We can all agree that looking for a job can be challenging. Keep in mind, that job hunting is a two-way street. While YOU are researching potential employers and learning all you can about the hiring managers who’ll be interviewing you, THEY are checking you out too. The good news is that social media networking tools can be a tremendous asset in finding a job or career. Networking is one of the most important components of job searching.
In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 70% of all jobs are found through networking.
Employers, on the other hand, are using social networking as a means to find job candidates and according to the Society of Human Resource Management, at least 84% of employers are using social media as a recruitment tool with an additional 9% planning to do so in the future.
This is definitely something you should take note of and determine how to best maximize the use of social media in your job search. There is a myriad of social media applications, how do you decide on the best ones to use for your job search? Glad you asked!
The top social media networking tools for job search:
- LinkedIn – has 530 million current users and is considered one of the best social media tools for people looking for work. However, many users don’t take the necessary steps to maximize their chances, including optimizing their profile, creating their network, joining groups, incorporating work samples, and accumulating endorsements. Make sure that you reach out to first, second, and third-degree connections for information, advice, and introductions to hiring managers. Join professional groups related to your interests and contribute to discussions to enhance your visibility as a potential candidate.
- Facebook – many employers place job advertisements on Facebook. You can find these opportunities by searching for “jobs on Facebook” in the search window on the site. However, the greatest value of Facebook is the opportunity to solicit the assistance of your contacts with your job search.
- Twitter – active Twitter users can promote their professional brand by posting information of interest to individuals in their field. One benefit of Twitter is the free-flowing communication that allows you to talk directly to recruiters and hiring managers without the need to submit a resume first.
- Instagram – Instagram is a good way to establish your personal brand while demonstrating your social media skills and enhancing your overall digital savvy. It’s also a smart way to glean information and insights about a company that you might want to work for.
Did an employee post a pic of “massage Mondays” and you’re a corporate masseuse? Does a company showcase “Fajita Fridays” special and you’re a Mexican food chef? Instagram is a great way to see inside a company and demonstrate how you’d be a good fit. Instagram also provides a vehicle for you to post visual representations related to your professional or academic projects.
- YouTube – has a user interface base of over one billion individuals and is an excellent vehicle for incorporating video samples of your work, as well as evidence of your communication skills and personality. Of course, musicians, actors, teachers, consultants, and trainers have used the site for years to promote their skills. Job seekers can benefit from creating a video profile that showcases their persona and demonstrates their career-related skills. Examples might include a “30-second commercial” summarizing your interests and assets targeted towards a career field of interest or a brief show-and-tell regarding a successful academic or work project.
Search for #recruiters and other keywords related to your industry.
As you can see, using social media is a great way to boost your job search for several reasons. First, social media can help you to build a professional profile that demonstrates your accomplishments and displays your strengths. Second, connecting with others in your industry is critical in building a network of contacts. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, social media is prime for searching job openings, learning about companies that are hiring now or in the future and establishing contacts at companies that you are interested in.
Start with one social media platform and build your social media presence one step at a time. Good luck and best wishes in your job search!
Thelisa Lavergne is a member of the Regional (Texas Gulf Coast) Navigator team for Workforce Solutions. She specializes in providing training and education to the Gulf Coast community, career staff offices, and employers in assisting individuals with disabilities. She brings with her over 10 years of experience and expertise working in the nonprofit industry serving Houston’s disadvantaged community; individuals and families experiencing homelessness, victims of domestic abuse, and individuals and families experiencing hunger. However, her greatest contribution to Workforce Solutions is her compassion, commitment, and dedication to serving others. She holds a M.A. in Organizational Management, a B.S. in Training and Development, B.S. in Counseling, and a Certification as a Personal Fitness Trainer.