With social media becoming more embedded in our everyday lives there is no reason job seekers should not take advantage of it to propel their careers. By using social media in the job search, job seekers can achieve a well-rounded view of the jobs and companies they are applying to, and make more informed decisions about what they want for the future.
Here are 5 reasons to use social media in your job search:
1. Activate your network: Looking for a job is difficult on your own, social media networks can provide the job seeker with an army of helpful hands. Don’t be afraid to tell people you’re looking (and if you are nervous, try private messages to your friends first). Most jobs come from word of mouth referrals and asking your network if they know of any job openings is a great way to get started. Keep in touch with your network and stay relevant by participating in discussions and asking questions. If you stay current, the odds of them thinking of you when they hear of a job opening or a chance to refer you are higher than you think. Social referrals have one of the highest interview rates. Getting an employee of the company to enter you into their company’s recruiting software will give your evaluation process a more personal touch.
2. Create new connections: Yes, your network is helpful but it does not mean you should stop connecting. The best way to figure out if you have what it takes for your new dream job is to learn from people who have done it before you. Connect and network with people who have your desired position, or have had it in the past. Introduce yourself by letting them know you are here to learn from them, and more likely than not they will be flattered and happy to help you get where you are going.
3. Learn About Company Culture: These days most companies have an online presence. This is your window into the office. What is their employer brand, are they even aware of it? Researching the company culture tells you a lot about the kind of place you could be working, and whether or not it’s the right fit for you. The more you know, the better decisions you can make. If you research a company and find they are probably not a great cultural fit that’s one less resume and cover letter to fill out. Only apply to companies you actually want to work for.
4. Research hiring managers or future coworkers: Information is key. The more you know about the job you are applying for and the people you will be working with, the better you can tailor your brief cover letter to meet their needs. Use Twitter to introduce yourself in a more casual environment and find common ground. Use LinkedIn to find the hiring manager. And don’t forget to check out the company’s career page on their website to see what other positions they are hiring for.
5. Join the Conversation: Social Media allows you to get to know thousands of people you would have otherwise had no contact. Twitter chats are a great way to find people with common interests, and the weekly conversations keep you updated and informed. Google+ communities are also a great way to stay involved and current, while opening you up to a new audience. LinkedIn groups are a bit more formal but just as important because many recruiters and hiring managers start the search here. Taking the initiative to be involved in your desired field shows that you are invested in topic and determined to have a future in that space. People will take notice.
Remember, using social media to research is not exclusive to recruiters and hiring managers finding the perfect candidate. By using social media in the job search job seekers have a chance to evaluate the company as closely if not more so than the company is evaluating them. Social Media makes each step of the job search easier, efficient, and more effective.