When you’ve got a job it can be quite hard to find another one. Recruiters call in the middle of the work day, prospective employers invite you into interview without enough notice and it’s likely that you won’t want your current employer to know you’re looking to leave so you’ll have to be sneaky about the whole thing.
Social media is a great tool to use in your job search, you just need to be a little bit clever and discreet about it if you’re not able to be open about looking for new opportunities.
There are a huge number of social media platforms out there currently, but the ones I’m going to talk about below are the most popular.
Use Twitter well and you can build your personal brand and demonstrate your knowledge in your field. If you’re looking for a complete change in career, Twitter could be a really good to way to show your enthusiasm.
Curate content to build a community of likeminded people
Share interesting articles, but don’t just use the pre-filled in tweet. Add your thoughts to your tweet, or perhaps ask your followers for their opinions. Make sure you @ mention the source of the article to give them a hat tip. This can be a good way to engage with an influencer.
Take part in Twitter chats
Usually these are guided discussions using a predetermined set of questions. The person hosting the chat will post the questions and chair the conversation. You follow along with a hashtag.
Twitter chats can be great for networking. If you want to connect with someone further after the chat, follow them and make an effort to follow up. Perhaps visit their blog and leave a comment. Or engage with a tweet of theirs the following day. There are chats that cover all sorts of topics from internal communications to weddings. This list of Twitter chats is pretty comprehensive, although most of them seem to be based in the US, there’s a number of British chats included. Engaging with people within your industry (or the one in which you want to work) can be a great way to learn about possible job vacancies, which companies are recruiting and just generally enjoy the conversation.
You can also use Twitter to physically look for jobs. Some Twitter accounts act as job boards and tweet out vacancies. Most job centres have Twitter accounts as do regional and local recruiters. You could also follow the companies for which you aspire to work as they may tweet about vacancies. Some large corporations may have dedicated careers Twitter accounts. Be careful not to follow too many recruitment accounts at once as it may look a bit suspect if someone you work with notices.
Don’t just follow the accounts but actively engage. Respond to tweets, comment on articles shared, and so on. Get your name known but make sure it’s for the right reasons. Always be polite and don’t harass the poor people running the social media accounts.
Another way you can look for vacancies on Twitter is to search for hashtags, such as #jobs. You could also search by job title and/or location, for example, a search for “#chef #Exeter” brought up this tweet as one of the results:
Afternoon #Exeter any #chefs out there? We are looking for a part time #chef for our busy #kitchen. Drop in a cv or give us a call.
— Milkmaid Restaurant (@Milkmaid_Exeter) March 2, 2015
LinkedIn is probably the first social network that people think of when they are looking for a new role. However, if you’re already in a job, you probably aren’t going to be able to change your headline to reflect your job search. However there is still a lot you can do:
- Ensure that your profile is up to date and comprehensive – think of it as your online CV.
- Ask for endorsements and recommendations.
- Connect with people who have careers you’re interested in, striking up a conversation with someone doing the job you aspire to have can help you understand how to get your foot in the door. Perhaps even arrange to meet them face-to-face.
- Connect with recruiters. LinkedIn is a favourite with recruiters, many of whom contact potential candidates through the platform.
- Share content – LinkedIn gives you the option to share content just like many other social media platforms, which gives you the chance to look knowledgeable (even if you’re not!).
- Look at the job board to find vacancies you might be interested in.
- Follow companies you might like to work for.
- Highlight your achievements outside of the workplace, for example, voluntary/charity work, personal projects, certifications and training courses.
- Join professional groups and take part in the discussions.
Strange as it may seem, you could also find work through Facebook. Many companies have business pages on Facebook and post job vacancies. If you’re liking company pages and engaging with potential employers it’s vital to check your privacy settings. You might want your work and education history set to public but those bikini-clad holiday snaps are not what you want your future boss to picture in their mind when you come in for interview.
OK, let’s be honest, Pinterest probably isn’t going to help you track down a job vacancy. But what it can do is to give you inspiration for an amazing CV, inspire you with #girlboss quotes and help you to put together a kick arse outfit for your interview. Take a look at the Chapterthirty for some ideas.
Share your top tips! How have you used social media to find a new job? Leave a comment below.