Social Media for Job Seekers Part 2: Using Social Media to Get a Job
In the first part of our Social Media series, we talked about platforms job seekers should use to build connections and find positions. In part two we’re giving you our best tips on how to use social media to get a job, networking and building an audience.
If you want to use social media to get a job, you need a summary. Use this section to talk about your professional skills, experiences, and what interests you. This information should be public, so double-check your settings. If you haven’t told your boss you’re looking for a job, don’t mention it in your profile, unless you are ready for an awkward conversation later.
- LinkedIn: Focus on your summary, work history, education, certifications and volunteer experience. LinkedIn allows plenty of space to create an engaging summary and walks you through setting up a complete profile.
- Twitter: You only get 160 characters, so focus on your career, industry, and interests, but avoid buzzwords that aren’t meaningful (perfectionist, strong performer, etc.).
- Facebook: You can make the “about me” section public, but keep personal details out of it. Recruiters don’t need to read about your home-brew hobbies or the heavy metal band you play in unless it’s related to the jobs you’re applying for.
It’s best to leave out personal information, especially in your summary. Marital status, children, sexual orientation, age, religion and political views are illegal to ask about in the hiring process. Yes, it might be easy to tell from your name or photo some of these things but providing extra personal details isn’t going to help you get a job.
Get noticed by posting new content, starting meaningful conversations and asking thought-provoking questions. By engaging with others, you’ll increase your audience and your chances of getting noticed by a recruiter. Search for industry-specific groups to join and events in your city where you can network in person. These groups will help you stay on top of your industry and learn about jobs before they get posted.
Once you landed the job, stay engaged. You’ve spent a lot of effort building a network so don’t abandon it. Keep your network open and post to it at least weekly. You never know when you might need help, or be able to be a resource for someone in your network. Also, hiring managers love to engage passive job seekers, people who aren’t looking for a job because they’re already employed. The next fantastic opportunity could be around the corner
Anytime you are using social media to get a job; your profile should be professional. That includes user names, photos and ‘about me’ sections. Use your real name and a professional email address like firstname.lastname@example.org for all professional communications. Ensure that you are using professional usernames, vanity URL’s, and photos for these accounts. Anyone can still click-through your previous profile pictures on Facebook, even if your profile is private.
Ask yourself if you’d be okay with your supervisor seeing your content or comments before you post it. If not, don’t post it. Recruiters and hiring managers will judge you based on your posts. Proofreading is especially important when you are looking for a job. Double check spelling, grammar and content to make sure it’s work appropriate.
Be On Topic
You’ve started a Twitter account, LinkedIn profile, and joined some Facebook groups to begin networking, Fantastic! Now the next step is to make sure that the content you’re posting is on-topic and relevant. Use caution with controversial topics; they are tricky, and it might be better off to avoid them, at least at first. If you decide to go down that road, they should be related to the industry, promote thoughtful discussion, and a have balanced perspective. Watch the content carefully and shut it down if it becomes offensive.
It’s important to keep in mind that just because you have separate personal accounts doesn’t mean that recruiters won’t find them. Recruiters are getting excellent at researching candidates these days. When you post content on your personal accounts, there’s still a good chance it could be seen. Double check your privacy settings and beware, even if you do have strong privacy settings, someone could take a screenshot, and your post could end up all over the internet.
We all know the one person from work or school who is ALWAYS complaining. This person might be fantastic at what they do, but their attitude affects everyone around. Don’t be that person on social media. Consistently complaining or posting negatively will drive hiring managers away fast. Yes, we’re looking for individuals who can do the job, but we don’t want to kill the culture at the same time. So, don’t badmouth your bosses or companies, and don’t vent. It’s okay to disagree with someone as long as you’re respectful. Stay away from personal attacks and negative comments because they’ll just make you look bad.
Are you curious about what it’s like to work at a company? Most companies have social media accounts that you can follow. You’ll learn about their values and the initiatives they have in work. Search for people who list the company as their employer and see what they are saying. If you are using LinkedIn, personalize any connection requests that you send!
To connect, send a friendly note introducing yourself and ask a few questions. After you’ve had a successful exchange, consider asking if they’d be open to a short (15-20 minutes) informational interview on the phone. If they agree, prepare questions about the work, company, the challenges & why they like it. The intent is to learn about life at the organization, not to try to sell yourself.
If you have an upcoming interview, you can search for the interviewers to learn about them. Look for things you have in common so you can bring up topics to casually build a rapport. For example, If you learn that the hiring manager is a big baseball fan, you can ask if they saw the game last night (without mentioning you looked them up of course!). Be tactful in how you approach these conversations, though, you don’t want to come across as creepy.
We concluded our Social Media series in Part 3, with examples using social media to get a job (and some that didn’t work so well). Be sure to subscribe to our blog, so you don’t miss out!