Many recruitment agencies and employers now use social media to source job candidates, so it should be used not just in your personal life, but also to help you find the right career.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, over the past year, organisations have stepped up their use of social media in the recruiting process even further, so you will be missing out on opportunities if you don’t have an up to date online presence.
What can you gain by online social networking?
Social media sites allow you to establish your professional brand, and connect with influencers who can help raise your profile and direct you to the most appropriate contacts. You will also have access to job adverts which may be exclusively on social networking platforms, and your CV will be seen by a much wider range of potential employers.
You will not only be more visible to recruiters, but you will also be able to apply for roles more quickly and easily, giving you a competitive advantage over other jobseekers. Job boards often contain adverts which are already several days old, but a range of social media contacts will allow you to interact with recruiters in real time.
Which networking sites should I use for my job search?
The social media landscape changes rapidly, and if you don’t currently have any online presence, it can be difficult to know where to begin. A good starting point is to join LinkedIn, which is the ‘go-to’ site for recruiters and head-hunters to search for candidates. It essentially acts as an online CV where you can showcase your skills.
You can also include personal testimonials on LinkedIn to lend credibility and authenticity to your profile. They could be from managers, colleagues, academic contacts, or anyone you have worked for in the past. Even If you think your CV is enough, recruiters will usually look for your LinkedIn profile too, and may think it odd or even suspect if you don’t have one.
If you feel like you don’t have the time or inclination for more than one networking site, then just join LinkedIn. However, broadening your network could also widen your chances of landing your perfect job. Twitter is a more informal network than LinkedIn, where people post and exchange short messages and images, and retweet links to useful websites.
Companies often use it to briefly advertise roles, with a link to a more detailed web page. You can set up a profile and follow companies in your field of interest, and any relevant publications, societies, and so on. Some people use Twitter in a personal or humorous manner, but keep your profile professional and avoid wading into any online conflicts.
Facebook is a huge social networking site with billions of users, including recruiters and businesses. If you want to include it in your job search, pay close attention to your privacy settings, because it is easy for the boundaries between your personal and professional life to become blurred.
Even if you are not actively job hunting, future recruiters will be reassured by a consistent and credible online presence, so it is a great idea to cultivate your network as soon as possible, and keep it up to date.
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