Social media is a powerful networking tool for a job seeker. It allows you to build a boundless network right from your computer — connecting to colleagues, recruiters, experts and influencers in your industry to help get your foot in the door of opportunities.
It is estimated that 80% of jobs are attained through networking. It’s who you know that can get you that initial look which leads to an interview and job offer. And who you know can grow exponentially through the use of social media.
Here are seven quick tips for using the larger social media sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter) for job search networking:
- Join groups in your industry on LinkedIn to connect with colleagues and experts to whom you have something in common. Military members who join veteran groups can connect with fellow veterans and gain a wealth of job search and transition support through their network.
- Search for jobs on LinkedIn, and connect with the recruiters who posted the jobs or those in your network who work there. Follow the companies and visit their LinkedIn company page and their showcase pages to see what they are posting.
- If you already have a network of family and friends on Facebook, add a job search application to your Facebook account, such as BranchOut or BeKnown. These apps leverage your Facebook connections and profile to help you search for jobs and learn about opportunities within your network and industry.
- Create a list on Facebook for your job search connections. Clicking on the list will show you only the updates from those in the list. This is a good way to filter out the noise and see just what the people in your job search network are posting. To create a new list click Friends to the left of your Home page, click the “Create List” button, name the list and add appropriate connections to it.
- Use Twitter to follow and connect with people who can help with your job search and bring you valuable industry content. It’s a remarkable resource for connecting with like-minded people to see what they’re talking about and what is relevant to them. Follow companies, recruiters, and job listings to see what they are posting. Retweet the posts that you find interesting and worthy of sharing.
- Turn on mobile notifications for the Twitter accounts you follow that are most relevant and helpful to your job search. When viewing the profile of someone you’re following, click the gear icon and select “Turn on mobile notifications” from the drop-down list. Then you’ll receive their tweets as texts to your phone in real-time. Use this sparingly for only the most significant accounts so the texts are relevant and don’t become noise.
- Make it a habit to use your social media sites to research companies, recruiters, and job openings before attending a job fair or an interview. You can establish a connection via social media with recruiters before meeting them face-to-face at the event or interview. Instagram trials give you a chance to get unlimited followers for free. This preparation will help you make the most of a job fair event or make a good impression at an interview.
Use these tips to put social media to work in building your network of job search connections. You never know where the next great opportunity might come from, and you’ll meet some interesting and helpful people along the way.
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