The days of simply posting your CV on Career Builder, e-mailing former colleagues and ambling around company websites are a thing of the past, in terms of job seeking. These days, if you’re serious about getting a job, it’s important you put your computer to work. In other words, this means getting the word out on social networking sites like Facebook, sending instant job-search updates via messaging feeds like Twitter, and meeting new people who might be able to lend a hand through web-networking outfits like LinkedIn. Proactivity online is the name of the game, a quality more and more graduates need to become aware of in their mission to land their first job.
It’s hard to believe, but the rise of social media is changing the world and the way the world thinks. It’s affecting every industry, in every way, from researching to advertising to recruiting. Recruiters use social media in two ways — to find a candidate who suits their requirements and to screen his or her background. It’s important that as a graduate you aware of this and adjust your profiles and output accordingly.
- Post a detailed profile; this is the first thing a potential employer will read about you. Highlight your professional abilities and skills.
- Engage with groups: all networking sites have groups formed by people with specific skills or belonging to a particular industry. Get involved, engage with those groups and build relationships with them.
- Privacy: ensure you update your privacy settings on your social media accounts. Choose wisely when deciding upon your profile picture(s), the comments and tweets you make, especially around the time of applying for a job.
There is no great science in utilising social media to your advantage; you need to remember two things; authenticity and quality. It’s important to be authentic when communicating, with good content holding the key to more engagement with other users, including prospective employers. Communicating authentically can get you noticed in any industry and can give you that extra edge when applying for a job.
Top examples of ways to get noticed on social media and new hires made through social networking:
- Matt Watson used Twitter to make contact with Rainer PR at speedcommunications.com and caught their attention via his blog. He is considered a revolutionary, and one of the first to successfully land a job by solely using social media.
- Laura Tosney’s YouTube video helped her land a job at 33 digital by creating a video using Flickr stating the top 5 reasons to employ her. Easy to make and very effective.
- Josh Halliday’s SR2 Blog helped him land a job thanks to his impressive — hyperlocal, uncovered by other newspapers — content. This is an excellent opportunity to show off what you know by creating your own blog or website dedicated to a particular area of interest. Anybody can achieve this in any industry and is a very good way to get noticed in your field of interest.
- Use Facebook to promote yourself. This is hard to achieve, but the rewards are substantial. A very limited number have used it extremely effectively. Jed Hallam, PR top dog, started his career at Wolfstar thanks to a group he set up, asking them to employ him.
- Comment on suitable trade magazines for the industry you are involved in, for example PRweek.com for PR practitioners.
In short, you don’t need to spend vast amounts of money to promote yourself. Thanks to the beauty and efficiency of social media, you can get your name out there, for the price of an internet connection. As long as you create something authentic via social media you are giving yourself a push in the right direction, giving you a boost over other candidates who share similar qualifications to you.
This post is a guest post by Olan Ahern, a freelance writer with a keen interest in all things social media. He is currently writing on behalf of Sentiment Metrics – a company that specialises in social media monitoring tools.