Myspace in getting you noticed for a new position.
Complete your profile to look for job opportunities
If you aim to get the attention of hiring decision-makers, present the whole picture so that those who see your profile can make informed decisions about your suitability.
Include a brief and complete history of your career and mention any relevant awards and education.
Make sure the profile photo you choose is appropriate for the professional context – think bright photos; not photos of you drinking cocktails on the beach. Most importantly – make sure the facts you state are actual; information in such a public domain is easy to verify.
Stand out online
Online attention span is traditionally swift, so be sure to catch the reader’s attention at first glance. Format your profile well using paragraphs, subheads, and bullet points whenever possible.
Repeat the job names you are frequently looking for throughout your profile to have a chance in search engine results.
Whenever possible (and we know this can be tricky if you’re currently employed), make sure it’s apparent that you’re open to new career opportunities.
Show your knowledge to improve your job opportunities
If you write a blog related to events in your market, link it to your profile. Likewise, if your Twitter account will add value, connect that too.
Please note that your potential new manager is interested in keeping you informed about industry trends, not what you ate for breakfast.
When you have the opportunity to participate in the forum debate, please do so, and remember that once you speak, everyone will see it, so please carefully consider the views you share.
Network, network, network
As the saying goes, finding a job usually depends on who you know. If you connect with major industry players, you are likely to be closer to your ideal role.
The Internet is not a new phenomenon, but contact with online people does not make the process easier to manage. Please note that you should not replace traditional face-to-face interaction.
Networking is a mutually beneficial relationship; consider what you can provide for your network.
Support and reference look for job opportunities
Recommendation letters supporting your achievements play a vital role in shaping the ideal candidate profile.
But some endorsements are more important than others; an enthusiastic recommendation from a satisfied client may be considered more valuable than a recommendation from a colleague you have worked with on the project.
Limit these recommendations to a few; too much public recognition seems to be that you seek favorable feedback rather than proactively responding to you because you are doing a good job.