Job hunting is time consuming. In the past, the best way to find a job was to research the companies you want to work for, send your cover letter and resume and hope for the best. The only alternatives to this method were networking, responding to classified ads and using headhunters or recruiters. However, the latter two of these methods often result in few interviews.
The first method, networking, is still the best way to get a job. People who know your strengths are more likely to hire you. Fortunately, you can now use the latest technology to network and quickly find a job using Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites.
How to Use Twitter to Find a Job
Twitter is a microblogging social media site where you submit updates of up to 140 characters.
In addition to posting what you are actually doing, you can use the site to connect with people in your industry or who work at companies where you want to work.
Follow the steps below to start networking using Twitter:
- Set up an account using your name. Make sure you write a bio. Even though you have only 140 characters to use, try to incorporate keywords pertaining to your job search.
- Tweet (post updates) regularly. It does not have to be every hour, but try to do it at least once a week. Make sure you post only things that you would want your future boss to read. Be yourself.
- Follow people who you would like in your network. Start with the companies where you want a job. Follow people in your industry who inspire you. Follow people who follow you and are in your industry.
- Be helpful. If people in your network have questions and you have answers, reply to them. Commenting can’t hurt
- Be a participant. Even if you choose not to follow everyone who follows you, say hello to those who follow you and thank them.
- Find job alerts on Twitter. Several websites have applications that will help you search or subscribe to job alerts on Twitter. Examples include TweetMyJobs, TweetBeep and TwitHire.
How to use Facebook to Find a Job
Facebook is the most social of the social media sites. While the site features updates like those on Twitter, there are many other ways to share information and socialize on Facebook. From playing games to taking polls or joining groups to becoming fans of pages, there are plenty of ways to interact on Facebook. Often people can have a great fear of public speaking but they’re a social media rockstar online.
Most of the guidelines for using Twitter also apply to Facebook. Make sure you socialize with people in your industry. Remember that information on Facebook is public, like the information on Twitter. Although you can control the flow of some of this information, assume that your boss (present or future) may be reading what you write. With that said, make sure that you only socialize with people who have an understanding that you are sharing your profile with potential employers. You do not want your Facebook friends to post anything that would jeopardize your job search.
Here are some additional guidelines for using Facebook to find a job:
- Use your profile to highlight your strengths. Make sure your education and career information is
- Use a professional looking profile photo. Know what photos are posted of you. Make sure there are no photos shared that show you in a way that you would not want to show a potential employer. However, show that you can have fun and you have a sense of humor. Employers often want well rounded employees.
- Use the search feature to find people that you want in your network. Use the groups and fan pages for the same purpose.
- Participate. For social media sites to work, you must participate. However, remember that you are conducting a job search. Make sure you prioritize networking with relevant people.
How to Find a Job using LinkedIn
Like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is another popular social media site. LinkedIn focuses on business. Like the other sites, you have a profile, a place to post updates, the ability to search and the ability to join groups. However, all of these features focus on your career life. Your profile is structured like a resume. Your contacts are based on your relationships. If you cannot select a true relationship with the person, you cannot add them to your network. However, there are ways to connect with the connections of the people in your network.
LinkedIn is a great way to build your professional network. In addition to the methods mentioned for the other sites, use these methods to grow your network using LinkedIn:
- Use the recommendation feature to get recommendations from members of our network. This is a great way to highlight your strengths.
- Research the companies you want to work for. Look at the profiles of people who work for the companies you are researching. See where they worked before they went to that company. Likewise, use the Company Profile section to see where people tend to go after they leave the company. Check this page to find out if the company is hiring and to connect with new hires.
- Use the connections to find the hiring manager. If you search for a job, pay attention to the degrees of distance from you. Stay within 2 degrees and you definitely have a connection at that company. A friend of a friend can help you find the hiring manager. Use these connections to find out more details about the job and what kind of candidate the company seeks.
For all social media sites, participation is required. The participation can be as little as an hour a week spent posting an update or searching for someone relevant to join your network. No matter which sites you use, understand that it may take time to build your network.
Start building it before you need a job, if possible. You never know who you will meet and what opportunities they will present. Building your social network will save you the time of sitting and talking to recruiters and only having interviews in their offices, instead of at the companies you desire.