Why You Should Use Social Media For The Job Hunt
Social media seems to be taking over our daily lives. As soon as we wake up, many of us reach for our phones to scroll through various social feeds to “catch up” on what we missed during those (far too) few hours that we decided to disconnect from the world and get some rest. Imagine if using social media could actually have a positive effect on your future and potentially even help land your dream job (see Clemson student Paul Trimmier). Guess what? It can!
We use social media for almost everything else in our daily lives: staying connected with friends and family, catching up on the news, expressing opinions about your favorite taco place, and of course, pet videos. Since we are constantly surrounded by social media, why wouldn’t we use it to find a job? Our friends over at NexGoal recently published an article titled “Managing Your Brand In The Age of Social Media,” and it got us thinking about how the information could be applied to the VIKTRE Career Network audience and how job seekers could leverage social media to find a job.
According to Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes, if you (a job seeker) are not incorporating Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn into your job search, you are missing out on a key competitive advantage. Additionally, he provided three ways to use social media while on the job hunt.
Use of social networks to boost your networking power…and your chances of getting that foot in the door.
“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” I had heard this phrase countless times throughout my own job search. It seemed like in every informational interview I did the person on the other end of the conversation said these nine words in some way, shape or form. A common tidbit that I gathered was that once you establish yourself in an industry, job offers come in the form of recommendations instead of interviewing. In other words, you really do not interview as much as you did when trying to find that first job. These recommendations come from connections made from networking (it’s not only important when beginning a career, but also during!).
Social media has provided unprecedented access to networking opportunities as you can connect with professionals across the globe and pick their brain in the form of informational interviews. Participating in LinkedIn Groups is a great way to connect with those in similar industries and engage in conversations with like-minded individuals. Personally, I have connected with many professionals and set up informational interviews as a way to gain insight into various industries. From these connections, I have received an internship opportunity during graduate school and opportunities to write for various websites.
Leverage social media to create a professional and attractive brand online and woo prospective employers.
According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates before hiring, up significantly from 60 percent in 2016 and 11 percent in 2006. These stats reiterate the importance of managing your personal brand online. Investing time in your LinkedIn profile and showing your relevant skills to a company will go a long way. On Twitter, interacting with people in your current (or desired) industry and sharing relevant links/newsworthy information are good ways to use the platform.
Become a social media skills guru.
The inception of Facebook (2004), Twitter (2006) and LinkedIn (2002) have created an entirely new industry for job-seekers. Companies worldwide are hiring tech-savvy individuals to create and execute social media plans. By having knowledge on various platforms and being aware of emerging trends and technologies you become more marketable to employers – the more you know, the more “hireable” you become. Luckily, there are a variety of resources available in order to improve your skills and knowledge, including HootSuite University, Lynda.com and HubSpot.
If you are an athlete, you can use your social media presence to prepare for a second career. Reach out to individuals in an industry that you are passionate about and have a discussion. Your fans and social media followers likely come from a wide range of industries and backgrounds, so there is a great opportunity to connect with them. By taking advantage of your status as a professional athlete and the various social media platforms on which you are active, access to second career preparation is a few clicks away.