Maybe you’re on Instagram looking up #catsofinstagram, or Tumblr looking up reaction gifs. There are so many social media platforms with so much to do on them. They are a stress reliever, a good healthy distraction (to an extent), and a way to connect to become a part of a community. BUT did you know that now more than ever, companies are using social media to scout candidates for positions? This means that social media is beyond just for social use. It’s a job hunting tool. Crazy right?!
Here are 5 tactics you can use on social media and where is the best place to use that tactic
1. NetworkingSocial media is PERFECT for networking. You can instantly connect with anyone.
LinkedIn – The term is literally “connect”. Instead of “friends” you build a network by just connecting with people. Once you connect you are 1st connections. Here’s the thing, you become 2nd connections with their 1st connections. It continues for 3rd connections. By just connecting to 20 people, you could have a network of a couple thousand. Now any time you want a job, or know about a company, you can search that company and see who in your network has a connection with that company and reach out to them
2. Let them know you’re looking
You know when you’re interested in someone and you want them to know you’re interested by dropping hints here and there? It’s the same way with job searching (except don’t flirt with recruiters please).
Twitter – First off, you should have a professional Twitter. That way you can post articles relating to your field, live tweet events (like conferences), and all that real-world stuff without seeming boring to your friends. Try to be active on Twitter by following industry leaders, companies, recruiters, and professionals, anyone who can be relevant to your job search. Once you get a substantial amount of followers start dropping those hints. “Just updated my #resume to add my summer experience – check it out!” *insert link to where your resume is and tag accounts that of companies you are interested in* and BOOM, suddenly you’re in the dating… er... job search game. Other hints include announcing that you have an interview, “I have an interview with @Googlejobs today – wish me luck!” And now everyone knows you’re on the market. Just don’t be obnoxious.
3. Professional groups and listsThe best way to begin your job search is to organize and pinpoint your targets. Most social media platforms have ways to create groups and lists.
LinkedIn – Here there are “groups” and they range from hobbyists, professionals, residential, companies, pretty much anything. What you can do is join these groups, and discuss things with people of that same interest. Start a discussion about the latest stories from Wall Street in your professional business group, or a discussion about the latest movie release in your film fanatics group. It helps you connect with the right people.
Facebook- Facebook has groups as well, but more so they have pages to like. Like company pages and don’t be afraid to engage with their status updates. On top of that, you can create “lists” as well. Create a professional list if you are friends with people who you might be considered more in your professional network. When you post a status you can select which list can and cannot see certain posts.
Twitter- You can create lists to organize your news feed. When you follow 100 people it’s manageable, but when you follow 2,000 suddenly your feed becomes a battle. Organize the people you follow into different lists (friends, work, news, bands, celebrities, whatever categories of accounts you follow). That way you can be more efficient with your Twitter use
4. Digital PortfolioTo be job searching online, it would be nice to have a reference of your work for employers to look at. This can range from digital files to Job Zone, making a personal website, or social media.
LinkedIn – LinkedIn has this great, fairly new feature where you can upload portfolio work on your profile page. You can even upload stuff to specific positions. So if you had a job with, let’s say, Microsoft you can upload work you did (that you’re allowed to post) underneath that job description. If you have classwork you want to show off, you can upload that underneath your educational experience from RIT. This is useful for anyone, but especially art/design students who practically need an online portfolio.
Tumblr - Even though many people view Tumblr as unprofessional, professionals use it as a digital portfolio. From photography and art to business or project reports, you can create a Tumblr account merely to showcase work in an easy-to-view way.
5. Clean up your act
You’ve probably seen a lot of our Digital Dirt info at review sessions on campus or on our webpage (if you haven’t, check it out: http://www.rit.edu/emcs/oce/student/Job-Searching-with-Social-Media#digital). Either way, a huge part about using social media to find a job is to be professional online. Look through your privacy settings and edit it the way you want. A good rule of thumb is…
Facebook should be 100% private and for social use (you can use it to find jobs through company pages, but don’t add recruiters or employers as Facebook friends and make sure only friends can see your content. Direct them to a personal brand page if you have one instead of your account).
Twitter is half and half (you should have a personal and a professional account, adjust the privacy settings accordingly. You want your professional to appear more than your personal).LinkedIn is 100% professional, keep privacy settings open and keep it up to date and relevant
Bottom line, there is so much more to social media than just being social. Each platform is a hidden gem for your job search and we recommend you explore each to discover the professional side of social media to have an advantage over other candidates.
Written by Tom Weekes