How to Use Social Media to Land Your Next Job

A recent survey found that 82 percent of human resources professionals use social media to recruit “passive” jobseekers — otherwise known as people not actively looking for a job. That’s good news for those actually on the hunt. You increase the chances of being hired by just opening a social media account.

But social media can be fickle. One misstep, and you could find yourself out of the running for a job. If you plan on going social with your job search, you must position yourself to not only stand out but make an impression that really counts. And here are the best ways to start:

1. Update social accounts.

This should go without saying, but review all your social profiles. Make sure everything is up-to-date. If your LinkedIn profile is left incomplete, for example, it could be reason enough to get rejected from a job opportunity.

2. Sync your profiles.

Compare the information on your resume with that on LinkedIn. Do the same for Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Like an incomplete profile, inconsistencies could result in a big fat rejection.

3. Proof your posts.

Treat your posts like you would your resume and proof them. Use proper spelling and grammar. Something as innocuous as “waz,” “Ima,” or “da” could leave a hiring manager questioning whether you’ve mastered English 101.

4. Check yourself(ie).

First impressions count, even digital ones. Ditch the selfie for a more professional profile picture. You may even want to hire a photographer to snap a headshot, and then use that same picture as your profile image on all accounts.

5. Scrub your social footprint.

What if I were to tell you that 70 percent of employers use social media to screen talent? What if I were to also tell you that 54 percent found content that caused them not to hire a candidate?

Take a long hard look at your accounts. Get rid of any salacious pictures, foul language, and defamatory statements. You should also eighty-six those political rants. An employer may think twice about hiring you if you’re too vocal one way or another.

And I know what you’re thinking: “What if I just set my accounts to private?” That’s also a no-no. You’re actually giving the impression that you’ve got something to hide, and a hiring manager may not want to chance the secrecy.

6. Connect, connect, connect.

You’ve already connected with friends and family — as well as a few former colleagues — but have you done enough to network with other professionals in your industry? LinkedIn’s Groups can help.

Check the directory for a Group in your industry. Join one and start making introductions. Get involved in conversations. Throw out a kernel of advice or two. Building a little social capital can go a long way to strengthening your network.

7. Get social.

If you’re not active on social platforms, you could be missing out on potential job opportunities. Follow companies in your industry on LinkedIn and Twitter. That way, you’ll get notifications about new job openings.

“Like” companies in your industry on Facebook, and then take part in conversations about new products or developments. It’s one of the easier ways to raise your social profile and demonstrate your expertise to a potential employer.

8. Leverage LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is probably you’re most useful of social platforms for finding a job. In fact, 94 percent of recruiters use it to vet candidates. But you can leverage the platform to actually search for jobs.

Just open the “Jobs” tab, and you can type in a keyword, country, or zip code. The Advanced Search Option allows you to refine your search by job function, experience level, company, industry, etc. You can also save searches and receive emails on new listings.

9. Follow recruiters.

Along with companies, consider following local recruiters and staffing agencies on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Most make it a habit of posting the newest job opportunities on their social accounts.

10. Go passively active.

The ultimate goal is to find a new job, but don’t ask for one outright — unless, of course, there’s an opening. Other than that, just try to keep your name in front of those who can help you in your career.

Make connections with decision-makers. Show your value by engaging in conversations and providing intelligent, thoughtful content across all your accounts. Do this several times a week to make the most impact.

11. Visit daily.

Schedule some time each day to check LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter for job opportunities. Many companies will post openings to their social accounts before job boards. And as soon as you see something that fits the bill, apply.

12. Spread the word.

Once you’ve got all your ducks in a row, let everyone in your network know that you’re looking for a job. Give them a heads up on the type of work you’re looking for — if you’re currently unemployed, that is.

The last thing you want is for word to get back to your employer, so keep it on the down low. Otherwise, you could just find yourself without a job. And as you probably know, it’s much easier to find a job when you’ve got one.

If you’d like to learn more about using social media to find a job, or need additional assistance with your job search, please let us know. Our team would be more than happy to discuss your career aspirations and help you explore your job prospects.