Finding a job is a full-time job.
You compile your resume. You craft a cover letter. You scour the Internet for jobs that fit your qualifications. You send applications out, maybe in bulk, maybe one at a time. And then you wait – all the while, you understand that thousands of others are doing the exact same thing.
It’s fine if you’ve printed your resume on watermarked paper and have your shoes shined and suit pressed. But in 2014, that approach might not net the results you really want.
Social recruiting is on the rise, according to a recent Jobvite survey.
Jobvite, a social recruiting site, says social recruiting outperforms job boards, leading to 61% hire rate as compared to 14%. Candidates found on social media take 33% less time to hire and bring a 49% improvement in quality, according to the study.
How can you put social media to work to land your next job? Here are a few tips to get you started.
It’s tough to ignore 300 million active users, even for a network more associated with avoidance of work than finding it. After all, it’s second in popularity on the web to Google.
- Find the link: Research the hiring manager for a company you’d like to work for. Look for friends or friends of friends you share. You can ask for referrals through them, or contact that hiring manager directly.
- Spread the word: Put the word out. All your friends will see your status updates, so let them know you’re in the market. These updates are easily shared, and you could reach a broader audience.
- Shop the marketplace: Mine the network you’ve created for opportunities, or just put yourself out there.
- Tip: Join groups related to your field. If you have an opportunity to help someone with a referral, definitely take it. This is the sort of thing that can come back to you when you need it.
You’re probably on LinkedIn, a social network that focuses on professional occupations. But is your profile maximized for the job search?
- Look the part: Upload a professional photo for your profile – no selfies, nothing blurry and no avatars.
- Go SEO friendly on your profile: Include skills and detailed job descriptions in your profile – that’s what recruiters search for.
- Join a group: Connect with others in your field – membership in these groups show up when people search for you. (To join the 60 Second Marketer LinkedIn group, click here.)
- Tip: If you get laid off, or otherwise find yourself in the job market, send an email to those in your contacts list with your resume.
Google’s social network and identification service has about 359 million active users. It’s an incredible tool for human connection, for blogs, photo sharing and yes, the job market.
- Use your words: Key in on keywords – as with LinkedIn, it’ll make you more searchable. Search Google for the jobs you want, and use terms you see there in your profile. Link to your resume and other social media accounts.
- Customize your URL: Visit gplus.to to change your URL from a set of numbers to your name. It’ll be easy to remember, will look better as an email tagline, and you can embed the link on your other social media sites.
- Tell your story: Tell your employment history and aspirations with more personality in your about section than you typically would on a resume, cover letter or even on LinkedIn. Google will display some contacts in your G+ Circles and show those you share in common with a recruiter who finds you via search.
- Tip: Link to your work and online portfolio in your Google+ profile. I wouldn’t recommend you include your telephone number or address; an email link is safer and sufficient.
The popular microblogging social network has a considerable business presence. This makes it easy to follow companies you have interest in and make connections.
- Dream big: Find those who do what you want to do – and follow them. Create pertinent content, and turn those contacts into followers. Include portfolio and links to LinkedIn and Google+ profiles.
- Follow the company line: Seek out the companies you want to work for. See their job listings and contact them directly. Engage with companies similar to them. Twitter will suggest others in the industry to follow, too.
- Loosen up: Showcase your personality. Don’t be stuffy, be clever. Twitter can be casual. Learn about company objectives from their official accounts, and discern the work culture from those who work there.
- Tip: Try TwitJobSearch, to see jobs posted on Twitter. It’ll take you straight to the company’s recruiting page. You can also find Twitter accounts that often post job listings.
About the Author: Kimberly Barnes is a content marketer born back when Apple was called “Apple Macintosh,” floppy disks were actually floppy, and #2 pencils were the best way to rewind unraveled cassette tapes. You can find her drinking a non-coffee beverage in Starbucks working diligently to finish her blog or via email at meetkimberlybarnes [at] gmail.com.