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Use Social Media to Find a Recruiter or Hiring Manager
When job hunting, the goal is to use all the tools at your disposal in order to connect with the recruiters and hiring managers who have the jobs you need. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn should be leveraged as part of your job search.
Social media extends the reach of professional networking, which is (without question) the most effective job search technique. Studies suggest that we all know (on average) 250 people; to successfully find a job, you need to get as many of those people working for you as possible.
Social media allows you to do that, but it is a two-way street. At the same time that you are leveraging these platforms to learn about specific opportunities with staffing firms and individual companies, those same firms’ recruiters and hiring managers are using social media to learn about you.
So here are some ways to use the “Big Three” to land your “best fit” job:
LinkedIn is where you should create and promote your professional profile. It is very important to fill out as much information as possible and to keep it up-to-date.
Use LinkedIn’s profile completion tips to help you reach the “100% completeness” level. LinkedIn reports that users with complete profiles are 40x more likely to receive opportunities. Here are the areas you need to focus on initially:
- Your current position and past two positions, including recommendations – recruiters spend most of their time looking at your name, job title and most current job, so make sure these truly reflect the type of worker you are.
- Your profile photo – get a professional-looking photo taken (no, you do not need to pay someone, but it should not be one of you at a neighborhood pool party). In a study conducted by TheLadders.com, recruiters spent 19% of their time looking at the profile picture.
- Your profile summary and specialties list – these two sections are located above the “fold”, meaning that (on most computers) recruiters and hiring managers do not need to scroll down to view them. Think about how you want them to perceive you and your skillset. Recruiters and hiring managers are not going to spend a lot of total time looking at your profile, so treat these as your elevator speech; you want to be brief, detailed and clear.
- Your education – the bottom line is that, if a certain degree or certification is required for a job, recruiters will look at this section. Make sure you do not miss out on an opportunity simply because you have not filled it out.
You might feel that Facebook is strictly a “social” social media platform – one that is only good for those who want to connect to old high school buddies and others from the past. However, Facebook has a much higher membership count than LinkedIn or Twitter. Numbers alone dictate that it should be used in the job search, and (let’s face it) hiring managers and recruiters are looking at your Facebook profile right after they look at your resume.
So here is what you want to keep in mind:
- Profile picture – your profile picture does not need to be as professional as the one on LinkedIn, but it still should be “nice” – no shirtless posing, dancing at a bar or anything else that you would not want everyone to see. Recruiters/hiring managers will spend most of their time looking at your profile picture.
- Manage your profile – On Facebook, you are represented by your “profile”- a page that communicates who you are. Recruiters/hiring managers will be able to view some or all of it (depending on how you set up your privacy controls). Your profile can include information about your background, interests, hobbies, relationships, etc.
- Control your content – Facebook features sophisticated privacy controls to regulate what others see. For example, you can set your controls so that you can approve all tagged pictures of you. You can also control who sees your content. This may stop a recruiter or hiring manager from seeing those inappropriate pictures, and it also shows a level of responsibility and good decision-making on your part and the fact that you are aware of image and brand.
- Highlight beneficial content – after your profile photo, recruiters/hiring managers focus on the first two posts on your page. Think hard about the content you want to share …things such as “Liked” articles, blogs, videos, etc., as well as your resume or updates. Well-placed content shows them that you are knowledgeable in the needed areas.
Twitter, a micro-blogging network of real-time posts, can be effectively used for networking and job searching.
Today Twitter is less about “what I am doing” and more about “what is going on”. It is less about self-centeredness and narcissism and more about sharing relevant and new information and engaging in conversations. Tips and trends abound on Twitter, and people (including recruiters and hiring managers) are using it more for networking, researching and discussions. So how can you harness Twitter’s power during your job search and catch the interest of a recruiter or hiring manager?
- Start tweeting – use Twitter to let everyone (in your network) know you are looking for a job. Ask questions. Give feedback. Retweet comments or links you find interesting. Recruiters and hiring managers will start looking at your tweets, scrolling down much further past “the fold” compared to other social networks.
- Add a photo to your profile – The value of a headshot is immense.
- Locate companies, staffing firms, job boards and individual recruiters – these accounts tweet advice, anecdotes and job openings. Three easy ones to follow are @SnellingCorp, @SnellingCareers, and @SnellingMedical. With a little digging, you can find many accounts that tweet jobs and relevant information.
It is important to remember that these sites should not be used in place of more traditional job search methods. They should be used as a complement to those methods, not be the only method you use during your job search.
Finally, no matter how the economy or your career is going, having a strong network is a good form of job security. Do not wait until you have lost your job to nurture you network. Networking takes time. It takes time for others to find you and follow you and begin engaging with you. So, if you do not have an account on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, pick one and start now. Networking should be done continuously throughout your career, not simply when you need to find a job.