For millions of job-seekers, social media is now a central part of the search. According to a recent Glassdoor survey, 79% of are likely to use social media to find jobs. Among younger workers the number is even higher: 86% of people in the first 10 years of their career said they are likely to use social media in their job search. But are they making the most of the tools available find opportunities and learn more about companies?
In a competitive job market, you need to make sure you’re doing everything you can. Here are four ways to use social media in your job search:
1. Update your professional networks regularly
When you’re just starting out on the job search journey, think like a recruiter. In all likelihood, the first thing they’re going to do is Google you. Odds are your personal social profiles and your presence on professional networking sites will come up first. Do you know what they’re going to find?
Before you submit your resume online or ask a friend to refer you for a position, update your professional networks. Here are some quick tips to keep in mind:
Use the same headshot across all social platforms. This will help recruiters locate the real you, especially if you have a pretty common name. It also keeps your personal brand consistent across channels.
Update your bio. Do a quick check: does your bio list your current job and location? Make sure the information in your bio reflects who you are today, not two years ago.
Ensure your most-current resume is online. Nothing is more frustrating for a recruiter than checking out a clearly outdated LinkedIn profile. Update yours now.
2. Look for employee feedback
When you’re researching a company, social media is a great way to find out what employees actually think about working there. Search Twitter for handles or hashtags people are using to talk about life at their company. For example, Twitter uses #JoinTheFlock and @JoinTheFlock to publicize how great it is to work at Twitter. These handles and hashtags often have information that you won’t find anywhere else.
Glassdoor, the company I work for, is designed to help job-seekers find this kind of info. On Glassdoor, employees leave candid, anonymous feedback about what it’s really like to work for their company. You can out these reviews to get an inside look at a company you’re interested in, rather than relying solely on career pages managed by a company’s HR, recruiting, or marketing departments. Expand your reach beyond job boards, too. Often companies publicize their open jobs on Twitter, LinkedIn or Glassdoor. Do a quick Google search like “Working at X” and see what pops up.
3. Do your homework!
Social media is a great place to learn what’s going on with any given company at that time. Check out a company’s social media accounts to see what awards they’ve won recently and what else is going on in their world. These are great things to bring up in cover letters or interviews—and shows you’ve done your homework.
Follow companies you love (and want to work for) on social media. Go a step further and actually interact with these brands. Thousands (and sometimes millions) of people follow brands on Twitter but don’t necessarily take the time to engage.
Spending 15 minutes a day on these activities during your job search will pay dividends.
4. Go above and beyond
You’ll earn bonus points and set yourself apart from other candidates by incorporating all the great intelligence you’ve gathered into a customized resume and cover letter, as well as referencing relevant points during interviews. Nothing says impressive like bringing up a tweet you saw about an award the company recently won or an initiative they’re promoting!
Still struggling to use social media in your job search? Check out Glassdoor’s blog for more best practices.