How to find your next job using social media

So, we all know that LinkedIn is the fastest growing passive talent network used by HR, internal recruiters and recruitment agencies to source and headhunt candidates and that if you’re not listed on there you’re living in the stone age. We know that Facebook and Twitter are starting to prove more and more successful as candidate sourcing pools, and more and more talent position themselves on there in order to make themselves “searchable” for hot jobs. We know that job boards are a great place to find current jobs so trawling sites like Seek and Career One are a good place to start. But, did you know that YouTube is another great way to find the latest jobs?

It’s not ‘breaking’ news that recruiters and employers use social media to find top talent. But, knowing how to properly use social media to communicate to a prospective employer can be tricky. So, below are some of the ways to cut through the clutter and maybe score yourself that dream job.

  • LinkedIn is the professional online network most used by employers & recruiters. Make sure you have a key word rich, concise and detailed job history. We have several blog posts on how to use LinkedIn, so do some reading! Start building up a network of connections on there, but only relevant connections, and follow companies you’re interested in.
  • Twitter is a great way to have a 2 way conversation directly with the company. Find people on Twitter that work at the company you want to work at, and start to engage with them. Most employees mention their employers in their bios. You can use Twellow to help you find profiles mentioning your desired company. You can also @reply to the company’s personal Twitter account inquiring about an informational interview source.
  • Facebook is a tricky one as some people see it more as a personal than a professional tool. But, that aside, most companies still have a company account so you can still use it to privately source jobs! There are many Facebook apps, such as Branch Out, that allow you to find connections at desired companies.
  • YouTube is underrated as a job seeker portal. YouTube is the Internet’s third largest site, after Google and Facebook. It’s widely known that a large amount of the job openings are not listed on job boards, but there is a gold mine of jobs that are on YouTube that aren’t listed on job boards. For instance, a large corporate might only have their job listed on their website, but will have a video feature included and 99% of the time this video is also on YouTube. Video is a company’s best opportunity to tell a compelling story to attract top candidates, according to this HireRabbit infographic
So, where to next? Target connections and get your “in”

I love a good coffee, who doesn’t? If you are able to arrange an informal interview/coffee with a connection that can guide you to HR, fill you in on the company culture, or give you insights into an organisation, that’s a winner! By contacting a mutual connection or lead through social media you can “cold call” without the “cold”.

How?
  1. Prepare: Start with the end in mind. Just because you’ve tweeted, emailed or LinkedIn Messaged, doesn’t mean they have to reply. So, before you start spamming off thousands of messages think about what exactly you hope to achieve from this specific person. There must be a valid reason for you contacting them specifically, and not going directly through the traditional HR channels.
  2. Be brief, be concise, be real: Don’t spam them with unsolicited résumés. NO ONE likes this. Not even recruiters. Be clear about the reason you are contacting them (you want insights into the actual company; you want to know what they recommend doing; you want to understand if your skills are even required by an organisation like theirs), and then offer them the chance to ask for your resume. Be clear of what you want from the start and leave all the fluff for later.
  3. Spot the similarity: If you found them through a friend, an article or a love of football, tell them. Mentioning something in common breaks the ice and makes that introduction warmer.
  4. Be specific, avoid generalities: There is a difference between wanting just any job and wanting to work for a specific company. Let the employer know why you are pursuing them. What is the desired outcome?
  5. Put a time on it:  Ask for the meeting, the coffee, or the introduction. Don’t leave it open ended. Follow up with them if you haven’t heard in 2 weeks. But, don’t stalk.

Social media really is a super way of contacting potential employers. There is a great phrase that says ‘if you wouldn’t be happy with a massive billboard in Times Square with your face on it and what you’ve written on social media displayed for all the world to see, then don’t say it all’. That is a great rule to live by.

If you’re looking for a job via Twitter, then make sure that what you’ve said on Twitter in the past is going to get you that job and not make them run a mile. Same applies to Linkedin; if you message someone via Linkedin the logical next step is they’re checking out your profile. Are you proud of your profile and what it says about you? Always remain professional and polite when reaching out to employers online.

Have you used social media in your job search? Have you found success in reaching out to potential employers via social media? Share with us below!

More reading:

10 reasons why you should be on LinkedIn (plus infographic)
How to build a powerful reputation with social media
How do you beat the competition, get found, and get hired?
13 things that really annoy people on LinkedIn
Don’t be a LinkedIn tart!
Informational interviewing: Don’t be afraid to go straight to the top!
Get creative with a Facebook CV
If you want a great next role, get ill first!
5 golden rules for a longer and more vibrant career
A résumé – your future on a piece of paper
Are you a LinkedIn liar?
Am I in danger of losing my job if I make my social media profile visible to career opportunities?

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(4) Readers Comments

  1. Hi Pippa,

    In my current role, my agency found me on social media – they used LinkedIn and then checked out my social media footprint – Twitter, Vizify and blog. By the time they formally approached me for the first time, they had already formed a strong impression and were inclined to submit me as a candidate.
    When we met for the first time, they had already formed an opinion and this meant we were able to move really quickly.

    I am absolutely convinced that social media is a ground shifting model for recruitment – and that both sides of the conversation stand to benefit.
    One of the very best things candidates can do is plan ahead, take it seriously and invest time and effort in maintaining an active, vibrant and cohesive social media profile.
    On the other hand, recruiters can use the medium to quickly form an impression of the whole person, look beyond the printed word and target their efforts.

    All the best, Tony

  2. Pingback: Using Linkedin in Your Job Search | Tori Randolph Terhune

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  4. Pingback: The day social media killed your job chances, Career

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