More and more employers and recruiters are visiting social and professional networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn for the job search. As the number of unemployed workers continues to grow, job seekers are using these sites to brand themselves to future employers.
LinkedIn has always been touted as the site to network professionally; however, job seekers are now also turning to Facebook and Twitter for job leads, advice and contact building. Hundreds of recruiters are trolling Twitter, searching for applicants with relevant skills, while job seekers post links to their resumes, websites and examples of their work for previous employers.
Twitter allows users to “tweet” up to 140 characters at a time to be seen by their “followers,” post links and directly message other users. With that much exposure, job seekers have a platform to instantly pursue job leads and professional contacts.
As the popularity of social networking sites continues to increase among older people, so will the amount of time spent on these sites at work.
Moreover, job seekers who decide to start their own businesses can utilize the website to market their products or services.
Through Twitter, new business owners can immediately connect to hundreds of potential customers while fashioning a brand for their services. Through blogging and building a social networking page, job seekers have an edge over those job seekers who lack the technical saavy.
The advantage is not just for job seekers, as social and professional networking sites are now viewed as an invaluable tool for employed professionals as well. Some companies are choosing to use social networking sites to their advantage instead of banning them. These sites can be used to communicate with current and former colleagues, as well as other industry professionals, share best practices, meet customers, resolve issues and answer questions.
In a survey of about 200 human resource professionals conducted by Challenger, about 10 percent of the respondents to the survey said their companies view social networking sites as invaluable marketing, networking and sales tools, and six percent actually encourage employees to have a presence on these sites.
Overall, social and professional networking sites are changing the face of the job search. Only a few years ago, job seekers only search tools were newspapers and cold calls. Now, technology serves to instantly connect seekers with employers, recruiters and job leads.
Using Social Media Networks To Find A Job
Build your network. Challenger coaches advise job seekers to utilize every person in your personal and professional networks. With Twitter, you can grow this network to include hundreds of people.
Build your brand. Your Twitter page can show a little something about yourself with the pictures and colors you choose to use. The interface allows you to post links to websites or blogs, so when building your Twitter or Facebook pages, make sure to include links to these. Start a blog discussing industry trends as you see them. Include discussions about your work. Basically, talk yourself up. You are a product employers must have.
Participate in the online community. It’s not enough to have a presence on these sites; you must also actively participate. Comment on someone’s work. Endorse someone. Start a discussion. Post a photo or link to a provocative article. Write a blog post. Active users get more views and therefore, more opportunities to connect with employers.
Advertise your job loss. Although a job loss can be a trying time for families and loved ones, telling your “followers” that you are looking for a job can be not only therapeutic, but also incredibly useful to finding a new position. Hundreds of recruiters are on Twitter and have no problem following your tweets. You can cast a very wide net on Twitter with potential to net incredible results.
Think before you tweet. Twitter can be as anonymous as you want it to be. However, if you want to find a new position, you might want to spend some time on each tweet. Remember that you’re marketing yourself, you’re a product. Much like with blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc., you don’t want to post anything that might cause pause (see: nude or racy photos, questionable content, etc.). Moreover, 140 characters limits your literary ability. What you read as witty, another might read as acerbic. What you think is funny, someone else might thing is offensive. Obviously, you want to show the world your best face, so keep this in mind when fashioning those 140 characters.
Get Recommended. LinkedIn allows users the ability to recommend each other’s work. As professional networking sites become the new resume, ask colleagues to advocate on your behalf on your LinkedIn profile. Recruiters trolling these sites are much more likely to be impressed if past colleagues rave about your performance.
Post Your Work. LinkedIn launched a new place on your profile to post links to or upload files of specific projects on which you are working. You can share similar links and files on FB and Twitter. Make sure to include your best work on your profiles in order to give recruiters and employers a taste of your abilities.
Join Groups. LinkedIn also allows users to create and join professional groups, allowing you to instantly communicate with others in your field. Join up, and start building those relationships.