Take a page from your kids' playbook and leverage social media for your job search.
Father's Day is just around the corner. It’s a time to honor the father figures in your life and thank them for their support and guidance over the years. It’s also a popular time to share fatherly advice and life lessons.
There’s much you can learn from your parents; however, don’t overlook the lessons your children can provide, especially when it comes to the job search. In today’s digital society, if you’re not incorporating social media into your job-search strategy, you could unknowingly hurt your chances of landing that dream job.
If your children are in their teens or older, it’s safe to assume they are familiar with most social media channels. This Father’s Day, instead of asking for another tie or golf club, ask your children to give you a lesson in social media. Here are five ways you can apply your new knowledge to get ahead in the job search.
Help employers find you
A Jobvite social recruiting survey revealed that 92 percent of recruiters and HR professionals use social media as part of their recruiting strategy. Develop at least one professional online profile that aligns with your resume and supports your job goals. Actively participate in targeted groups on LinkedIn and industry-specific membership associations. Post comments, attend meetings and events, and share relevant articles – recruiters also join these groups and associations to scout for potential candidates.
Uncover additional job leads
When you’re looking for a job, use every tool at your disposal to find as many relevant job leads as possible. This includes social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Find your target employers and follow them to keep an eye out for new openings. Join a few relevant online groups and start connecting with other professionals in your field. This will often lead to new networking opportunities, informational interviews and ultimately, additional job leads.
Improve your odds of a call back
Studies have shown that you’re ten times more likely to land an interview when your application includes an employee referral. Social media is a great way to manage your network and meet new connections. Always check your network and find out if you know someone at the company before you apply. You should include this person’s name in the online application, mention the connection in your cover letter or have your contact pass your resume directly on to the hiring manager.
Prepare for interviews
In our technology-driven world, there’s no excuse for arriving to an interview unprepared. With just a few keystrokes, you have access to a ton of information about your prospective employer and their business. Incorporate social media into your research by following the company on Twitter, and taking a look at their Facebook page and Pinterest boards. These channels can provide great insight into the company’s culture, and will help you develop questions for the interview process.
Develop your digital story
A study found that 86 percent of HR professionals and recruiters admit to reviewing candidates’ social network profiles as part of the screening process. Use your online presence to support and expand upon the story you tell through your resume and during interviews. Share articles, solicit recommendations from colleagues and clients, display your professional affiliations and share your work. These additional details add color to your career history and provide employers with a more rounded view of your expertise and passion for a particular industry.
While it isn’t necessary to adopt your kids’ social media habits – and frankly, you shouldn't – it is important to have an understanding of how each channel works. Ask your kids to give you a crash course in social media this weekend so you can kick your job search up a notch next week.
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.