Job Search Hack: Using Social Media

Technology has changed the way professionals look for work. But even as online job listings make it easier than ever to search and apply, one thing hasn't changed. Employee referrals and personal connections remain one of the best ways to find a job. That's where social media can help.

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Social Media and Job Searches

When it's time to look for a new job, the internet is likely your first stop. You can scan all the latest job openings and even submit your application from wherever you are. But it can take dozens of applications to land one job interview. There has to be an easier way.

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One of the most popular job search hacks to emerge in recent years is social media. Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can be a great resource for building your professional network and learning about new job openings. This can help you take advantage of referrals that can help you land a new job.

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At the very least, your social media profiles should be updated, and you should be responsive to any messages you receive through those platforms.

Developing an Online Presence

When you're in the market for a job, your first step should be to set up a presence on the most popular social media platforms. "Most popular" means the sites that recruiters and hiring managers are likely to use to find qualified candidates. LinkedIn is especially relevant here, but also make sure your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok presences match your personal brand as a professional in your field.

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Potential employers are likely to research you when considering you for a job, but you can also use these platforms to be more visible to random recruiters and hirers. Use hashtags relevant to your field and join groups that are frequented by experts in your industry.

Utilize Existing Connections

Employee referrals are a top source of finding good job candidates. In fact, ​58 percent​ of hirers report giving preference to a candidate referred by employees or co-workers. Client new hire referrals come in a close second, at ​55 percent​.

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That means it's important to let your friends, relatives and colleagues know you're in the market for a new job. Social media can be a great way to reach out to those connections, particularly on LinkedIn, where you can look at a company and see potential connections you have there. To maximize this, make sure you connect with people you know on LinkedIn, including those you've worked with in the past.

Using Social Media for Networking

Job seekers don't just have to wait to be discovered. You can use social media to meet others in your field. On LinkedIn and Twitter, follow thought leaders in your field and share posts. This will not only help you make connections, but it will fill your social media profiles with content that will look impressive to hiring managers considering you.

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On each social network, drill down to the unique features that make it useful in landing your dream job. On Facebook, join groups that are relevant to your job hunt. On LinkedIn, interact with existing connections and monitor job postings to see if you know someone who might be able to refer you.

Using Social Media for Advice

Social media isn't just for landing referrals. You can also use it to find mentorship and career advice. Follow thought leaders and people you respect and reach out if you think they can help you land a job you want.

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You can also use social media once you have an interview lined up. Contact friends and associates at your potential workplace and ask about the company culture, as well as the position itself. Vet any recruiters who contact you through LinkedIn and, if you find a good one, make sure you ask questions to ensure the job is the right fit for you before you progress to an interview.

Consider also:Interview Questions You Should Expect

Social media is an essential tool in finding work in the internet era. At the very least, your social media profiles should be updated, and you should be responsive to any messages you receive through those platforms. But you can also use it to network and find those valuable referrals that can put you ahead of the competition for any open positions.

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