How to Use Social Media to Find Your Dream Job| Embrace hashtags to send the right message
Today’s post was written by Hollie Farrahi. Hollie works as a Marketing Manager for a global software company. She helps brands implement effective content marketing strategies, navigate the seas of Search Engine Optimization and improve their online presence. When she’s not dropping hot marketing knowledge on unsuspecting clients, she likes to hike, rollerblade and travel the world. Follow her on Twitter for more information.
Typically, when looking for a new job, one of the first things people do is put their social media profiles on lockdown in case a potential future employer takes to Google and social networks when researching applicants.
But when used properly and professionally, social media can actually support your job hunting efforts.
Position your personal brand
A few years ago, I decided to tie my real full name to my personal social networks and do my best to share content related to my professional interests. For me, that means content surrounding digital marketing, web design and SEO. My goal was to establish thought leadership among my peers and build credibility in each of my target topics, which in turn builds and strengthens my professional network.
To do this, I actually spell out and hashtag core topics in my Twitter bio in addition to adding hashtags to the tweets themselves. This allows recruiters to associate me with the skillset(s) for which I want to be recognized.
In many industries, people love to attend conferences and live tweet the presenters using the dedicated conference hashtag. This is an excellent way to gain new followers, and it piques people’ curiosity about your background, why you’re at the conference, etc etc.
And let’s be honest, if a speaker at a conference says something prolific, and no one is there to live tweet it, did it even happen?
Tweet your heart out
Yes, Twitter is a real-time platform perfect for rants, celebrity stand offs and anonymous Internet trolling—but it’s also an effective job search tool when used properly.
LinkedIn is the obvious go-to professional social media network , but Twitter can be just as useful when you act strategically. Many companies manage Twitter handles that focus solely on job openings. There are also industry specific job-listing aggregators that share job posts from multiple companies within a common industry. Following aggregators like this, and then mining their list of followers and who they follow will present you with additional opportunities specific to your career goals. It’s a great way to get noticed and show your career-specific prowess to those that you know are listening.
The LinkedIn lowdown
We all know LinkedIn is crawling with candidate-thirsty recruiters dying to send you the perfectly ambiguous but friendly message about that “ideal opportunity” that you’d be crazy to pass up. Oftentimes, these messages are incredibly surface level and barely acknowledge the meat of what you can actually offer a company.
To combat this, make sure you do your due diligence to thoroughly fill out your LinkedIn profile. More detail is better here. In addition to listing previous jobs, take the time to brainstorm a list of terms that define your skills and that you think good recruiters might be searching LinkedIn for. If you’re lucky, Brian from freshman year of college will endorse you for one of your skills that he’s never personally experienced. That’s fine, but what you really want are recommendations.
There are few things more powerful than a word-of-mouth endorsement or direct testimonial from a former colleague, client, etc. When you begin your job search, start by making a list of past mentors, professional partners and clients with whom you’ve had a good working relationship. Then, kindly ask them to write a recommendation for you on LinkedIn in return for the same, or some other small favor. If they loved working with you (and those are the primary people you should be reaching out to), it’s an easy ask.
The summary section of your LinkedIn profile is money. It’s an excellent spot to list out keywords specific to your professional capabilities. This will assist in pushing you to the top of search results the next time a recruiter is looking. Take care to not just sound like a buzzword generator in your profile, though, and be sure the keywords are relevant to what you do and how you would actually describe it to a recruiter or potential employer.
You can combat that temptation by putting some personality into your summary. Even though LinkedIn is the professional social network, companies are still going to hire you for your skillset and your character, so don’t be afraid to show that you’re more than just another robot willing to toil endlessly for a company’s success.
Last, but not least, do your research on LinkedIn groups. Some groups require approval for membership, but not all. The open groups can provide you with leads on which companies are hiring, or expand your knowledge base of companies operating within your industry. If you really want to take initiative, try to connect directly with some of the other group members and ask them about any opportunities they may know of. Don’t forget to check in on your college alumni network, too! Sometimes, an alum connection is all you need to push you to the top of the candidates list.
Above all, practice professionalism, or make your profile 100% private
You don’t have to be professional on social media, but if that’s the case, it’s best to make your profile completely private, or to create a username that in no way reflects your real name. Remember that employers can be just as good at stalking you online as you are at stalking them.
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