Most of you probably use social media every day, tweeting about the things you’re doing, or checking your feed for the latest updates. But social media is no longer just about your social life. In fact, it is becoming an increasingly powerful tool for finding a job.
Twitter is a great place to look for graduate jobs or to improve your recruitment prospects. With nearly 300 million users, Twitter provides companies with vast numbers of people who might read or respond to their tweets. Many companies now use Twitter to advertise jobs directly, often through a specific employment account. The 140-character limit means that you can quickly find out the basic information about a role, before doing further research to see if it suits you. Following a company’s Twitter feed is also a quick and easy way to keep up-to-date with everything they are doing, so you’ll know what to talk about in your applications. If you find yourself missing a lot of updates, maybe create a separate account which you keep just for jobs – that way your feed won’t be so long. Although there isn’t currently a tool for searching Twitter for jobs, twitjobsearch.com is currently in beta, and so is worth keeping an eye on. As well as following potential employers, make sure you are tweeting on a regular basis about the things you are doing. Show your engagement with the world around you and comment on news and stories which interest you.
If 140-characters just isn’t enough for you, Facebook is also a really useful way to find out about employers or look for a job. Many employers have an official Facebook account on which they promote events, advertise job opportunities and announce their latest news. It’s a great place if you are looking for work experience or placements, as these are sometimes offered at short notice. They’ll also have the latest news about internships and other opportunities. Some companies have specific groups and pages for potential recruits, and joining these means you won’t miss out on the latest news. If you are going to use Facebook, however, make sure your profile reflects the image of yourself that you want to put across; if you have pictures or statuses that you might not want a potential boss to see, delete them or change your privacy settings.
As well as more traditional social media, LinkedIn is a really useful career-specific social media site. It’s basically an online CV, where recruiters can find out about you before contacting you regarding a job. It’s also a way that you can build up a professional network of people you have worked with or met, allowing you to keep in contact with them. This could lead to jobs in the future that you might otherwise miss out on. As with other social media outlets, employers will have a LinkedIn profile, where they will share articles and news. Commenting and sharing these is a really good way to improve your online footprint and to display your interest in a certain field. Keep an eye out for job opportunities or check out LinkedIn’s built-in job search.
Increasingly your social media presence could have huge benefits for your career prospects, so whether you fancy a quick tweet or want to use LinkedIn to find out more about the staff at a firm, it’s well worth getting online and having a look.
Aaron Marchant works at allaboutcareers.com, a careers advice service for students and graduates.