Secrets to Job Hunting through Social Media

Posted by Lisa Odierno

July 31, 2012 @ 08:30 AM

You reject friend requests on Facebook, you think tweeting is for the birds and Pinterest? What is Pinterest anyway? If you’re not on board with the latest social media trends, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon since more and more companies are using social networks as a key recruitment tool. Here are some tips on how to use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+ to your advantage in your job search.socialmediajob resized 600

LinkedIn: Recruiters hire candidates through LinkedIn 40% of the time. So, if you’re not on LinkedIn, you should be.

  • Complete Your Profile: LinkedIn users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to get hits. Update your profile with recent work information and write a catchy summary that focuses on your experience, career goals and interests.

  • Create a Headline: Take advantage of the opportunity to create a professional headline. Since users that you’re not connected to can only see a shortened version of your profile, your headline is an easy way to sum up your professional identity in a short phrase.

  • Get Recommended: Beef up your profile with recommendations from your former bosses, colleagues and clients. Recommendations from people who have worked directly with you can carry a lot of weight in your job search since they give employers a rare insight into your professional characteristics.

  • Search for Jobs: LinkedIn posts thousands of jobs for each industry category daily. You can set up your search using keywords, titles, company names or locations to find the right job.

  • Message Contacts: See if you have any connections at the company you’re applying to. Use these inside connections to find the right person to contact regarding the job you’re interested in. InMail the individual or request an introduction through one of your common contacts.

Twitter: There’s definitely an art to using Twitter to find a job. Set up a profile that will get Recruiters to notice you. Follow people in your field, participate in job-related chats and use various job-hunting tools.

  • Create an Account: Think of a Twitter handle that incorporates your real name or something similar. Twitter profile bios are limited to 160 characters, so make sure you list the type of work you’re after along with keywords Recruiters might search for. Also, include a professional photograph.    

  • Find People: Build new relationships that can lead to your next job. Follow Recruiters, Career Coaches, companies that interest you and industry experts to keep up with hiring trends and get first dibs on new opportunities. Follow Amanda Augustine, TheLadders job search expert and career advisor for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.

  • Try Out Job-Hunting Apps: Use Twitter add-on apps to search and apply for jobs. For example, TweetMyJobs has 10,000 job channels and adds 50,000 new positions per day. This app will send you daily updates via Twitter or email, too.

  • Follow Job-Search Hashtags: Jobs are hot topics on Twitter. Tweeters use hashtags, a word or phrase following a “#” with no spaces or punctuation, to discuss job-related tops. Top related  hashtags include #jobs, #jobsearch, #career and #hire.

Facebook: With over 845 million users, it’s safe to say that you should use this opportunity to network yourself to your Facebook friends, but make sure you profile portrays your image in a positive light.

  • Be Smart: Have you posted or are you tagged in any questionable pictures? Are your status updates and comments appropriate? Is your info page PG-rated? Clean up your profile before you start to use Facebook on a professional level. Privatize your profie, making your information available only to those you approve of by choosing the “Friends Only” option in your privacy settings.

  • Update Your Status: Update your Facebook status, detailing your current situation and what types of roles you’re looking for. Remember that family, friends and old colleagues are there to help you!

  • Network: Does anyone you know work at the company you’re trying to break into? Do you have friends in a similar field? Leverage your vast social network to scope out new positions, find referrals and gather career advice.

  • Be Active: Facebook groups are similar to those on LinkedIn. They’re a great place to join in conversations, post links and connect with others. You’ll want to network and get noticed by professionals in your industry, so send friend invitations to people you’ve had a few conversations with. These online relationships could lead to consideration for job opportunities.

  • Search the Marketplace: Check out Facebook’s marketplace for job listings. You can apply directly to the position or contact the person behind the posting for additional information on the role.

Pinterest: This pinboard-style photo sharing website allows its users to build theme-based image collections. Doesn’t sound like a useful job search tool? Think again. With more than 11 million people and companies wrapped up in the pinning trend, Pinterest is quickly emerging as tool job seekers can use to market themselves and check out potential career opportunities, employers and industries. 

  • Optimize Your Profile: Adjust your account settings to allow your profile to appear in Google search results. Include keywords in your profile description that match the job you want. Insert a recent photograph along with links to your personal website or LinkedIn profile so potential employers will have easy access to more information about you.

  • Build an Online Resume and Portfolio: Collect samples of your work and pin them to boards labeled “My Resume” or “My Portfolio.” Create straightforward labels so they’re easy to find.

  • Check Out Career and Company Boards: Use the search box to look for information on jobs and careers. The pin boards you find will give you a sense of the company’s overall culture. Pin anything that peaks your interest to your very own boards for future reference. These insights can help you develop tailored job applications, letting the employer know you’ve done your homework.

  • Follow Experts:  Follow job websites, outplacement firms, Recruiters and career centers that have boards on Pinterest. Get a conversation started by commenting on their pins. Check out TheLadders on Pinterest for even more job search and career advice. 

Google+: Google’s social networking project hit 250 million registered users in June of 2012. With countless techies trying out this relatively new, innovative platform, it’s a great tool to showcase your expertise and learn from others.                                          

  • Expand Your Circles: These are the core of this social network’s organization system, giving users control over who can and who can’t view their content. Add other users directly to your individual Circles to connect with them. Label them according to various aspects of your personal and professional life, and make sure you’re not sharing inappropriate content with your business network.

  • Be Available: Let your contacts know that you’re looking for work. Mention it in the “About” section of your profile or post an update that you’re looking to take the next step in your career.

A lot to take in? Just remember to maintain your accounts and update your profiles daily if possible. But, don’t update them so much that your posts become an annoyance to your connections. Happy hunting!