Social media is used today by many to keep in touch with friends, family, and acquaintances. It is also used to form new relationships and bring together people who might have similar interests, but the networking power of social media is often overlooked when it comes to utilizing it for your job search. With so many vast networks made up of HR directors and decisions makers for organizations, getting in touch with them is easier than it has ever been.
Consistency is Key
Your resume might have made an impression on a recruiter, but do your social media pages reflect that same information? It is common for those who are in charge of hiring for a company to often scan social media sites to see what information you include on those pages about yourself.
It is important that the information on your social media sites reflects what your resume says about you. Things such as awards, work experience, etc. should align amongst your resume and your social media sites.
Network, Network, Network
Incorporating social media as part of your job search is a smart move, however, use caution as to not treat them as a replacement for the traditional job search methods. Sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn should be used as a compliment to your job search, putting into practice the networking element that they offer.
On a site such as LinkedIn, you can perform a search based on people who work at a certain company. This will allow you to see not only what these employees do for the company, but also give you some insight on their backgrounds and career paths as well. If someone’s profile stands out to you, don’t be afraid to reach out to them and see if they wouldn’t mind being a part of your network.
Some things to keep in mind when networking on LinkedIn are:
Treat your profile as a professional brochure using an appropriate-looking profile image and up to date information about yourself.
Before you ask for a network connection to someone, make sure you learn about the person and be ready to explain why they should connect with you. Taking the time to craft a personal message to start the relationship will make people admire that you cared enough to not simply use the default “Join my network on LinkedIn” message.
A great start to incorporating social media into your job search is to use it as a way to research the culture of companies that you might be interested in working for. Sure, basic information such as where the company is located, their history, etc. can easily be found on a company’s website, however, many times social media sites can provide a behind the scenes look into a company’s culture and how they treat their employees and customers. On a site such as Facebook, for example, a job seeker might be able to see pictures or videos of a recent company outing or charity event the organization took part in.
Doing this type of research allows you to pre-interview an organization and determine if you would be a good fit for a position there. This research also can help you decide if there are any changes you might need to make to your resume or cover letter in order to make them relevant.
This same type of technique can also be used to gather more information on the person who will be interviewing you. Once an interview is secured, try performing a brief search on LinkedIn to get some information on their background. This will help you be even more prepared during the interview.
While you are using social media as part of your job search to gain the edge on potential employers, keep in mind that the transparency of these sites works both ways. Many companies use the same social media sites to gather information on potential candidates that might otherwise not be included on their resume. This is why it is important for your social media presence to be consistent across all channels.