Attracting Potential Employers Through Social Media– It’s Not an Option Anymore for job hunters. It's a game changer.
A job search is a full-fledged campaign. Gone are the days of posting your resume on Monster.com, handing it out to several recruiters and sitting back to wait for something to “pop.” Your competition is all over the place, getting noticed, making connections, and impressing people, and you will be left wondering why no one contacts you for an interview. Social media is the new career search office and only the really aggressive, focused people will use every bit of it to promote themselves and their skills/talents. You need to become one of those aggressive focused people.
Your job search campaign will be two-pronged, and both will use social media. One prong is getting yourself noticed by potential employers who will reach out to you. The second prong involves you reaching out to potential employers/organizations, using every available tactic. But before we get into your two-pronged attack strategies, here is some information that should move you.
Some Pretty Astounding Facts
Back in 2013, the Society for Human Resource Management conducted a survey of organizations of all types and sizes, to determine what the level of social media use was in recruitment. Here is what they found:
77% of the organizations surveyed used social media sites to recruit job candidates
69% used social media to search for candidates by skill sets, using specific keywords and phrases
57% used social media to entice highly qualified candidates to contact them
While 92% of those who are using social media are using LinkedIn, 58% of this group was also using Facebook, and 31% used Twitter.
And this was back in 2013 – imagine what it is 2015!
Prong One – Getting Yourself Out There
The data is pretty telling. You cannot just rely on LinkedIn, but it is certainly a good place to start.
Do a thorough critical analysis of your profile. Does it look professional? Have you filled in all parts of the profile? Have you used the right keywords/phrases? You don’t have to re-invent the wheel here. Get on the profiles of others in your career niche – study them. How have they organized their information so that it is easy to scan and focuses on the key skill sets they want to highlight?
Revise your profile accordingly. And set up for yourself a regular schedule of updating. You may find new keywords; you may have attended a conference or a workshop that you can mention. Insert links to your Facebook page and to your Twitter account (we’ll talk about these in a minute).
Now, hit that resume. It really needs to be stunning. If you feel inadequate in developing your resume, then get a professional to help you. Nothing is worse than a boring resume that doesn’t grab anyone’s attention. And each time something of import occurs that should be included, update it.
Join every group that is even remotely related to your career niche. Access them often and join in the discussions. Become a regular and become known. And make sure that what you post is meaningful and fresh. You want to look like an expert. Do some research to find new trends in your niche, to find news items that will be of interest, and comment on them. You want to be seen as the person who is totally “on top” of everything. Yes, this takes time, but how much do you want that career move?
Update your profile page and make it public. (no need to tell you to block those friends who are not really appropriate much of the time)
Put much of the same information on your profile page as you have on LinkedIn
Post pictures of yourself and others at conferences and workshops you attend and speak to all that you learned.
Put links to your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts.
Re-post professional articles and news releases that relate to your career and comment on them.
Twitter is for short messages, as you already know. If you can post short messages related to your career, to something you are currently doing, to a project you have just completed, etc., then by all means do it. You can also comment on news in your field and post links to those news items. Anything you can do that will demonstrate you are staying on top of new trends and happenings in your field will be a plus when a potential employer looks at your feed. If you are uncomfortable with Twitter in generally, you are better off just not having an account rather than one that is clearly outdated and not maintained well.
Blogging should be treated separately. It is not social media per se, but it is certainly something that you should do if you write well and are willing to do the research to make your content entertaining, fresh, educational, and engaging. You can begin by blogging on LinkedIn and then submit posts to career-related blogs. Once you have several posts spattered around, you can update your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles and provide links to your posts.
If you really enjoy writing and have a lot to share about your career and/or career niche, then you can actually begin your own blog. You will have to be diligent about maintaining it, however, because, just like a Twitter account, an old blog with no recent posts is worse than no blog at all. To demonstrate that you are “wired” into your niche, you can request permission to re-post those that experts have written and published elsewhere; you can ask individuals from your LinkedIn groups to provide guest posts. The more guest bloggers you have, the bigger your network looks and the more dedicated to your career you appear.
Prong Two – Reaching Out to Potential Employers
This part of your campaign will not require a great deal of writing and creating; it will, however, involve some steadfast and regular research work on your part. If you have been in your field even only a few years, you know which organizations employ individuals with your skill set; you probably know which ones would be attractive to you. If not, then you have even more research to do.
Read up on those organizations which employ from your niche. Get a feel for the corporate or organizational “culture.” Select those that you think would be a great fit for you.
Now, find those organizations’ social media pages. Read their stuff; become a frequent commenter on what they post; engage in conversations on those sites; share their stuff on your social media pages.
Does the company have business blog? Access it, read the posts, give comments, and share those posts on your own pages. Take some initiative. Write a post and submit is, asking if an organization would like to post it?
The idea here is to get your name known by people in those organizations for which you would like to work. When a position becomes available, chances are they will contact you and determine your level of interest.
Networking has always been valuable to career professionals. In the past, it obviously occurred face-to-face. Not so much anymore. You have to take initiative, develop your campaign wisely, and put into action all of the uses of social media that will give you an advantage
Author: John Unger. I'm a writer, journalist and traveler. I live across the pond, in Manchester. I’m looking for personal development and my profession gives me that. I write about things that matters for me and for a wide range of readers. I have my own blog at Assignment Mountain. You can follow me in Twitter, Facebook or Google+