Many professionals recognise that perhaps the most effective way of securing a job is through traditional face-to-face networking, or at least it was. Some would suggest the age old phrase “It’s not what you know, but who you know,” has diminished in importance over the past decade or so, but in fact having an extensive network has never been so important. The rise of the internet and mobile technology has meant people now have a world of contacts at their fingertips through various social media platforms. This means it’s never been easier to directly communicate with a potential employer or recruiter. So how can you effectively utilise social media in your job hunt?
First and foremost, LinkedIn is the number one channel for jobseekers so it’s important to engage with professionals on it who can aid your search. It’s considerably less creepy to connect with strangers on LinkedIn than it is on Facebook because the platform is designed to expand your network. Chat to professionals at the organisations you want to work for and find out as much information as you can about what it’s like to work there and what they’re looking for in potential employees. In much the same way as taking part in Twitter chats, connecting with people on LinkedIn can provide a huge number of opportunities, there’s even a dedicated section for people to share their anecdotes about successfully networking through the site. And on that note, if you are going to actively engage with potential employers make sure your profile is fully updated. LinkedIn’s careers expert, Nicole Williams, has suggested that sharing articles or content with your network boost your chances of being contacted by a recruiter tenfold. And if you include a detailed list of work experience your profile is 12 times more likely to be viewed by a hiring manager.
It’s important to assess what you want from a channel. Facebook, for example, is obviously very useful for keeping up to date with friends and ice bucket challenges. It’s also valuable for sourcing temporary positions. However, it’s less effective for securing a permanent job. LinkedIn, on the other hand, exists just for that reason. While it’s important to keep your house in order and not let even a Facebook page look unprofessional (we’ll get onto that later) it’s likely you’ll have more success securing a permanent role by using targeted channels.
Twitter, for example, is a fantastic platform to do just that. Obviously, you can follow recruiters but there are also hundreds, if not thousands, of industry specific chats that take place almost every day focusing on different niche areas. Taking part in one of these events is a good way to introduce yourself to potential employers and to highlight your value to the organisation. While Twitter isn’t particularly well suited to having extensive conversations, it can provide an opportunity to flag your LinkedIn profile to hiring teams. There are lots of success stories about people taking part in these types of events and securing a job as a result, so it’s well worth trying to engage in the chats.
Additional social media platforms.
However, it’s also important to develop a consistent online profile. Almost every organisation would at least have a quick Google search for any prospective candidate, so make sure everything is in order. Simply having a relatively professional profile picture and updating security settings on Facebook, for example, can avoid the embarrassing situations that have plagued jobseekers since the rise of social media. There are a staggering number of platforms which you can join so to truly impress employers you could develop a wide reaching online presence. This would include utilising channels such as Foursquare, Pinterest and even YouTube which can all effectively highlight your creativity and interests in a professional manner. The one downside to this is that it requires a lot more maintenance to keep all of these channels up to date.
But if you’re not comfortable with expanding your social media presence or signing up to other networks there is a much simpler option. Let people know that you’re looking for a job through your personal channels. You never know who might see your status and keep you in mind for a future position. Companies are generally feeling more confident about boosting permanent head counts now that the global recession is behind us and you may find that one of your friends’ employers are hiring. This is not only a shortcut to securing a role that may not have even been advertised yet, but also gives you the insider’s perspective of the company culture and what it’s like to work there. Even if there’s not an available position at the current time, your personal contacts are likely to keep their friends in mind if a vacancy does appear in the future. So while the use of Facebook may generally be kept to personal activities, your personal network could actually aid you in securing a job, if you ask them.
About the author.
Mohammed Azam is Managing Director of Capita Education Resourcing. The company specialises in providing a comprehensive range of recruitment solutions and added value services to the education sector. Its national network of offices ensures that it can provide customers with a fast and effective service, responsive to their local needs whilst being able to find its candidates jobs throughout the UK.
Through many years’ experience of dealing with schools, nurseries and colleges, Capita Education Resourcing understands the specialist requirements of the education market and the most important part of its service is ensuring that the children within its teachers’ care receive the best education. Capita’s dedication to these high standards and providing continuity of children’s education is achieved through the consistent provision of the best quality teachers to its customers. To find out more, check out our website www.capitaeducation.co.uk, follow us on Twitter @CapitaTeachers or become a fan of our Facebook page ‘Careers at Capita Education Resourcing’