Why Social Media Is the Secret Weapon to Your Job Search: Part 2
The Two Social Media Platforms That Will Accelerate Your Job Search
All signs point to the importance of social media in your job search, and you can’t ignore it any longer if you want to land the best jobs. Social recruiting specialist and owner of Social-Hire, Tony Restell, provided insight on this trend in Part 1 and brought his expertise once again for Part 2 of this feature. His advice will take the guesswork out of using social media to connect with the companies you want to work for most!
These two platforms are essential
When approaching social media for your job search, Restell strongly recommends candidates have a presence on both LinkedIn and Twitter. “LinkedIn is the default place where recruiters are going to search for candidates to invite in for an interview. It’s also the first place a recruiter will research you if they’re looking at your resume.” This makes LinkedIn an absolute must for active job seekers. It is the quintessential social platform for professionals, so this may seem like passé advice for some, but its importance cannot be dismissed. In a 2015 study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 96% of recruiters used LinkedIn for recruiting and considered it the most effective. With that high of a ranking, it is paramount that you have a completed, up-to-date profile with a professional headshot to optimize the use of this platform.
Twitter is the often underutilized star of the job search and recruiting world and is gaining popularity for good reason. Restell encourages its use because “it’s far easier to strike up conversations with both recruiters and executives on Twitter – and both are surprisingly active here. For the purposes of proactively networking with hiring decision makers – and researching a company prior to interview – this ease of interaction can be extremely useful in your job search”. Never before have job seekers had such direct and immediate access to companies and their counterparts than on this platform. An additional bonus, recruiters are posting openings here and by following the companies you long to work for, you are notified in real time when new jobs are announced.
Build your presence
Understanding where you need to be is just half the battle. Maximizing your standing on the platforms is where your personal branding must come into play. You have to set the tone and cultivate the image you want to project to the recruiters and companies of your dreams. Make sure all your social media accounts are representing you in the best possible light. “Job seekers should concentrate on being professional on social media while showing they have personality and are good networkers” explains Restell. Perception is critical, and your passion for your industry must come through. “If you engage with other people in your industry and have a clear passion for your role or your field, this has a positive impact on how you are perceived… But equally, unprofessional or aggressive behavior will not be viewed kindly – with strong political views and questionable personal behavior all giving recruiters reasons to hesitate before inviting you to interview."
Engagement and authenticity matter
If you are new to either of these platforms, it is not too late to build your presence. Start today! “The most important thing you should do on social media is to start developing your presence as soon as possible. You will always get far better results from online networking if you befriend people and help them first, rather than only look for their guidance and assistance at a later date” shares Restell. Just as you wouldn’t walk up to a stranger on the street and ask for their help, the same rules apply to social media. You need to give to get and those who understand this will have much greater success and build a positive reputation.
To become a standout and maximize your presence, Restell advises making yourself useful to your network and contacts. “Engage recruiters in conversations on social media, without any reference to the fact that you’re job-hunting yourself. Comment on group conversations they are a part of, remark on content they’ve shared themselves from their own accounts. Then, in subsequent days, look for opportunities to help them, e.g. resharing hiring messages they have posted on social media to help them reach a wider audience.
“By being someone who has helped them and had interesting conversations with them, you open the door to talking to [the recruiter] about career moves further down the line – when you are far more likely to get a favorable response because you’ve actually built some rapport with them first."
To create the types of relationships that are fruitful, you must be authentic and selective. Concentrate on recruiters specific to your industry or the top three companies you’d like to work. This type of engagement takes some work on your part and since these are public accounts keep in mind your exchanges become public as well. If you are 'courting' a significant number of people, you will seem less genuine and more desperate. Telling everyone they are you number one choice rings false and discredits your passion. Be keenly focused and you will be far more persuasive and less overwhelmed.
The bottom line is that social media recruiting has become the new standard. Take charge of your online presence and position yourself as an ally to recruiters and the companies you wish to align your career. Share your passion for your work. Empower yourself and become a candidate that bypasses the old-school system.