Social media is continuously becoming more important as a platform of interaction between businesses and the public. A critical development of the movement towards social media has been its ability to enhance the way job-seekers and employers connect. Today, nearly 43% of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates. That’s a lot. As a result, employers are better equipped to find the most qualified candidate for a job.
While interning at Findly, a digital advertising and talent acquisition company based in San Francisco, I saw first-hand how much brands are willing to invest in social media recruiting in order to find the right candidate — and it has only evolved further since then. So, for graduates job-hunting in an increasingly competitive market, it is crucial to understand what your social media accounts say about you and your own career goals.
Here are 5 ways you can use social media to land your dream job:
1. Start Blogging
Blogging is an easy way to showcase skills and prove passion for your industry. Not to mention that having a blog sets you apart from other candidates and adds more depth to your personality. The best part about having a blog is that you can essentially write about anything — food, career tips, fashion, sports; the list is endless.
P.S. The blogs posts that I write for Binghamton University have not only increased traffic to my own social media profiles, but are also great resume additions.
2. Build a Professional Reputation For Yourself
Social networks like LinkedIn make it easy to start following companies and influencers within your industry. To get noticed by employers, keep yourself updated on different conversation trends, and then share your own ideas. Don’t forget to update your virtual resume, though — always expand and alter your profile as your work experience, skills, connections and education grow. Also, network, network, network; but don’t request people you don’t know. Make sure you add in a thoughtful note when inviting people to connect; that will set you apart from others using the typical “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” message.
Fun Fact: I’ve landed three NYC interviews through LinkedIn, and one lead to my internship at Findly, where I advertise through social media for an array of different clients. Plus, after adding new content to my profile, I often get messages from recruiters about jobs in the social media marketing industry.
Networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and more have made it easy to let your personality shine — something that employers certainly look for. So, post updates and photos about topics/news you are interested in, places you love, or perhaps something about your favorite sports team. Recruiters like to see authenticity, intelligence, charm, and even a little humor.
Don’t be afraid to engage with leaders in your industry — send them a tweet, tag them in a post, or link them to a conversation.
P.S. I’m a huge New York Rangers fan and often engage in conversations with other ice hockey enthusiasts/journalists. This shows recruiters both charisma and professionalism.
4. Develop Expertise
Validate yourself as an expert by participating in conversations on networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter, sharing your own opinions and feedback. Taking part is social media chats are a great way to demonstrate your passion in an industry and gain relationships with like-minded professionals.
Don’t forget the golden rule for developing expertise: listen as much as you participate.
5. Be Social Media-Savvy and Safe
Remember, employers are looking to value your social media accounts an asset, not use them against you. So while you should use certain privacy settings on your social media pages, you shouldn’t depend on them. Photos live forever online, so be cautious on what you decide to post or what your friends tag you in. With this last tip, your social media addiction may just help you land the job you’ve been dreaming of.