Social media is increasingly becoming one of the most useful resources for companies and recruitment agencies to find suitable candidates for open vacancies. The most effective social media tool for recruiters is by far Linked In, however more and more companies are using Facebook and Twitter to showcase their organisations and career opportunities. Whether you are actively looking for a new job, or like to keep up with what’s happening in companies you would like to work for, there are a number of things you can do to use social media to make your next career move, and here are some suggestions to help you to do so.
Linked In has been specifically developed as a business networking tool, so a key element of securing a job via Linked In is ensuring that you build up your professional network. Remember that this social network works on “connection degrees”, so the more connections you have, the easier it will be for recruiters to connect with you to discuss suitable opportunities. You can also use your connections as a referral network – many companies operate a “Refer a Friend” programme so if you know someone in the company, this can be a good way of making initial contact with the company. If you are working in a contract role that is coming to an end, it might be a good idea to put this on your profile to highlight even further that you are actively seeking a new position. Frequently clicking in to the “jobs” section might also be worthwhile, as often Linked In will suggest jobs that might be of interest to you, based on the information you have included in your online profile. Keep in mind as well that “following” companies will keep you up to date with all of their recruitment activity.
You should think of Linked In as your online CV and provide as much detailed information as you can when compiling your profile. Remember that recruiters will often use key words to refine their search for potential candidates, so if you have particular specialities (e.g. Six Sigma Black Belt, Forensic Accountant, Employee Relations), you should specifically mention these in your profile – either as part of a job description for a particular role, or in your profile summary. Remember also to include your qualifications in your profile – quite often this will be the first thing that recruiters will check as many companies now have minimum education requirements. Include the level of your academic and professional qualifications (e.g. BSc Hons, ACCA, HETAC Level 8) to ensure that your profile isn’t glossed over in the course of a search for suitable candidates.
Facebook & Twitter may not be as popular as Linked In as a business networking tool, however more and more companies are beginning to use these platforms as marketing tools, which often includes informing friends & followers of current opportunities with their companies. However, remember that what you post on Twitter and Facebook is visible to potential employers as well as your friends and family, depending on how your privacy settings are configured, so if you are actively seeking a new job, think before you post!
Collins McNicholas Cork