You have heard that social media has helped people with their job search but it has never worked out that way for you. You are beginning to wonder if social media can actually open doors or if it's all hype. There are opportunities on social media but you have to be strategic about it. Here are some tips that will help:
Identify your personal brand. What is your target job? How are you different from the other people who work in your industry? What makes you stand out? If you are able to identify and articulate the value that you bring to employers, it will make you a much more competitive candidate.
Use your social media to display your work. Try to think of your social media presence as your online portfolio. How can you use this tool to exhibit your skills, knowledge, experience, and accomplishments? Your approach will depend on your unique skill set. You could include a link to your website, a blog that showcases your writing, photos of your work, industry discussions, or mentions of your professional accomplishments. You are only limited by your creativity.
Actively reach out to people. You won't get anywhere on social media by being passive. The real opportunities will come when you engage with people. Find people who work at your target companies and reach out to them. Connect with your previous colleagues. Participate in discussions that are related to your industry. This is where the magic happens on social media.
Use keywords. If your social media profiles are keyword rich, recruiters will be able to find you when they are searching for candidates. To find good keywords, look at job postings for your target jobs and identify any words or terms that are repeated. Use hashtags when you are posting to make your posts searchable.
Use the job search functions. Some employers will only post their job leads on social media. It is cheaper than using an online job board and employers always like to hire candidates that have some connection to their employees. Use the job search function on these platforms often; you are more likely to get an interview if you are one of the first applicants.
Getting a job through social media is a marathon, not a sprint. It won't happen right away but if you consistently engage with people, it can open doors that you didn't even know existed.
(Written by Karen Bivand, Image by rawpixel.com)