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How to use social media to improve your job prospects
Remember the days of scanning through industry magazines and newspapers in search of the latest jobs? When you’d send out hundreds of speculative CVs, bearing the expense of first class postage, and wait anxiously for responses to drop on the mat? Job hunting was hard enough back then; but by today’s standards, was a veritable breeze.
While Royal Mail’s involvement in your job search may have long since diminished, the move online has made everything more urgent, more instant and incredibly competitive.
Job hunting in the 21st Century is vastly different - some businesses don’t even accept CVs anymore. As such, it’s a given that you’d use LinkedIn, etc. to help your hunt, but are you using these platforms efficiently? Here are a few ways to use social media to boost your job prospects.
Increase your visibility
Be seen! Research reveals that 94 per cent of recruiters use LinkedIn to source candidates - often, it’s the first port of call; sometimes, it’s the only one. Most of us have a LinkedIn profile, but how regularly is yours viewed? If you’re not receiving many views or InMails, then bear in mind that LinkedIn works like a search engine; recruiters enter their criteria (e.g. skills, location, qualifications) and wait to see which profiles are returned. It’s therefore important that your profile incorporates the types of phrasing that recruiters search for. If you’re unsure, refer to a job advert or description and identify the key words, especially those listed under ‘essential’. This way, your profile will appear in numerous searches, allowing recruiters to find you - and possibly give you a call.
Get involved and boost your credibility
Social media provides plenty of opportunities to comment, ask questions and chat with industry influencers and peers, which can help raise your credibility significantly. A quick search on LinkedIn and Facebook reveals hundreds of sector-related groups you can join. Many of these are private and you need to request membership, but once you’re in, you’ll be party to events and interactions that can build your profile. These are invaluable for advice, guidance and making some important connections. Also, look out for Twitter chats (sometimes it’s as simple as searching ‘finance twitter chat’ to find relevant ones), which offer you the chance to ask an expert questions or simply have your say. Finally, if you write your own blog, you can use social profiles to direct recruiters to your latest article, allowing them to see just how knowledgeable and competent you are.
Network, network, network!
How many times have you heard someone say: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? While talent is clearly more important, there’s certainly a grain of truth to this saying – acquaintances might flag vacancies or refer your CV to a hiring manager, therefore it’s good to know the right people. Fortunately, the whole point of LinkedIn is to make connections on a professional standing, so use the social network to interact with influential people in your industry. A top tip is to connect with recruitment consultants who source jobs in your chosen profession. Connecting with them means you’ll see their vacancies and should prompt them to view your profile. To make it easier for connections to get in touch with you, ensure your ‘active status’ is switched on. This is a new feature which LinkedIn only launched in August, but guides recruiters as to when it’s good time to send you an email.
Create a Twitter list
Unless you are scanning each social media channel constantly, it’s impossible to keep track of all the job alerts your chosen businesses and recruitment agencies are publishing. It’s easy to miss something, given that apparently, 6,000 Tweets are sent every second. One simple way to file relevant posts for easy recall later, is to create a Twitter list.
This vastly underused tool allows you to assign certain profiles to a specific list, collating and curating everything that relates to your job search. You can create multiple lists to really organise your feeds and will never miss a job post again. In case you’re wondering, here’s how to create a Twitter list.
Apparently, only 35 per cent of candidates use Twitter, so if you not only have a profile, but are creating lists too, you really could enhance your job prospects.
In a jobs market where 57 per cent of employers say they’d be reluctant to hire a candidate they couldn’t find online, it’s obvious that using social media is crucial for getting ahead of the competition. But it shouldn’t be seen as a chore; promoting your profile online and interacting with interesting people can be enriching and fun, so get stuck in.
If you need more advice on how to use social media to boost your job prospects, please get in touch with one of our recruiters.