The majority of employers today are using social media in their recruiting processes, according to the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM). Candidates are using social networking to find a job, too – and not only LinkedIn.
While LinkedIn remains the top social media platform for recruiters and job seekers, candidates are leveraging other social media platforms to build their personal brands, connect with their favorite employers, and get a sense of a company’s work culture before applying.
Here’s how you can use social media to supplement your job search:
Facebook might not seem like a relevant platform for your job search, but it does have some unique advantages. According to a recent Jobvite survey, 67% of those who used social media in their most recent job search used Facebook. Here’s how you can, too:
- Research potential employers. A company’s website and LinkedIn page can help you understand more about the business, but heading over to the corporate Facebook page can give you a little more insight into what it would be like to work there. Check out recent photos, birthday announcements, blog posts, press releases and reviews to learn more about the corporate culture and employee sentiment. For example, is it a fun, casual and creative place, or more of a traditional, conservative work environment? Facebook is a great place to get a look inside the company and determine whether a potential employer is a good fit for you.
- Follow your favorite companies for regular updates. If you’re interested in the company, follow its Facebook page so you don’t miss any important updates. Many companies will post open positions and hiring announcements on social media, and you don’t want to be out of the loop!
- Clean up your online image. It’s a good idea to comb through your own Facebook profile while you’re at it. Consider removing content or photos that you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see, or changing your privacy settings so that your updates are only visible to close friends. It’s common for employers to run a social media check on potential candidates, and you want to make sure you’re presenting yourself in the best light possible.
Twitter is an ideal medium for building your professional brand – something that can distinguish you from other qualified applicants. By reflecting your “brand” through your social media footprint, you can help potential employers understand who you are and what type of leader and employee you would be.
- Create a professional Twitter account. If you want to keep your personal and professional online identities separate, consider setting up a second, public Twitter profile where you can post specific work-related content. Be sure to flesh out your bio with keywords that reflect your interests and future goals, so employers can understand your background and the kinds of opportunities you’re interested in.
- Follow industry hashtags. Show employers that you are passionate about your field and on top of the latest trends and conversations by following industry-relevant hashtags. If you have a unique perspective to offer on a particular issue or trend, share it on your own page, or start a conversation in the comments.
- Build your professional network. Engaging with others on Twitter is a great way to continue building your professional online brand. Research who the influencers are in your field, and follow them to stay in-tune with the latest trends. You can also reach out to others for advice in navigating your job search, or crowd-source input from your followers.
Instagram might seem like the last place to go during a job search, but it’s becoming one of the most valuable platforms for businesses today. More than 25 million businesses use Instagram worldwide, and just like Facebook, their profiles can provide a window into day-to-day company happenings and culture.
- Follow your favorite companies to stay in-the-know. Some companies are phasing out their Facebook presence in favor of faster-growing platforms like Instagram. If a company’s Facebook page is a little light, head over to Instagram to see if it is posting more frequently there. If a company seems like it could be a good culture and career fit for you, hit the follow button so you don’t miss any important updates.
- Track job search hashtags. Take advantage of the ability to search for job-related hashtags like #JobOpening or #NowHiring to be among the first to know when a new position is available. Some larger corporations might have a separate account for career and HR-related updates, so do your research to find out which pages you should be following.
- Update your privacy settings. Again, if there are posts you don’t want employers to see, make sure to update the privacy settings on your personal Instagram account, or create a separate account for your professional updates.
But don’t forget about LinkedIn…
Of course, it’s still important to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and that you’re active on the platform. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with more than 610 million users worldwide and over 15 million active job postings, so this is the platform that should take most of your job search time. For example, 95 percent of recruiters report using LinkedIn as a sourcing tool to identify qualified candidates. By optimizing your LinkedIn profile, you can expand your network, get noticed by recruiters and take your career to the next level.
You can get more tips on how to navigate your job search through LinkedIn here.
Need help getting started? If you’re not sure where to start your job search, schedule a time to meet with your career advisor. Our Career Development team is there to guide you through every step of the job search process – from creating a resume to fine-tuning your LinkedIn profile, and everything in between.