Social media, social media, social media! It’s a term that’s getting almost too much play, and you might be getting tired of all the talk with no substance. For example, you’ve probably heard that you should be using social media for job-hunting. But how, exactly, should you do that? Here are 6 smart strategies to network your way into a job using three popular online tools: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Let people know you’re looking.
Whether on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, let your connections, friends and followers know that you’re looking for a job—and what type of job you’re looking for. They may not know of any current openings, but put yourself on their radar for future opportunities.
Don’t forget to network on Facebook.
You may think of Facebook as being for fun, but don’t make the mistake of overlooking your network there, especially if you already have hundreds of friends. Facebook can sometimes have an edge for job hunters over LinkedIn, because friends who know you personally have more of a stake in helping you.
BUT – make sure your Facebook profile is private.
You probably don’t want a potential employer browsing your personal updates, so make sure your every move on Facebook isn’t set for public view. Under Account, then Privacy Settings, choose “Friends Only.” That way, an employer who Googles you won’t be able to see the details of your profile, your photos or your personal status updates.
Two can play the online information game.
Before you submit your resume for a job, look up the hiring manager on LinkedIn and Twitter. LinkedIn profiles and Twitter feeds are gold mines of information on individuals. Knowing more about the person who’s hiring can help you tailor your cover letter to their needs and desires.
It’s all about who you know. Figure out who you need to know to land a certain job—like the hiring manager—and make that connection, whether by getting them to follow you on Twitter by retweeting their tweets, or growing your LinkedIn network until they become a second- or third-degree connection. Twitter offers great opportunities to connect with professionals who might not otherwise give you the time of day.
Join industry chats on Twitter.
Look for chats that revolve around your industry or the industry you want to work in. Joining online conversations helps you keep up-to-date on the industry, meet helpful contacts and showcase your expertise in your field. Or try networking with other job seekers through weekly conversations like #jobhuntchat or #careerchat.
By doing any or all of the above, not only will you reach many more people as part of your job search, but people will also see you as a person with expertise, not someone who is merely using social media to find a job. Using social media is bound to lead to greater opportunities and attract more people who respect your knowledge.