By Brian Murray
The internet provides us more information than ever before. Twenty years ago the job search was limited to the area you were in and the only information you could find was the stuff that was vetted through the communications department of a company. If you wanted to communicate with someone you could send mail, show up, or try to call, but all of those could lead you to a roadblock. Now the problem is that most people don’t know how to use all of the available information. Here are three ways to use social media to accelerate your job search.
Once you’ve found a role to apply to, it’s time to start researching them. Use LinkedIn to find people in similar roles at the company. Try reaching out to them to see if they would grab coffee so that you can learn more their role. Another angle is to try to locate the person who is the decision maker. Look into what they share, what they’ve done, and anything else pertinent you can find. Once you’ve landed the interview, do more research. Hiring managers and human resources professionals are always looking for people that know their company and want to work there. The easiest way to show that is having a knowledge of the role and the company. If you want to be an interesting candidate, the most important thing is to be interested in them.
Twenty years ago the only way to evaluate a candidate prior to an interview was their resume. Whether it is right or wrong, you are now being searched for and evaluated. Not having a presence on the web can be a deal breaker. While I don’t encourage people to be active on every network, I’d suggest having Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter at the very least. For many roles, a basic understanding of these platforms is soon to be a requirement, much like it is expected that you can send an email. Some things to consider for your profiles are to keep them consistent in your descriptions and profile pictures, and to periodically share information. What you share says a lot about you and your interests so share articles and information that is relevant to the industry that you work in (or hope to work in). You can’t sell me on your love of all things social media when you are an egg on Twitter and have no connections on LinkedIn. Don’t get caught.
A best practice across social is to be personal and connect with people.The challenge is to do so at a deeper level without coming across as desperate or pushy. I always tell people to use the information that is available to customize messages or go a little deeper. If you are reaching out to someone cold, you can share a tidbit about yourself. These things get noticed. Notice a mutual passion? Don’t be afraid to talk about it (but don’t lie). Better yet, find them on Twitter and retweet or favorite one of their tweets. That will get you noticed much faster than asking them for a job on Saturday night at 2:00 am.
Has social media ever helped you land a job? Share this with a friend who might be able to use it and tell me what you think in the comments