The use of social media (such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter) by recruiters continues to grow so it is crucial that you take a look at your online presence and understand the importance of social media in your job search strategy.
LinkedIn is an online professional networking site where you can display your qualifications and experience (like an online resume), connect with people you know and others in your industry, search job postings, get jobs sent to you, join discussions and more.
Facebook is generally seen as a personal networking site, but it can also be a valuable professional networking tool as it allows members to connect with companies, communicate your intentions via your status updates, ask contacts for suggestions, advice and other contacts, and join relevant groups. It's also where companies post job opportunities, so make sure you've 'liked' the companies you're interested in.
Twitter can help your job hunting by giving people a taste of your interests, enable you to follow relevant companies and professional bodies, use hashtags to find industry-related tweets, and tweet, retweet and help promote others. It is a good idea to use your name and personal email address so that people can find and contact you. You could use your Twitter account to link to more information about you, such as a personal website, blog or LinkedIn profile.
How to use social media in your job search
- 'Like' and 'Follow' companies you're interested in
- Learn about their core values and culture and updates via their posts
- Join groups and industry specific 'channels' (LinkedIn) to gain insights and perspectives from influencers in your industry
- Contribute to these as you gain confidence
- Check the LinkedIn Job Portal
- Join discussions and repost articles that relate to your areas of interest
Manage your online profile
Ensure your online profile is recruiter-friendly:
- Consider your public image
What does your Facebook profile say about you? Remember that photos of a big night out might be great to share with friends, but not so great for a potential employer to see. Also consider how comments and posts about you might be perceived by those in the wider world. Delete postings and untag photos that may be compromising and be careful about the groups you join.
- Check your privacy settings
If you do not want people outside your friends and contacts to access your profile, change your privacy settings.
- Consider having separate profiles
Facebook is best for your personal network and LinkedIn is best for your professional network. With Twitter you can mix your career and personal interests, however if your primary use of Twitter is to communicate with friends you should consider setting up a separate account for professional and job hunting purposes.
Regularly conduct a digital search of yourself so you can be aware of what others might find out about you.