Here is how social media can help you get that job

Last updated 28 Jan 2016 . 5 min read

What do you do when you need to find information, you Google it. Similarly, many recruiters use social media sites to conduct background checks on potential hires. If you were to Google yourself right now, what would you find?

In today’s cyber age, your online identity defines you. This identity is made up of your profiles on social media sites like Facebook, Google or Twitter. Did you know that you can leverage these sites to find a job? Here are six simple steps to help you do just that.

Create a semi-professional profile

If you already have one, revise it. If you don’t create it. Be meticulous while creating a semi-professional or semi-formal profile on networking sites. This is your virtual CV and most likely the first thing that appears about you in a Google search. What you write here is critical: apart from listing your job history (in brief or as detailed as possible, depending on the platform) and education, your profile needs to capture your strengths and what you can offer future employers. A well-written summary and a catchy headline will make recruiters notice you. Select a professional looking photograph for your profile, one that portrays how you want potential employers to see you. For example, a picture in a formal jacket could work better than an informal one, depending on the platform.

Set up a Twitter account

You can use Twitter to follow the latest trends in your industry and to look for jobs. When setting up a Twitter account, use the bio as a one-line CV. Use the same photo that you have used on your other profiles so that recruiters recognize you easily and for consistency. Follow topics by searching for key words appropriate to your field. This will keep you abreast of what industry leaders are thinking and working on.

To use Twitter effectively, ask questions relevant to your field and share interesting content. Your tweets show recruiters who you are and your knowledge of the latest trends in your field.

Spruce up your online image

Type in your name on Google search and see what potential employers can learn about you. What type of information do you want made public? Ensure that only information you want to share is found online.  Facebook is often a source that recruiters check. Recruiters are put off by candidates’ inappropriate photos or negative posts about current or previous employers.

Your Facebook “About” section can be public, displaying your picture, education and where you are working currently. Everything else should remain private.  To do this, change your Facebook privacy settings so that only friends and family see private information.

Connect with people

Start networking by connecting with colleagues (present and past) and other professionals in your field. You can use their connections to reach out to more people. Seek out contacts who are either potential employers or thought leaders in your field. When making connections with unknown people, don’t use the auto-generated message, instead send a personalized note.

Ask for recommendations from your ex-colleagues. Not only are these testimonies of your work, they also showcase your ability to work in teams and your work ethics. You can also ask connections to endorse your skills. Remember social media is all about managing relationships, so if you ask someone to help you, ensure you return the favour.

Twitter lets you connect with people who otherwise may have been inaccessible. For example, if you want to get a job in the fashion industry then you can follow people like Ritu Kumar or Manish Malhotra online.

Grow your network

You can also follow companies that you are interested in on sites like Twitter / Facebook, etc. This way you get to know about their latest products and latest job openings. Another way to network is to join groups that are related to your field. Participate in discussions, comment and like posts to be actively engaged in these groups.

Remember you shouldn’t ask a social media contact for a job directly. Aim to be constantly visible on these sites by updating statuses, posting interesting links, tweeting about trends. This way if any of your contacts know of an interesting job opportunity, they will think of you.

Be heard

What you post on social media tells recruiters a lot about you. If you write or share articles relevant to your field, recruiters are more likely to want you.

Apart from social media sites, other ways to showcase your expertise is to write a blog. A blog allows you to set yourself up as a thought leader.  You can also create content using various media, such as a video CV on YouTube or an artistic portfolio on Instagram or Pinterest to increase your digital footprint.

To get a job, it is said, it doesn’t matter what you know, but who you know. Use the power of social media to leverage your network and land your dream job. As Chris Grosser says, “Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.”

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SHEROES - lives and stories of women we are and we want to be. Connecting the dots. Moving the needle. Also world's largest community of women, based out of India. Meet us at @SHEROESIndia

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