I want to thank all of you who’ve tuned in each week as we’ve counted down to a New Year, New You. Hopefully these assignments have helped you refresh your job-search strategy with the digital recruiter in mind.
In the past four weeks we’ve worked to update your image, craft a professional resume, manage your search on the go, and overhaul your online brand. This fifth and final assignment is designed to help you take your job search to the next level. This week, we’re getting back to social media basics.
A Jobvite social recruiting survey revealed that 92 percent of recruiters and HR professionals use social media as part of their recruiting strategy. If you’re not incorporating at least some of these channels into your job search, you’re missing out. My goal is to help you understand the best ways to incorporate social media to build up your personal brand, expand your network, and uncover additional job leads.
In short, Twitter allows you to communicate and absorb tidbits of information in 140 characters or less. While you can use Twitter to extend your personal brand by building a professional account and tweeting articles and opinions related to your line of work, I don’t think it’s the right move for everyone.
I like to use Twitter for reconnaissance. Create an account that’s not associated with your professional brand and use it to gather intel on recruiters, hiring managers and companies you’re targeting in your search. For instance, companies like Verizon and GE (and of course, Twitter) have feeds set up to blast out their latest openings. You can also follow job search experts like me to get tips throughout the week.
Most people are familiar with Facebook these days. While it’s a great place to socialize with friends, I don’t think it’s the best way to promote your professional brand to prospective employers because you have to be so careful with security settings. In fact, I recommend using your first and middle name on your account so outsiders won’t find it during a general search.
That said, there are ways to keep your Facebook account hidden from recruiters and still reap benefits for your search. Fill out the “Work and Education” section to align with your resume so friends can view your career to date. You can also use the Branchout app to find out if any of your “Connections” work at your target companies. This is a great way to identify people for informational interviews or employee referrals.
LinkedIn is a great way to grow your professional online presence and utilize your network. When you meet someone at an event, send a thoughtful connection request that references how you met and when. Build out a robust profile that aligns with your resume and highlights the skill sets, certifications and professional memberships most relevant to your job goals.
Join and actively participate in LinkedIn groups related to your line of work – recruiters are notorious for trolling these groups in search of candidates to fill their roles. If you’re interested in switching careers, search for former colleagues who’ve moved on to see where else their experience was accepted. Similar to Facebook, use the advanced search features to find connections for informational interviews and employee referrals.
Pinterest is a visual learner’s best friend. It allows you to “pin” images found online and organize them into different “boards” to help you organize anything from a big event to a house improvement project. Each image is connected back to a webpage. If you’re in a creative role, consider developing a professional account to display your work to others.
Recently companies like Sodexo and Aon started using Pinterest to promote their products and careers. Search for your target companies (make sure you’re searching by “Pinners”) to view boards that will provide insight into corporate culture and job opportunities.
Here at TheLadders we believe in helping our job seekers find the right job, faster. And that requires you to incorporate social media into your search efforts to maximize your results. Consider using some of the tools I mentioned above in conjunction with your TheLadders membership and their free iPhone app, Job Search by TheLadders. I wish you and your families all the very best this holiday season and look forward to helping you with your searches in the New Year!
Looking for some more information on different social media channels? Check out these free social media tutorials by GCFLearningFree.org. Please click on the following link to view the entire New Year, New You series.
Amanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders. She provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Have a question for Amanda? Submit your question here for a chance to have it answered in her weekly column, and be sure to follow her at @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter and “Like” her on Facebook for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.