Here are five tips from Glassdoor, the leading social jobs and career community, to consider as you look to kick your job search process into high gear using social media:
1. Create an Online Identity
First, you need to establish your professional online identity. According to an article in the New York Times, up to 45% of employers are now screening job candidates online, which means that they’re looking into who you are, what interests you and what your personality is like. Some key channels to tap into include: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Facebook allows you to share updates about topics that interest you professionally and also allows you to connect with your network of friends, family and co-workers who may be able to help you find a job. LinkedIn is a great way to have your resume easily accessible online and improves your chances of getting in front of a hiring manager or recruiter. Twitter provides an opportunity to search for jobs being posted by companies you may be interested in working for, and also connects you with others who can offer advice on how to land a job.
2. Understand Your Online Reputation
You may already have a profile created on one, if not all of these networks. Career expert John Sumser suggests, “Sit with a friend while you a) Google your name; b) Review last year’s activity on your Facebook page; c) Walk through all of your tweets, and, d) Audit the rest of your online persona. If you’re not happy with it and it doesn’t point to what you want, fix it.” When building or updating your online profiles, remember to keep the information you provide professional as you want your online reputation to reflect your best self. It’s certainly okay to share some personal attributes, such as hobbies you enjoy or community groups you’re active in, but just remember what you put online and share with others may be seen by a hiring manager. A good rule of thumb before sharing anything online is to remember: If it’s something you wouldn’t want your boss or future boss to see, then don’t post it.
3. Follow & Friend
Now that you’ve established your social media identity, it’s time to leverage these channels to find and land a job. The next step is to ‘follow’ and ‘friend’ as many people as possible that are relevant to your job search, industry, interests, community, and so on. Debra Wheatman, a career coach and expert resume writer, suggests “following career experts and company representatives that tweet regularly.” She adds that if you’re not Twitter savvy, that’s ok. Wheatman points out, “You can quickly get up to speed by leveraging the power of YouTube. There are people (and a lot of them) that provide tutorials and share information to help you get familiar with the Twitter community.”
Also, keep an eye out for their latest job listings via social networks. On LinkedIn, for example, search for first and second degree connections to find professional contacts and connect with them. On Facebook, connect with friends, family members, past co-workers, former classmates and anyone else you can think of. Send your contacts direct messages asking about jobs or where they work. Also, once your Facebook network is full of friends, check out Glassdoor’s Inside Connections tool, to uncover who you might already know at companies (through your Facebook friends list) that can help get your resume noticed and even get you an interview.
4. Look for Tips to Land a Job
Now that you’re well connected and following people and companies, stay alert. Regularly check your Twitter feed, LinkedIn updates, and Facebook wall for anyone talking about job listings at companies you’re interested in or are located in your geographic area, as well as tips and advice on how to actually get noticed at these companies.
Often, other job seekers will post questions online like, “What’s the best way to get an interview at [insert company name]?”, and you’ll see employees or even employers directly answer those questions and provide tips or advice on how best to apply.
Also, by paying attention to these conversations and engaging by asking a question of your own, it may help put you in front of the person in charge of hiring. If a company is being talked about, there’s a good chance the company is following the conversation as well, so take advantage of this opportunity by showing them you’re smart, qualified and interested in working for them. Also, dig even deeper into social media, particularly through Twitter, LinkedIn and niche jobs sites, for forums and special groups of people sharing the same interests as you. With your social media job search, the key is to not be afraid to explore, search and connect.
5. Research, Research, Research and Then Research More
Social media isn’t just about social networking; it also includes blogs and career communities. For example, you can use sites like Glassdoor.com to research what it’s like to work at different companies based on feedback direct from employees who work there. Plus, you can find out if companies are hiring in your area and see what they pay for a specific job at a particular company. Also, while newspapers are not as common as they used to be, the online blogs created by your local newspaper are still great resources to keep up with what industries or companies are doing well and which ones may be having a tough time. Use the news and employee reviews to help power your job search and find a company that’s not only hiring, but is a good fit for you.
By following these tips from Glassdoor and staying active through social media, you can increase your chances of landing the job you want.