How to use social media for job-hunting - Part One.

There are lots of online articles about how important social media are for helping recruiters find candidates who might otherwise go unnoticed. Social media is everywhere nowadays, so it’s easy to see how this might be the case. Skilled recruiters make use of industry-standard software to help them find people, especially on Linkedin but also on Facebook and Twitter and even Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and via blogs and other digital content. But what about the candidate? How can you, the job-seeker, use social media to your advantage?

 

Well, for a start you have to be in it to win it. Linkedin in particular is where all recruiters, whether in-house at a company or at a recruitment agency like 9-20, look regularly for candidates. Yet despite this, many people just set up a Linkedin profile, stick in the basic minimum and then connect with their main business contacts and their friends in their own office. While Linkedin has its flaws, there is so much more you can do with it than this, so make sure you have all the key elements of your CV on your profile. For most recruiters, your Linkedin profile is your CV online, so get recommendations, post articles and make it your friend. One thing though; just like your actual CV, don’t tell porkies as you’ll get found out if you do.

 

Facebook, for many, is a personal place, where your social life is lived away from the scrutiny of your employer. In that case, make sure your profile is private and visible only to those who you wish to see it. Lots of employers will have a quick look at your Facebook page, ‘just to check’, and while the photos of the hen night were undoubtedly very funny, your prospective boss might not agree!

 

Twitter is, in my opinion, the one area candidates neglect. Like Facebook, it’s mainly used for entertainment, but most recent research suggests that recruiters find it a more useful medium than Facebook for finding candidates. Like Linkedin, the key with Twitter is to get your profile right. Despite the fact that you have only a few words to do this, it’s actually easier than on Linkedin. All you need to do is make sure you include your job title or area of work. For example, if you are an engineer, just include the word ‘engineer’, or if you are a manager or director, include those words. The sophisticated software that recruiters use nowadays allows them to find you via these keywords, and then to make contact and, hopefully, to start a conversation about a great new job.

 

If you are seriously looking for jobs, then all the social media platforms will deliver them to you, to a greater (Linkedin) or lesser (Facebook) extent. For Twitter users, there is, of course, the option of going to relevant hastags. If you are working in IT, simply go to #ITjobs and you’ll find loads of recruiters who have included this hashtag in their job tweets. You can then pick and choose any you find of interest. This applies to virtually all areas of work.

 

There are, of course, other social media you might consider using to promote yourself as the candidate of your next employer’s dreams. Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and others offer something different, although nothing as powerful as the big three of Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook. They will be the subject of a future blog. In the meantime, go and do some work on your Linkedin and Twitter profiles!

 

Kate Murphy - Talent Acquisition Specialist