Ultimate Social Media Job Searching Guide

Using social media when job hunting can be a daunting process! We fully understand how difficult it can be to get your head around all the social media jargon and complexities.

This guide will clearly walk you through all the social networks, dos and don't, showcase a wealth of amazing statistics and everything else you'll need to have a better chance of an employment offer in your hand in no time!

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Table of Contents

    Introduction

    No one needs to tell you that in today’s ever-changing digital age, a job prospect who can use social media is bound to come out over one who can’t. This is an average, of course – there are still some companies that prize the “old-fashioned way” over everything else, but for the most part, those fluent in social media are both better prospects for employers and have a better chance of finding the job they want in the first place.

    Amazingly, a large number of employers now report they find higher caliber job candidates via a social media search with an incredible 50% increase in candidate quality!! (BusinessWest)

    The modern style of business depends on lightning-fast marketing, social outreach and personalized customer service experiences in the online sphere. Anyone who can write a sassy tweet to make a sale, turn a PR nightmare into a Facebook meme or successfully build a Google+ profile (that’s impossible, right?) will find themselves well positioned to succeed in the digital sector and beyond.

    Ensuring that you’re proficient at social media in a job or marketing sense is beyond the scope of this article. However, if you have no idea how to use any of the major platforms we will discuss below – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – we suggest you take an hour or two and familiarize yourself with these platforms. Note that you don’t have to set up accounts on your own; you can simply skim through a few tutorials and check hout other accounts to get a feel for how it all works.

    Recent statistics show an incredible 1 in 5 people have applied for a job they learned about through social media and 13 percent of social media users say information they’ve posted on social media helped them land a job! (Glassdoor)

    If you’re already fairly conversant in the ways of social media, then you’ll be well suited to the topic of this guide: how to use social media specifically to guide your job hunt. Throughout, we will examine this from two slightly different angles:

    • How social media can help you actually find job prospects and potential employers in the first place, and
    • How proving your social media capability can improve your job chances

    Along the way, we will discuss how to conduct research and reach out to people who really matter, how to keep your job search and online profiles confidential and clean, specific ways to use each type of social media, and how to create an overall system that will help you go from zero to amazing new job in less time than you thought possible.

    Why Use Social Media for Job Hunting?

    Why Social Media for Job Hunting?

    Let’s be clear with one thing right up front: while social media is all about instant gratification, using it for your job search still won’t guarantee instant results. Finding a job you love and want to keep over the long haul isn’t going to come easy just because you know how to tweet like a boss.

    Using social media effective in pursuit of a job (or better yet, a career you can stick with for many years) is a matter of dedication and perseverance. Many people hop on and off social media sporadically, and that just won’t work. If you can’t commit to learning these strategies and putting them to use, this system may not be for you. If you can, though, you’ll find the results beyond what you could have possibly imagined.

    For one thing, knowing how to use these tools can help you cut to the chase of which jobs are worth having. Remember that social media occurs in real time. If you’re sufficiently plugged in, you can find out about pertinent news, listings or updates faster than anyone else. Want to beat out your competitors in getting that new posting at a coveted company? It’s sometimes as simple as being connected to that company’s social feeds at the right time, so you can rush to their site and apply before anyone else does.

    Attention Job Seekers!! The latest research shows the use of social media for recruitment has grown 54% in the the past 5 years? Also a whopping 84 percent of organizations are now recruiting on social media; only 56 percent of companies were hiring on social media in 2011! Make certain you have a solid gameplan! (Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM))

    That’s not all. When you use social platforms, you can vet the job postings you find either on social, online or on a company’s website. By checking them against current events, company culture and the feelings of other employees who work there, you can weed out potentially toxic environments or unsavory jobs. Using social media to check those boxes will give you a much more well-rounded idea of the company than simply “taking their word” for who they are on a heavily branded and curated website.

    Moreover, using social media can speed up your job search in that it enables you to actually talk with decision-makers at companies you’d like to work for. If you’re actively engaged in the hunt, that can mean reaching out to employees at a particular company through LinkedIn, or tweeting directly to a decision-maker through Twitter. It may involve messaging someone on Facebook to ask for an introduction, or tossing off a well-timed comment on a business’s Instagram account to encourage them to look at yours, which might contain a portfolio.

    Moreover, using social media can speed up your job search in that it enables you to actually talk with decision-makers at companies you’d like to work for. Isn’t this who everyone wants to reach? It’s the holy grail of the job search process!

    Social media has another benefit as well, in that most feeds will allow you to save what you find. For instance, on Instagram, you can tap a little flag in the bottom right corner that puts the post right into a private feed of your own. On Twitter, you can save your searches so you can reference them later when you need them, and Facebook lets you save posts too. This enables you to cut down on the time you’ll need to spend re-covering the same ground later because you can just jump on your saved searches list or check your private feed.

    Really, the opportunities are almost endless. In order to cut through the confusion and chatter you’ll find on the web – which offers about a thousand competing ideas for every second you spend on Google – we will offer specific ideas about how to use each of the main platforms we profile here.

    First up let’s talk about how social media as a whole can help you find jobs you’re looking for and forge the right connections in your industry, both of which will give you a better chance of becoming the employee (and overall badass) you want to be.

    How to Use Social Networks for Research

    Researching on Social Media

    The amount of pure information that exists on social platforms is staggering. Social use doubles every two years, and by 2020 will reach 44 trillion Gigabytes. Facebook users send 31.25 million messages a minute, while Twitter’s combined user base generates 347,222 tweets in the same amount of time. LinkedIn’s 347 million registered users view 17,361 profiles every minute, and Instagram users post 48,611 photos like 1.73 million every 60 seconds. At any time of the day or night, hundreds of thousands of people are creating untold amounts of content directly related to your sphere of interest and your job search.

    That’s a lot of activity, and has two major – and essentially competing – results. Firstly, you have a mammoth amount of information from which to glean information about your job search. When you’re trying to build a network of meaningful connections to whom you can turn for jobs, it’s right there. If you need to up your game in terms of current events, you’ll find even more granular detail on Twitter than you can on Google. And if all you want is a feed of current job postings in your field, the right searches on social can significantly augment what you find on job boards or website career sections, because they’re often posted there first – informally and often quietly, but they’re there.

    The second and less hopeful result of this massive amount of information is that it comprises so much data through which to sort. This can feel completely overwhelming, like looking for a needle in a haystack the size of Planet Earth. Many people get so discouraged by the difficulty of the process that they simply give up and go back to responding to Craigslist ads … which often don’t pan out, as you no doubt already know.

    Did you know social media use doubles every two years, and by 2020 will reach 44 trillion Gigabytes? That’s equivalent to 6.6 stacks of iPad Air tablets reaching from Earth to the moon. How mind boggling is that?!

    The difference between social media and a heavily trafficked job site such as Craigslist? Well, the traffic. Sure, Twitter might have a ton of people on it at any one time, but they’re all looking at different tweets. On Craigslist, everyone in your niche is looking at the exact same listing. If you apply to postings that get 500 other applications (not at all uncommon), then you’re bound to get lost in the shuffle. If you respond to a single Facebook post on a small company profile, chances are much better you’re going to stand out.

    Shockingly, now 79 percent of job seekers use social media in their job search!! This figure increases to 86 percent for younger job seekers who are in the first 10 years of their careers! (Glassdoor)

    So instead of giving up when faced with social overwhelm, we advise you to learn to use it intelligently. While we’ll take a deeper dive into how this works for each individual platform later in this guide, for now let’s just focus on the basics.

    Your research should involve a few moves:

    1. Comparing companies with their social media profiles, as discussed above
    2. Using social media to identify the important people in a company and try to create connections with them
    3. Catch hints of job openings that might not be posted in public places (i.e. job boards or company career sections)
    4. Impressing potential employers with your own profiles

    Aside from fear over the deluge of social media posts and feelings of helplessness when it comes to sorting through them, this last step causes the bulk of the consternation people feel over using social media. There’s no way my account is good enough to show an employer, they think. I’ll never get a job that way.

    So instead of giving up when faced with social overwhelm, we advise you to learn to use it intelligently!

    Well, yes and no. If your Instagram account consists only of puppy pictures, then you definitely shouldn’t show it off (unless you’re applying for a position as a dog groomer). On the other hand, even a reasonably sized Twitter feed or business Facebook page can demonstrate your ability to use social media and provide an alternate platform on which to engage with potential employers, whose private email addresses you almost certainly will not have access to.

    Plus, by following those companies consistently, you can learn more about them so you seem more knowledgeable if you should be offered an interview, and you’ll have your finger on their pulse in case openings should be implied or overtly advertised.

    So if you want to work at a certain company or have seen a job posting specifically related to working there, you can head to social media, search for that company, and see who pops up. Anyone in the department you want to work in – or even in other departments – is a good prospect for someone to talk to. We’ll flesh this out more fully in the next section.

    How to Connect with Employers on Social Media

    Connecting with People Who Matter

    One of the best ways to increase your chances of getting a job is to start talking with people who can actually help you get one. This is a difficult and scary prospect for people used to applying to online job ads and relying on personal introductions from friends. Going out and finding people to talk to on your own can feel a lot like cold calling. And unless you’re a professional salesman, chances are good you hate cold calling. It just flat goes against our personality as humans to ask people we don’t know for things we want.

    The trick is not asking outright, but rather forming a relationship first. You might leave a comment on one of their feeds, which boosts their traffic and the success of their account. Or you could ask them a question from a mentee-to-mentor standpoint, which makes them feel knowledgeable and valued. If you see a major error on a company website or have a strong idea for how to help them, you can even write to politely point that out. These are all ways to make first contact without looking like a greedy schlub who just wants something like all the rest – a sure way to get ignored.

    An incredible 2016 survey of 3,000 people mostly in staff or management roles reveals 85% of all jobs are filled via networking! The power of connecting with people who matter is paramount! (The Adler Group, Performance Based Hiring)

    Plus, when you use social media, you can reach out to people “cold” without having to invade their inbox or their phone line. It’s also much easier for a person to keep track of your communication in social media, which tidily puts it all in one place for them (i.e. a message folder), and they can get back to you on their own time.

    On LinkedIn you can send InMail (and even ask for introductions from people you know, if you want to speak to those you don’t). On Twitter, you can send direct tweets to people to let them know you’re interested in chatting with them, or to share a thought about the industry. Private messages on Facebook make interaction very easy, while Instagram comments and direct messages give you informal and more formal ways of reaching out to people you like.

    Naturally, since social is such a busy medium, there is a chance you will get lost in the noise, but by putting enough messages out there, you’re bound to get some responses. No matter which platform you decide to use – which will largely depend on the ones you’re already most comfortable with – there are ways to get someone’s attention, even if you don’t know them. Below we will explore in more detail how to use each platform to connect with people.

    Of course, communicating with people isn’t the only benefit of social media. You can also use your profiles to highlight your own expertise, showcase your accomplishments, comment on industry-specific happenings of the day, and generally make yourself look like an appealing prospect by demonstrating technological fluency … even if you’re not applying for a job as social media manager. But in order to make sure you don’t set any traps for yourself, you must first ensure your job search confidentiality. That section will be covered later. Let’s now glean some do’s and don’ts on connecting with decision-makers.

    Connecting with Decision-Makers: Do’s and Don’ts

    Connecting with People Who Matter

    No matter which channel you use to reach out to employers, it’s prudent to follow a few basic rules of the road. Being polite and respecting your contact’s time is not only the right thing to do, it will considerably up your chances of getting a response back. While digital technology has enabled a raft of new ways to connect, there is still protocol to follow.

    It’s important not to dismiss this. While the casual nature of social media might convince us that the interactions thereon can also be casual, that’s not true. Respect is still owed to people who are older than you, for instance. It’s not a good idea, for example, to address a 60-year Director of Sales with, “What up, Bob? Hope biz is boomin’ because I’d love to be a part of the team!” Informal address, slang and presumption collide in this fictional (but not as fictional as you might think) example. If you don’t want your prospect to dismiss you forever – and actively work against you if your resume should ever cross their desk – be careful.

    There’s another reason to ensure your outreach follows the rules of conduct, too: You’re not just making an impression on the decision-maker to whom you’re speaking. You’re also making an impression on anyone who reads that tweet, Facebook comment or Instagram story. If you wouldn’t say it in a job interview, it’s probably best not to say it on social. Otherwise, you might blow up your chance with jobs you haven’t yet thought to apply to or relationships that have not yet begun.

    Did you know people form a first impression on visual content in a mere 50 milliseconds?!! So how long would it take for a decision-maker to form their first impression of your tweet, comment or outreach? (WebDAM.com)

    With that said, here are a few don’ts and dos to keep you on your contacts’ good sides.

    Here are some Don’ts

    • Don’t contact the decision-maker’s company, HR department, boss or other connections: Nothing is more annoying than getting hunted down at your place of employment. Think about how much you would appreciate getting headhunted or bugged for assistance when you’re trying to file paperwork or finish a report. No, thank you. Instead, reach out to decision-makers via their own personal platforms.
    • Don’t call after (their) business hours: Calling is a dicey prospect under the best of circumstances, so never reach out to the decision-maker after hours. However, considering they’re trying to work when they’re, you know, at work … it’s probably best to avoid the phone altogether unless a mutual contact has okayed it.
    • Don’t text unless you have a preexisting relationship: Like calling, texting is intimate. It is overly presumptuous of you to send a text if you haven’t been given the go-ahead. This will most likely lead to an ignore at best, an outraged “Who is this??” at worst.
    • Don’t presume the decision-maker has time for you: We’re all busy, and your hoped-for connection is no exception. If you want them to care about what you need, respect their time. If you’re asking to chat, offer multiple time slots and make your availability very clear. Then be flexible, always.
    • Don’t forget to offer something in return, or even beforehand: There’s no such thing as a free lunch, and we tend to resent people who assume they’re welcome to one. If you want to make a good impression on a decision-maker, help them before you ask for something. Share one of their blog entries, respond to a social media post or hook them up with someone useful. Even a follow will get you much more notice than simply reaching out and making asks when you’ve done nothing to deserve them.

    It’s not all bad news, though. Here are a few dos to add to your list.

    Here are some Do’s

    • Do find the best contact information for them and use it: Your prospects, like you, probably have a widespread online footprint. This includes social media profiles, LinkedIn contact information, a company email address and possibly even a personal blog. That’s a lot of choices, and you want to choose the best one.  Target the platform on which the person looks most active. That means it’s most convenient for them to respond there, and as a bonus, you have the best chance of getting that response.
    • Do feel free to email after business hours: While calling isn’t a great idea, emailing after business hours is totally fine. We expect our inboxes to swell in the evening and overnight, and no one looks at a timestamp and thinks you’re crazy for sending email at 10 p.m. Better yet, get up early and send your emails around 7 a.m. Eastern, when they’re most likely to pop up at the top of an inbox.
    • Do feel free to reach out over social media at any time of day: Social media, like email, is an all-hours tool. Don’t hesitate to reach out at any time. Again, though, it’s better to position yourself to be noticed. Try to reach out when the person is already on the platform, and you’ll do better.
    • Do constantly rotate through a long list of decision-makers: It’s natural to get your heart set on one job or one connection, but it isn’t a smart strategy. You have to keep a constant rotation of contacts to whom you’re reaching out, or else the well will run dry fairly quickly.
    • Do feel free to reach out in multiple mediums: It’s totally fine to reach out to a potential employer in more than one medium. For instance, you might apply to the job through traditional channels and then follow up on Twitter with the person you know is in charge of the hiring process. However, one caveat: If you apply to the job first and then follow up, chances are good you will already have been beat out by a better prospect. It behooves you to forge a relationship with the decision-maker first.

    Following these dos and don’ts doesn’t guarantee job search success, but it most certainly ups your chances. If you take the time to treat your prospects with the respect they deserve, they will appreciate it and give you considerably more consideration. This will make your use of social media even more effective.

    Still need some convincing about the power of social? Let’s hear from the experts.

    Experts Weigh In on Using Social Media

    The impact of social media on business and the world is beyond doubt, but the impact on your job search is just as momentous.

    Don’t believe it? Here are a few words from the experts.

    Alison Doyle
    “Networking is one of the most important components of job searching–in fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 70% of all jobs are found through networking. At the same time, employers are using social media more and job boards less. In a 2013 study, 94 percent of employers planned to use social media for recruiting, according to a survey of 800 employers conducted by Jobvite.com.”Alison Doyle, Job Search Expert, CEO of TheBalance.com
    Jenny Che
    “It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the barrage of Twitter noise — and to favor LinkedIn instead as a professional social media tool. But if you don’t look closely at Twitter, you could be missing out on some crucial job and networking opportunities.”Jenny Che, Journalist at Huffington Post
    Pam Skillings
    “Compared with social media job search heavyweights like LinkedIn, Twitter often flies under the radar as a tool for job search success. Don’t let that underdog status fool you, though. [Twitter has] surprising job search staying power – all in 140 characters or less.”Pam Skillings, Interview Coach, Career Expert, BigInterview.com
    Dan Schawbel
    “LinkedIn is by far the #1 spot for job seekers, those currently employed, marketers who are looking to build lists and salespeople who are seeking out new clients. With 35 million users, including recruiters and job seekers, LinkedIn is quite a hot spot … The problem is that most job seekers don’t optimize their profile, cultivate their network, join and participate in groups, use applications and exchange endorsements. That is basically everything you should be doing in a nutshell.”Dan Schawbel, Millennial Career Expert – Best Selling Author
    Rebecca White
    “Your CV [resume] is normally only seen by those to whom you have either sent it directly, or by recruiters who have paid for access to the candidate database of a recruitment website, so by using social media sites in your job search you can increase the visibility of your professional profile and be seen by the wider world. It puts your skills and experience into the public domain and provides opportunities to network online with professionals from all kinds of different employment sectors.”Rebecca White, Director of Staffing at Kavaliro
    Darren Rowse
    “Sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ allow employers to get a glimpse of who you are outside the confines of a résumé, cover letter, or interview—while they offer job seekers the opportunity to learn about companies they’re interested in; connect with current and former employees; and hear about job openings instantaneously, among other things.”Darren Rowse, Speaker, Author, Blogger, Founder of Problogger
    Jacquelyn Smith
    “Sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ allow employers to get a glimpse of who you are outside the confines of a résumé, cover letter, or interview—while they offer job seekers the opportunity to learn about companies they’re interested in; connect with current and former employees; and hear about job openings instantaneously, among other things.”Jacquelyn Smith, Director of Content Strategy at Flexjobs.com
    Matt Sweetwood
    “Job seeking has changed a lot over the past few years. Gone are the days of waiting for the Sunday newspaper to scour the job section for new opportunities. We have Monster, Ladders, Recruiter, ZipRecruiter and other dot coms which provide job listings and automatically deliver your resume electronically. So, do you need to use social media to find a new job? Does having a powerful personal brand give you an edge in the job market? … I believe that social media is the most effective tool for building your brand and business.”Matt Sweetwood, BeBee CEO, Personal Branding Guru, Big Life Coach
    Jeffrey Giesener
    “Searching for passive candidates is one of the keys to social recruiting, especially in trying to find niche candidates,”….“Using social geolocation tools is great for these efforts. From my perspective, additionally, I see social recruiting as being so much broader. Today, with social being on mobile and with over 4 billion global profiles the appeal is so much broader and reaches all demographics.”Jeffrey Giesener CEO and founder of SourceMob.com
    Tim Ferriss
    “The informal job market comprises all jobs that are not filled through someone responding to a job advertisement…somewhere around 80% of jobs get filled informally. So, how does the 80% of hiring that occurs in the informal job market actually happen?…by building up a professional relationship with people within the organization doing the hiring, long before the hire is made.”Tim Ferriss, Author of 4 #1 NYT/WSJ bestsellers (e.g. The 4-Hour Workweek)

    Job Search Confidentiality

    Job Search Confidentiality

    Searching for a job is a necessary task at certain points in your life, and every employer knows that their employees will very likely want to move on to greener pastures at some point. They’ve been there themselves, after all, and most are unlikely to hate you as a person just because you’re trying to better your career and life.

    However, there’s a very real difference between knowing your employee may someday accept another position, and seeing that a current employee is actively soliciting job offers from other companies. The latter is more likely to lead to termination before you’re ready, or at least a de-investment in you. Why would an employer want to sink more time and resources into someone, only to help another company in a few months? Unfortunately, if you were hoping for a promotion before you left to up the pay bump you’d receive at your next job, or wanted to part on good terms, this can seriously hamper things.

    The obvious answer, as you already knew, is to keep your job search secret. Instead of advertising your intentions to the world in hopes of getting as many offers as possible, you’ve got to be strategic.

    Here are some dos:

    • Do tell friends, family members and colleagues you trust that you are in the market for a new job, and ask if they have any recommendations
    • Do ask for introductions to people you know, either in person or through social media
    • Do revamp your resume, and quietly update your LinkedIn profile and social media bios to reflect the job you’re looking for
    • Do build a personal website that showcases your work and gives potential employees a good idea of what you are capable of
    • Do ramp up your social media activity, though not so much it would be obvious to any employer who could track it
    • Do work on your elevator pitch, a 30-second spiel that explains who you are, what you do and how you help companies succeed

    Instead of advertising your intentions to the world in hopes of getting as many offers as possible, you’ve got to be strategic.

    The above are all perfectly safe activities that will keep you under the radar at your current job, while both making you a more appealing prospect to potential new employers and expanding your network. It can even make you more appealing to your current company, because higher perceived value could be noticed by your employer, who might want to take advantage of it by putting you in a new role. While extra work on your profiles and brand might be a little red flag that you’re nosing around elsewhere, this can sometimes prove motivating to your existing company. Just don’t be too obvious about where you’re going with it.

    While extra work on your profiles and brand might be a little red flag that you’re nosing around elsewhere, this can sometimes prove motivating to your existing company.

    Now here are some don’ts:

    • Don’t announce on social media that you’re looking for a job unless you are currently unemployed
    • Don’t ask people at your company for job recommendations or references unless you are absolutely sure they will be discreet
    • Don’t forget, when you’re reaching out to people in any form, to let them know you’re still employed (if you are) and that you appreciate them not giving your search away
    • Don’t post anything on social media that makes it obvious you’re looking for a job
    • Don’t forget that there’s a difference between public conversations and private ones

    This last one is particularly important. For instance, if you’re speaking to someone about your job search on Twitter, make sure you’re using the private messaging app. Twitter also has a public response medium where you’re only talking to one person, but everyone can see what you two are saying to each other. That’s no good.

    …if you’re speaking to someone about your job search on Twitter, make sure you’re using the private messaging app.

    Regarding this last one, for instance, you’ll need to be aware of the difference between Instagram comments on posts (which everyone can see) and direct messages (which are private). Similarly, know that unless someone is following you on Twitter, any direct message you send is visible. Yes, you can tweet to someone specifically, but it will still show up on your feed.

    We won’t spend any more time discussing these ideas below, so make sure you keep them in mind when it comes to all of our recommendations. Now we’re going to move on to how to use each platform in turn to the benefit of your job search.

    How to Use LinkedIn to Land a Job

    LinkedIn

    LinkedIn is the most obvious social media platform for job seekers, simply because it is predicated on the foundation of giving professionals a way to use social to their benefit. Currently, it is believed by many to be the only worthwhile social media feed. That’s mainly because its entire purpose is to help you grow your your career, and while some people criticize it as being nothing more than a glorified resume, it’s much more than that.

    Because it is built specifically for jobseekers, it is one of the easiest social media platforms to link up (no pun intended) with your job search.

    Here’s how to update your LinkedIn profile so you look professional and well-established. First of all, your resume should be fully fleshed out. This includes a list of accomplishment for each job, volunteer opportunity, credential or school on your resume. You also need to upload a presentable picture. No booze, professional clothing (no bikinis!), no one else in the picture, and a neutral background.

    Recognize that LinkedIn is an incredible global social network of 400 million(yes million!) people, not just a database of them!! That is 70 million more people than the entire U.S. population in 2016! (LinkedIn Hiring Stats Report v02.04)

    You may also upload a header image if you like, though that’s not strictly necessary. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to size your image, but you can use roughly the same dimensions in a larger size if you want. Make sure not to go much larger or any smaller, both of which can result in a seriously grainy result. Unless you’re a graphic artist going for that effect, it’s not a good one. Opt for a header that it is specifically related to your industry and your brand. Use imagery that reflects exactly what you do; not a picture of you walking on the beach. Also make sure the colors don’t clash with your headshot, other social media profiles or website. Employers, like all social media users, want to hop from platform to platform without being jarred out of the experience, and streamlined branding can help accomplish that.

    LinkedIn influenced hires are 2x more likely to be high demand and above average hires and 40% of new employees sourced through Linkedin are less likely to leave the company within the first 6 months! (LinkedIn Hiring Stats Report v02.04)

    Fully fill out your summary, stating what you do now, what you bring to the companies you work with, why someone would want to hire you, and two or three of your biggest accomplishments. Endorse other people so that they will endorse you (but only in a genuine way … don’t be fake or people won’t take you seriously). Lastly, you can ask for recommendations from specific people whom you know will speak highly of you.

    When your profile is all shiny and new, you can start reaching out to people. Remember the old adage, first impressions are everything! Send messages to friends or former colleagues explaining that you’re looking for a job, and ask if they know of any openings that match your experience and background. Sure, this isn’t a fun thing to do, per se, but if you get even one response, it will help move you toward your goal.

    Over 75 % of people who recently changed jobs used LinkedIn to inform their career decision. (LinkedIn Hiring Stats Report v02.04)

    If you’d like to speak to someone at a company you want to work for, but don’t know the person directly, you can ask for an introduction or send them an InMail message. This is actually a very simple move, requiring only that you have a LinkedIn connection between you and that person. If you don’t, you can ask the connection for an introduction to the 2nd-degree connection. If you’re really set on talking to someone, you can ask for an introduction to a 2nd-degree connection who knows someone further afield.

    Shhh Secret! InMail messages do not require you to have a connection. Send Linkedin InMails between 9–10 a.m. on weekdays. InMail messages sent on Saturdays are 16% less likely to get a response. (LinkedIn Hiring Stats Report v02.04)

    However creative you choose to get with LinkedIn, know that it is one of the best resources on the Internet for finding jobs and connecting with people who matter, so don’t disregard it.

    How to Use Facebook to Land a Job

    Facebook

    While not as job-oriented as LinkedIn, Facebook still hosts a wealth of opportunities for job seekers. For one thing, it’s a great place to learn about changes in the industry and possible openings at specific companies. By following a company’s Facebook page, you can also learn about who the decision-makers are and what the company ethic is. In some cases, they may even advertise open positions directly.

    Before you can reach out to these companies or apply for these positions, however, you need to make sure your Facebook profile is presentable. If you have a business page, great. This means you started a blog, company or other entity that would entitle you to a professional page. If you just have a personal profile, that’s still fine as long as it is centered on your work life and accomplishments rather than your cats and your Taylor Swift addiction.

    Alternatively, you can start a brand page that highlights who you are and what you do, but doesn’t necessitate your own business or blog. Your brand page isn’t linked to your personal page, so you can choose who sees it and who doesn’t. You can administer it from your personal page, however, so that when you log into Facebook you can scroll through both from the same dashboard. If you decide to sponsor your page (which means use ads to attract attention), note that people already in your network likely will see your page then.

    Before you can reach out to these companies or apply for these positions, however, you need to make sure your Facebook profile is presentable.

    Write a short, to-the-point bio that says what you do for a living, briefly explains your hobbies and interests, and highlights one or two reasons you’re a great employee. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this on a personal profile that your high school graduating class can see, then get a business or brand page.

    Whatever you choose, it’s crucial to be professional, as with any other social media profile that’s visible to the world. If you’re using your personal page, upload a professional-looking picture – though it can be slightly more relaxed than LinkedIn – and scatter a few posts about your job approach/successes between the family pics and the stats from your latest workout. If you’re using a brand page, take a strictly career-oriented approach, as you would with LinkedIn.

    According to JobCast, an incredible 66% of recruiters use Facebook as part of their strategy to win the war for today’s talent! This simply means recruiters are looking at you!

    Now you can start messaging people you already know … or people you would like to know. Ask about job openings, display your expertise with targeted questions, and subtly make your availability known. If you’re a good prospect, you will eventually catch the attention of someone who matters, or be passed on to their contacts until you do. Do note that you cannot make a business or brand page private (unlike a personal page), so be careful about the job info you share there.

    How to Use Twitter to Land a Job

    Twitter

    Twitter is less obviously designed for the job hunt, but is still very useful. It contains some of the most up-to-the-minute information on the web, in a huge variety of different industries. No matter what you do for a living, your interests are guaranteed to be represented there on Twitter. If you can successfully tap into those industries, you’ll quickly pull ahead of your competitors in the job search.

    Using it, however, is a little more challenging than Facebook or LinkedIn.

    As mentioned above, you can reach out to people by tweeting at them (which other people can see), or if you follow one another, you can tweet them directly (where no one else can see). Neither of these is a very reliable communication system, however, and it’s a rare person who has a Twitter account but neither Facebook nor LinkedIn. Therefore, it’s usually more productive to keep the private messages on other platforms and use Twitter to display your own thought leadership.

    You can do this in myriad ways, but the simplest and most straightforward include:

    • Commenting on news items
    • Talking about work you’re doing
    • Broadcasting news from your own company
    • Taking a (relatively soft) stand on matters of public interest
    • Sharing the occasional personal status update (emphasis on occasional!)

    One of Twitter’s best features is the “industry chat.” While this sounds like a fancy group to which you have to be invited, it’s not at all. It merely means a hashtag, which if you click on, will pull up all posts that have used that hashtag. This gives you a ton of information related to your job or industry, all in one place, where you can reference it any time. Even better, many of the people in your industry who can help you will be present on the chat. This is an excellent place to reach out to people and ask for advice, to demonstrate what you know and can do, and to become more informed about your chosen field. Over time, as you remain active in your chat(s), you can even become one of the recognized bigwigs, which helps you career immeasurably.

    Super tip! To find an employer seeking candidates search these hashtags: #hiring, #tweetmyjobs, #HR, #jobopening, #jobposting, #employment, #opportunity, #recruiting, #rtjobs, #jobsearch, #joblisting, #hireme, #resume, #needajob, #employers, #career, #interview. Also hashtags related to your career ie, #projectmanager, #engineer, #accountant (CareerEnlightenment)

    Also, as you use Twitter more and learn to streamline your system so you’re not spending all hours of the day trying to post, you’ll be able to branch out. If you want to post frequently but don’t have the time, consider a system such as Buffer, which has a free version or a cheap paid version to enable you to batch all your tweets but release them one by one over time. It’s a great way to stay active without devoting the rest of your days to this platform, so try it.

    How to Use Instagram to Land a Job

    Instagram

    Because Instagram is inherently so visual, it tends to be less obviously applicable to your search unless you’re in a field such as design, interior decoration, travel, food, floral or something equivalent. If you take the right approach, however, Instagram can be a valuable tool to any prospective employee.

    Consider Boeing, which has a staggering 500k followers because they appeal to people’s fascination with aviation. Or Intel, which mixes latest products and projects with corporate culture. These feeds demonstrate that no matter what industry you belong to – automotive, legal, marketing, etc. – you can still use Instagram well as long as you find a unique angle.

    You can post your latest projects, showcase your visual aesthetic and offer behind-the-scenes snaps of your workspace or studio. This is a great way to demonstrate your abilities to employers – whether you’re looking for freelance work or want to be hired on at a company full-time. It’s also a good way to showcase the work of others, by posting their photos to your feed with credit. Doing so helps their account grow, and grabs their attention so they can follow you as well.

    You can post your latest projects, showcase your visual aesthetic and offer behind-the-scenes snaps of your workspace or studio.

    Like Twitter, Instagram also uses hashtags. So also like Twitter, you can click on a specific hashtag and see everything that’s happening in that category at any given time. You can see the highest performing posts at the top, which will give you ideas on the kinds of photos that do well so you can replicate them. You can also see the barrage of photos using that hashtag in real time, in order to keep up with others in the industry. If you’re not yet sure which hashtags to use, leverage the search tool. Type in a word related to your industry, and watch all the related tags pop up. Use the best four or five on your posts to help you get found.

    Hot tip! If you’re not yet sure which hashtags to use, leverage the search tool and use the same #hashtags from Twitter referenced above!.

    As Intel demonstrates, Instagram is a great place to get a feel for company culture. Most medium-sized and larger companies have Instagram accounts, where you can learn how they approach work, their basic views and the kind of personalities they’re looking for. Thus, it’s a great place to mine information before reaching out to decision-makers or applying for jobs.

    How to Clean Up Your Reputation & Past

    Cleaning Up Your Past

    Reputation, Reputation, Reputation.

    Now, don’t get offended. Most millennials, and quite a few people in Generation Y, are guilty of certain online indiscretions. We don’t mean anything really bad, necessarily … but not everything you’ve ever said or done is for public consumption, right? Think of that backless swimsuit pic in St. Barts, or the post about how much you haaaaaaaaaaaate ___________. Because frankly, you should never publicly hate anything; you never know who loves it.

    That being the case, you might have to clean up your profiles a little bit. This is actually pretty easy. Trolling through the last hundred or so tweets is probably good enough. Ditto Instagram. Facebook has a feature that pops up “your post 5 years ago!” at unpredictable moments, so it will need a deep clean.

    For LinkedIn, you really shouldn’t have anything inappropriate, but if you do … off it goes. Even if you’ve, say, written for edgy publications, make sure the resume line is squeaky clean. That way people who want to dig deeper can, but those who are just skimming lines won’t be drawn to something inappropriate.

    Job searchers beware!! A recent survey suggests a whopping 70% of employers are snooping candidates’ social media profiles to see if you are the right fit for them!! (Careerbuilder)

    Other things to take off your feed include:

    • Relationship status: No one needs to know this, and you never know what kind of status will produce prejudice.
    • Pictures in anything less than full clothing: Even though we all wear bathing suits and skimpy dress in hot weather, it looks inherently unprofessional.
    • Alcohol: Again, most people drink, but most booze pictures are just inappropriate. In rare cases, this is fine, such as at a wedding or a company wine tasting. All other party pics have to go.
    • Strong political stances: Unless you actually want to go into politics, this isn’t a good idea, because you don’t want prospective employers influenced by this.
    • Strong moral stances: Even if you’re a passionate advocate of, say, human rights, this can come off too strongly. It’s better to support your causes in private with donations or volunteer time. You can run the occasional campaign on social media for non-inflammatory causes, but stay away from anything polarizing.
    • Religion: For the most part, while your faith is important, other people would prefer to be left out of it.
    • Fights: Social media is NOT the place to pick a fight with family, friends, companies or anyone else. Save your outrage for a private space. This isn’t the same as an honestly negative review, or asking a company on Twitter to fix a bug in their software. But even then, be gracious at all costs.
    • Graphic baby information: Babies go to the bathroom. We all do. But come on, no one needs to hear about your little one’s latest toileting habits.
    • Bigotry: Even if you aren’t racist (and we sincerely hope you aren’t), avoid anything that could even be perceived that way. “Jokes” are rarely funny. Similarly, avoid stating your opinions about gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or anything else. Other people’s most personal attributes are not yours to comment on in anything less than a fully supportive way.

    If you’re really worried about your past, you should follow this guide to cleaning up your online presence. Too much to do yourself? Google “online reputation management” and find an expert to help you. The fees are usually pretty reasonable, especially when weighed against the chances that a potential employer will find dirt you really want to keep hidden.

    Conversely, job seekers aren’t the only ones affected by reputations on social media, it also flows back to the employer.

    Incredibly, prospective employees are five times more likely to just refuse to consider an offer from a company with a bad reputation!! Also, 69% of job seekers would turn down an offer from a company with a bad reputation EVEN if they were unemployed! (Corporate Responsibility Magazine / Allegis Group Services)

    Whether it’s the employee or employer, each should always possess a high level of integrity, trust and loyalty.

    How to Create Your Own Social System

    Creating a Social System

    Once you’ve cleaned up each profile and figured out the best ways to use each one, it’s time to create a system so that you can use them without simultaneously using a whole lot of brain space. The simplest way to do this is just commit to a certain number of posts or messages a day. Say, an Instagram post showcasing your work, 5 Facebook messages to people who might be able to help your job search, 2 tweets and 2 direct tweets, and 3 requests for introductions on LinkedIn.

    Again, you should look into scheduling tools that can help you be more effective with your postings. Buffer works for Twitter, Facebook and Google+. BoardBooster was designed specifically for Pinterest, which those in the visual space should definitely be using. Later is an amazing tool for Instagram. Try these tools on for size, and see which net you the best results.

    Obviously you’ll need to create your own system based on what works for you, but these are ideas of goals you can set to help you get where you want to go. And having a system to which you answer is the best way to ensure you actually follow through with those goals each and every day until you’ve landed that job.

    For as long as it’s been around, social media has garnered a reputation as a vapid way to spend too many hours of the day, but it’s so much more than that. If you’ve been suffering from that mindset, it’s time to break free and create a system that actually benefits your career. Implement the specific steps above, intentionally and regularly. You might be surprised at how far just a few shifts in your approach can get you.

    Recap on Using Social Media for Job Searching

    Recap on Using Social Media for Job Searching

    Social media is, admittedly, a real can of worms. It can be easy to get lost in the morass of platforms and posts. However, if you are targeted and intentional in your approach, the chances of you benefiting from social is much greater.

    The best advice? Don’t go full-bore, which is a certain way to burn out and lose your momentum. Instead, start by instituting one platform at a time, then getting good at it. Build up your profiles slowly, writing out complete bios, putting up the same pic on every platform, and making sure colors and branding match. Once you’re ready, start reaching out to people slowly and making real connections. Don’t immediately throw a barrage of “will you help me?” style messages out there, because people are unlikely to respond well.

    Most importantly, cut yourself a break. It’s not easy to immerse yourself in the online world, and it can even be painful, especially as you discover that you’re really just a drop in the social media bucket. But that’s okay. Just be the best drop you can be.

    Once you’re ready, start reaching out to people slowly and making real and lasting connections. Don’t immediately throw a barrage of “will you help me?” style messages out there, because people are unlikely to respond favorably.

    At the end of the day, when you’re looking for a job, you really have nothing to lose. Making connections with people who matter, cleaning up your profiles (which you really need an excuse to do anyway), and learning a valuable technological skill are all great reasons to up your targeted social media use right away. But the best reason of all is that it could truly help you land a job you love, and that right there is worth its weight in digital gold.

    If you truly follow our Ultimate Social Media Job Searching Guide you will have the tools and power to land the job you want!

    Happy Jobing!

    Data Sources & References

    Brittney Wilson
    Written by Brittney Wilson
    Brittney Wilson is our resident social media expert. She is an Author, Blogger, Social Media Influencer and professionally known as The Nerdy Nurse.

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