How to use social media to improve your job hunt

It turns out social media plays a very important role in your job search. A lot of companies are using social media for hiring purposes, LinkedIn in particular. And here’s some flash news: hiring managers check candidates’ social profiles before reaching out. CVs won’t become obsolete (not every industry is well represented online), but candidates’ online presence goes beyond having an all-star LinkedIn profile.

Use the most relevant social media for you

There’s a plethora of social networking sites and online forums on which you could have a presence and interact. Instagram won’t probably have an impact on your job search if you’re a Logistics Manager looking for a new role but it might help you get noticed if you’re in a creative field. Think about which sites recruiters, hiring managers and your industry peers use, and target those as a priority.

Read also: The 6 steps to the perfect LinkedIn profile

Read also: How to find a job online and offline

Complete your profile

Describe yourself on LinkedIn in a way that’s relevant to what you’re looking for in your next role. The more complete your profile, the better the chances recruiters will find you. You need to treat your profile like your online resume. Include a full, succinct career history and mention any relevant awards and training. Make sure the profile picture that you choose is suitable in a professional context – think smart headshot, not sipping cocktails on the beach. Most importantly – make sure that the facts you state are true; information in such a public domain is easy to verify.

Put yourself out there

First impressions are just as important online as they are on paper. So make sure you catch the reader’s attention at first glance. Format your profile well using paragraphs, subheads and bullet points where possible. Use relevant terminology and keywords to enable recruiters and potential employers to find you when searching these terms. Use activity updates to inform 1st, 2d and 3d degree connections about your business successes, relevant events or positive client feedback.

Demonstrate your insider knowledge

Include any material that illustrates your skills and achievements on your topics of expertise such as articles, blogs, videos, or links to your website. Likewise, if your Twitter account adds value, connect it there too. Remember, potential employers want to see that you keep up-to-date with industry trends, not what you ate for breakfast. If there is the opportunity to get involved in forum debates, do so, bearing in mind that once you say it, it’s out there so think carefully about the viewpoint you’re sharing.

Network, network, network

LinkedIn was originally created for professionals to network, so network! Join chats, interact and start conversations. Recruiters or employers who are members of these groups will notice you if you are able to inform, engage and inspire others. Network all through the year and your connections will be more likely to reach out to you when they hear about a matching job opportunity. Follow the industry or the company you’re interested in and try to get noticed or search through LinkedIn to see if someone can introduce you. Networking is a mutually beneficial relationship, so also think about what you can offer your connections. Often, recruiters will be interested in inheriting your network: building a strong network in your industry will definitely be an added value.

Public endorsement

Testimonials endorsing your achievements play a big part in painting you as a desirable candidate, but some endorsements hold more weight than others. A glowing reference from a satisfied customer can be perceived as more valuable than the recommendation of a peer you worked with on a project. Limit these testimonials to a select few; an excessive number of public endorsements looks like you’ve been courting favourable feedback rather than it being proactively given to you as a result of a job well done.

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