How Social Media is Changing the Job Search

Social media is a phenomenon that has taken over our lives in recent years. It has changed the way we communicate, do business, report news and so much more. Searching for jobs is another area that has become a very different process since the emergence of these services.

A traditional strategy for finding a job is networking and today’s social media allows a job seeker to network more easily, quickly and with more people. And when combined with use of the numerous job websites available online, the two approaches prove to be an effective way for the modern-day job seeker to maximize his or her chances of landing a great position.

Let’s take a look at how different social media platforms are changing the way people search for jobs…

LinkedIn

If you have a specific a company in mind which you are passionate about working for, LinkedIn allows you to search for employees from that company and you can then monitor their profiles for job advertisements. In general, when a company or its employees posts a job on LinkedIn they are high quality and professional.

LinkedIn is designed for professional people to connect and build working relationships and it is quickly emerging as the leading professional networking platform. If you do not currently have a profile then it would be very beneficial to create one, there are numerous online tutorials that will help you to do so.

According to statistics, making at least 50 connections on LinkedIn will move your profile up the search rankings, which in turn makes you more visible to people and companies who share the same interests. The most important thing that you need to remember with this social platform is to make sure you use a professional photograph – not a mid-dance, drink in hand, nightclub picture à la Facebook.

Facebook

By the end of 2013 Facebook was at the top of the social media rankings with 800,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors according to eBiz MBA. Primarily Facebook is used for connecting with friends and family, however, it is increasingly positioning itself as a recruitment tool.

Being the most popular of the social networks, it is probably the platform on which you have the most connections, so it is important to utilise this. Post regular notes about your job search (these stay on your friends’ feeds for longer than statuses), or perhaps a link to your blog and keep people updated with your career aspirations. Instead of hopelessly trying to friend important company executives or industry leaders, job seekers can subscribe to their feed to give themselves an insight into that industry.

The most important thing to remember with Facebook, if you are going to use it as a job seeking tool, is to alter your privacy settings – the last thing you want to do is expose bad language or outlandish opinions to a potential employer.

Twitter

Following people on Twitter is less invasive than becoming friends with people on Facebook and the best thing is you can connect with people with similar interests at the click of a button. Companies often post job vacancies on Twitter because, unlike paying for a recruitment company to spread the word, it is free.

There are also numerous Twitter accounts set up specifically to post job advertisements, usually sector specific. Bios are great to sell yourself and tell people about your interests and what qualities you possess. Twitter also gives you a voice, so you are able to show an employer what you know about their industry by regularly tweeting about it. Job seekers can use hashtags to join debates to show off their knowledge of a particular sector. It is important to follow experts, companies and leaders in the field you wish to work in.

LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are the three most popular social media platforms used today. According to Social Media Today 1 in 10 job hunters are rejected because of their social media use. By utilising them in the correct way they can become an effective tool when searching for a job and help a job seeker not only to find vacancies but to show themselves off as a candidate worth interviewing.

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