In today’s tough economy, job seekers need to marshal every tool available in the search for employment. Social media is rapidly growing as a way to recruit new employees as well as for potential employees to reach out to companies. But how is social media best utilized to find a new job?
1. LinkedIn – The professional site LinkedIn seems like the obvious answer to any question about social networking and employment. Too often, however, people assume it ends there. They put up profiles and then proceed to ignore the site altogether, or worse, they put up half-finished profiles. LinkedIn is far more than just a place to leave one’s resume, and it’s well worth learning the ropes there and exploring the site’s full functionality including understanding the ins and outs of connecting with people and getting recommendations. Users should also explore the many forums and interest groups for further networking opportunities.
2. Twitter and Facebook – As the two main social networking sites, Twitter and Facebook both present the biggest opportunities as well as the biggest potential pitfalls. Many companies now recruit using both, so job seekers should research the companies that interest them to see if this is the case. A look at the Twitter feed of a company such as BCL Legal, for example, a legal recruitment firm, reveals a mix of job postings and useful industry and employment-related articles.
Beyond this, job seekers should seek to position themselves effectively using both of these tools. They should avoid photos and information that reflect unprofessional behaviour. Using Twitter, they can identify, follow and interact with industry leaders as well as participating in current conversations within their fields.
3. Branding – In addition to managing one’s image on social media, the job seeker should think about creating a personal brand in the same way a company would. Job seekers can use blogs and YouTube to position themselves as experts in their particular area, writing or making videos that offer advice and information. Guest blogging on popular blogs within one’s industry can be a terrific opportunity to demonstrate expertise in front of a wider audience. Finally, job seekers should seek to raise their KLOUT scores. KLOUT is a website that monitors social networking influence. A higher KLOUT score indicates greater influence.
4. Following Trends – Job seekers can use social media to keep current with trends within their industries as well as watching for job openings and networking. Twitter can be particularly good for this although it’s also important to keep an eye on the most prominent industry blogs. If one is out of work, keeping up with one’s industry in this way can be particularly crucial.
5. Be Creative – The Internet and social media offers some excellent opportunities for the creative professional, and this need not be limited only to those in creative fields. Increasingly, job seekers and professionals are using sites like Pinterest or YouTube to create portfolios or interesting visual or video resumes. It’s a terrific way for a job seeker to stand out in an overcrowded market.
Social media offers opportunities for job seekers to sell themselves to employers in a new way. For the passionate, creative and articulate professional, social media can be an exciting way to boost one’s job search.
This article was submitted on behalf of BCL Legal.