Using Social Media for Job Prospecting

In this day and age the Internet is an integral part of our lives.It as a marvellous creation that has helped improve the lives of millions of people across the world.

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In this day and age the Internet is an integral part of our lives. Some see it as detrimental to us as a society, whilst others view it as a marvellous creation that has helped improve the lives of millions of people across the world. Whatever your opinion is on the Internet and its uses, it cannot be denied that it has altered forever the way we live and work

Traditionally jobs were sourced via word of mouth, advertisements, newspapers, recruitment agencies or spending many soul destroying hours cold-calling businesses to ask if they had vacancies. However, we live in a fully digitalised age, which has radically changed the way in which employers source their staff. Those who are seeking employment, therefore, must be aware of the mediums used if they wish to be successful in gaining a position in their chosen field.

When looking for employment or just seeking a career change, our first port of call is typically the Internet. Advertising jobs online has become a multi million pound industry, with hundreds of websites listing an array of jobs in different industry sectors.

If you have ever used these behemoth job board websites you would notice that the majority of the job postings are for generic job roles, which require at least amount of experience. For this reason these websites provide very few legitimate opportunities for graduates who havent already had any real time work experience in the industry sectors within which they wish to launch their careers.

Students have fully embraced the social hubs of the Internet otherwise known as social networks; such as, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Social networks allow their users to interact with each other in ways that were previously never deemed possible. They can express their opinions, share pictures, events, and news with the entire world with a few clicks of their mouse.

Increasingly companies looking to employ new members of staff are now utilising social networks in order to reach out to jobseekers. This is a match made in heaven as relevant job adverts are displayed directly to the jobseekers, without them actively having to spend hours trawling through a catalogue of jobs that may not be of interest to them.

LinkedIn
Harnessing the power of the social network for professionals, LinkedIn. This social network should be the first resource jobseekers should use when looking for a job.

Anybody whos worked in a professional or skilled environment generally has a profile on LinkedIn. This social platform connects industry professionals together on a vast scale, allowing them to interact through a digital environment. LinkedIn allows its professional users to share advice and industry news, document their career background, exchange contact information and post industry vacancies. Job seekers and graduates should be utilising this social network as a tool in order to approach industry professionals on a formal, but professional level.

Its not uncommon for employers to double check your CV or resume against your LinkedIn Profile for this reason your profile should be formal, factually correct and rich with upbeat content that will strengthen your chances of landing that dream job.

LinkedIn isnt just a social networking site; it also incorporates a job search function. It is for this reason that any graduate seeking employment should make it a top priority to join.

Unlike job board websites, the results that LinkedIn will generate are fully applicable to the search requested by the user. Vacancies are posted by industry professionals, so the job descriptions are relative and straight to the point, whereas posts advertised by employment agencies often focus on requests for skills sets which may not actually be required to fulfil the job role.

Facebook
You may feel that Facebook is probably the last place on the Internet you will ever find a job, well think again!

Have you noticed the adverts on the rights hand side of the Facebook webpage? Do you ever find it strange they are always relating to something youre interested in? This is because the Facebook adverts are twinned with your profile criteria.

Companies are now using Facebook as a medium to advertise their job positions, however you will only be able to see these adverts if your profile matches the criteria or reach of the companys advert.

The more information you give Facebook about yourself, the more it can work in your favour.

  • Edit your profile information, to what you feel employers are looking for
  • Leave your place of work empty to signal you are unemployed.
  • Edit your current location to the area you would like to work (large cities are most effective)
  • Edit your education information so Facebook can determine if you have graduated or not.
  • Join groups that are relevant to the job role that you are looking to fulfil

For example; if youre looking for an IT career, join groups like the IT Crowd, Microsoft, Apple, and software or computer magazines. Advertisers may see these interests fitting to a job role they are offering.

Twitter
Twitter is a social network that allows users to openly express their views on a given subject or topics.

Twitter is informal so its best not to approach employers via this social network, as your application wont be valid, or give off the right impression.

Job seekers and graduates should use Twitter to involve themselves in industry debates and discussions. By doing so they stand to build a respected and trusted name for themselves within their chosen industry sector. This may then lead to being head hunted by businesses looking to employ professional and knowledgeable members of staff.

Twitter should be used to build awareness on a personal level. For example, if a company director or CEO notices you voicing a righteous opinion on an industry specific matter, they may want to converse with you in a debate about the subject, therefore noticing your abilities and knowledge of that given industry sector. This could then lead to a job offer, as the company may need to acquire a skilled member of staff to fulfil a role who is conversant on the matter youve been tweeting about.

Remember that recruiting via social media is a new territory for many companies, so they may be more willing to test the waters and analysis the quality of applications they get via social streams rather than the conventional recruitment methods. This may therefore give jobseekers, which use the many benefits of social media to prospect for jobs a better fighting chance over those applicants who apply via the traditional methods.

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