Posted on 18/05/2011 by Emma Dadswell
Recruiters and organisations are increasingly using social media to find candidates who are different and stand out from their peers. Forget the traditional job board approach; they are now using the likes of Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and blogs to connect with talent. With a multitude of platforms at your disposal, how do you ensure you are using the correct ones, and getting in front of the right people?
- First and foremost, remember that any social media profile you have can be found through a simple Google search. It is becoming more frequent for potential employers to look up a candidate prior to interview. Don’t forget though that employers are human too, and more often than not they are simply curious about who they are meeting and what you do. However, ask yourself if you would be happy with what they might find. You wouldn’t want a comment made by a friend, or a picture of you from years ago spoiling you chances. Be careful about what is in the public domain, and if you are using Facebook ensure your privacy settings are tight.
- If you are using Twitter, make sure you spend some time building up your followers. If you are interested in working in the music industry for example, make sure you are following experts in this field, and start commenting on what they are discussing. This will not only encourage people to follow you back, but it will also help portray yourself as knowledgeable in your sector. If a potential employer looks at your Twitter profile, you will be seen in a good light if they can see clear examples of your interest in their industry.
- LinkedIn is a ‘must have’ for job seekers. It is your online CV, so ensure that like the CV you send to potential employers, it is kept up to date with all your skills and experience. But also make sure the information is relevant; don’t spend ages putting in lots of information about your first job or a weekend job you have unless it is directly relevant to your desired career. Take advantage of the ‘Recommendation’ options – get past colleagues, mangers, or clients to recommend your previous work. This will show up on your profile and is a place employers will check when looking at potential candidates. There are thousands of groups on LinkedIn at your disposal, and they are a great source of information. And by joining relevant groups, you will expand your network. By joining groups, and commenting on discussions, your ability to be seen by employers will increase, but you will also begin to stand out.
- Blogs are increasingly used by organisations as an extension of their website, and are a great way to share knowledge. If you enjoy social media – think about setting up a blog to help with your job hunt. It may not be the traditional way to search for a job, but it is a great way to write about your experience, but also what you are passion about within your particularly industry.
- Lastly, but just as important is getting yourself noticed. There’s no use using social media if you don’t shout about it. When you are speaking to a potential employer, along with you CV send them links to your blog, Twitter profile, and LinkedIn page. This will encourage them to have a look at your work, but it will also highlight that you are serious in your search, and are utilising all the options available to you.