Blogging, Twitter, Facebook. Social media is everywhere these days, and all you need to do is look around a busy space and you’ll see everyone’s eyes peering down towards their phones.
We are glued to these little computers and all of the ways they connect us. But how many of us have really thought about these platforms and the various ways to engage with them when it comes to a job search strategy?
Read on for some surprising ways you can make social media work in your favor when looking for a job.
Short for “web log”, blogging began as a way for us to throw our deepest thoughts out into the ether. Originally known as a personal journal tool, blogs were once thought of as online diaries filled with personal writing, sometimes done anonymously, and most always filled with angst. Not so anymore!
Today it is estimated that there are more than 158 million jobs in the “blogosphere” on a range of topics, both personal and professional. If you’re searching for a way to stand out amongst the crowd, blogging could be a choice for you. Especially if you are looking to work in a creative field.
By positioning yourself as a thought leader and showing the world your writing skills, you’re opening up a level of exposure you didn’t have before. Companies can easily check out your work beforehand and if you are following and commenting on other blogs, you may find yourself expanding your network in ways you didn’t even think of.
Twitter can be thought of as a “micro-blog”. Online thoughts are published on this platform in 140 characters or less (called “tweets”). It can be a great way to keep up with industry news, as well as find out about jobs that may not be advertised in the traditional channels.
7% of job-seekers utilized the tool to look for jobs in 2011, a number that has risen now to 46%! It can be another way to establish yourself as an industry expert.
Tweeting about the latest trends, asking relevant questions and letting your genuine personality shine through can raise your profile to other decision makers (as a rule of thumb it’s best to share 80% professional info, 20% personal. Not everyone will want to hear about that beautiful BLT sandwich you ate for lunch!)
Take note of those “hashtags” too – they can be another way of gaining valuable information. #tweetmyjobs and #jobsearch are two in particular that are useful. (You can even link your resume to the #resume hashtag!)
Let’s “face it” (pun intended) Facebook is an intimate part of our lives. We write status updates when we can’t sleep, post all our family vacation pictures, and scroll through the news feed anytime we’re sitting still for more than one second. (Hello, stoplight!
Many of us wouldn’t even THINK to pair the phrases “Facebook” and “Job Search” together simply for the fact that it feels like oil and water to mix the personal and professional. But think again. Savvy companies know the lines are blurring between work and personal, and many of them offer company pages or updates that play to our more human side. Some even offer pages dedicated to work opportunities or internships.
And did you know that Facebook paired with the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Association of Colleges and Employers and several other agencies to create a new Social Jobs Partnership? There’s even an ‘app’, and as of today, over 2 million job opportunities have been posted using this tool. Take note of Facebook’s privacy settings too and manage your networks in a way that you can post more professional updates to a certain audience.
In this day and age of “over-sharing”, being a professional presence amidst the crowd will raise your job attraction factor. Use these networks to your advantage to research companies, interact with new people and share your knowledge!