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How to Use Social Media to Find Your Next Job

Job hunting is a digital process, and social media is a tool both recruiters and candidates are using to find the right opportunities. Take these steps to make the most of your social media presence to find and land your next job.

As a job seeker, there are so many avenues to start your job search. You can opt for traditional job boards such as CareerBuilder and Indeed; you can tap your network or attend events and conferences to broaden your reach; or you can turn to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, which are increasing in popularity among job seekers.

If you find yourself perusing jobs on LinkedIn or using Glassdoor to screen companies before applying, here are some tips to focus your job search using social media.

Determine your goal. Social media can be a time suck. We’ve all gone on LinkedIn to do one thing and found that 20 minutes has gone by without even accomplishing the task we set out to do. Don’t make this mistake. Ask yourself, “What’s my goal in using social media in my job search?” Is it to find open positions? Is it to create a target list of companies you are going to apply to? Is it to research more about companies you are interviewing with?

Do your research. Once you know your goal, it’s time to research. If you want to use social media to find job postings, find out what channels employers are posting jobs on. LinkedIn has an extensive job board that many employers are taking advantage of, which might be a good place to start. Facebook has a new job board. Instagram and Pinterest may be the right avenue to identify new opportunities. It depends on your industry and the position you are looking for. Make sure you know where you should be investing your time. If your goal is to learn more about organizations before applying or to increase your knowledge before an interview, Glassdoor is a great tool. Glassdoor displays feedback from current and former employees and what they consider to be the pros and cons of the company. Keep in mind, what one person gripes about on social media might be something that you find valuable and important in an organization.

Ask yourself if an opportunity makes sense for you. Depending on your level of social savvy, certain channels may not make sense for you to activate your job search. Use your knowledge to your advantage. If a platform feels clunky, or you question your knowledge on how to navigate all the nuances of it—or you don’t have a presence there yet—you probably won’t end up using it as effectively or keeping it updated. Don’t force it.

Do a pre-mortem. The odds are high that if you apply to a position via social media, the potential employer will screen your profile, so take a pre-mortem. Peruse your online profiles. Google yourself to see what comes up. Does it present you in the best light and make a strong argument for why you are the right candidate for the role? Is there anything that might cause a future employer to screen out your application? If so, fix the problem, or scrap that channel as part of your job search.

Plan. Create a plan for exactly how you are going to spend your time on social media. If you are creating a well-rounded social media job search strategy, you can break your time into a few areas. I recommend setting aside time for each of these activities:

  1. Build your profile. Make sure all your information is up to date. Complete any missing information. Scrub any irrelevant information or anything that portrays you in a bad light.

  2. Share relevant information. Show you are a thought leader in the space. If you write and blog frequently, share that. If you don’t, find articles that are relevant to your industry or your role, and share and comment on those to show your expertise.

  3. Tap your network. Set a goal for how many new connections you want to make and how many current connections you want to reach out to. Research where they work and who they are connected with.

  4. Does it make sense to ask them for an informational interview or an introduction to someone in their network?

  5. Research companies. Social media offers great insight into what a day in the life of an organization looks like. Take advantage of it. Make a short list of companies where you want to work. Then, cater your application, cover letter or introductory e-mail to explain what you know, why you would be a strong addition and how you can add value immediately.

Analyze. You may not see results immediately, but you need to be asking yourself, “Is it working?” Are you following the plan you laid out, or are you getting sucked into the social vacuum and losing focus? Are the social media channels you are using helping you achieve the goal you set out in the first place? If the answer is, “No,” you may need to revisit your research and see if you are using the most effective channel. If the answer is, “Yes,” rinse and repeat.


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