Using the social media in your job search

Searching for jobs using the social media like Facebook and Twitter

 If you are not already registered with Twitter then I suggest that you register now. Go to the Twitter homepage   www.twitter.com , click the tab marked sign up and complete the sign up process.

When you sign up you’ll need to select a user name. Twitter will suggest a number of available names based on the information you’ve provided during registration. You are allowed a maximum of 15 characters. Ideally this should be your own name but if that has already been taken then you may have to modify your choice. You do have the option to change your name later if you wish. For the purposes of your job search it’s best to keep your twitter username professional so try to avoid any eccentric or unusual names.

The Twitter Sign up page

Complete the sign up process and click “Create my account”. At this point you can add a photo and also add some details to your Twitter profile. You have 160 characters and of course you should try to use the right keywords to make sure that your details are found by potential employers and recruiters who are searching Twitter for candidates for jobs. The profile in your CV will be a little too long but you can modify your existing profile to produce an effective Twitter Profile.

For example:

A UK qualified chartered accountant with an INSEAD MBA and with excellent experience in strategic management and a proven ability to evaluate and control operational costs and margins.

 Be prepared to modify your Twitter profile  and constantly  review job advertisements so that you use the right  keywords that will be “found” by recruiters searching Twitter.

You can also start searching some of your other online accounts to find out if you already have contacts who are already using Twitter. You can search on Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL and LinkedIn. You can also simply search Twitter for other users by name. You can start following other users and actually tweeting yourself. As you start following other people some will also follow you and as you Tweet people will also begin to follow your tweets.  Remember that you are limited to only 140 characters per tweet.

Make sure that your tweets are positive and relevant to your job search. You can begin by letting your followers know that you are available and looking for work. You may well receive information about jobs. Perhaps one of your Twitter followers has previously worked for a company that you would like to approach, could they provide you with a contact name? Start searching Twitter for contacts who may be able to help you in your job search. Start following recruiters, headhunters, HR Directors or other professionals directly involved in recruitment in your field.  Start to follow individuals who share a professional interest. If you are an IT Project Manager with expertise in Oracle HR then search for that term and see who’s out there with the same or similar experience. Equally if you are a Mergers and Acquisitions Professional with specialist knowledge of the retail sector then start following people in that field. Remember that the great advantage of Twitter is that you can connect with anyone you choose anywhere in the World. Start looking at people’s bios and if they work in a field that is of interest to you then follow them or get in touch.

Many recruitment consultants Tweet their latest vacancies using Twitter. Find recruiters who specialize in your field and start following them to be sure of seeing their latest jobs.

There are also a number of useful web sites that you can search for jobs via Twitter including:

www.tweetmyjobs.com

www.Twitjobsearch.com

If you have a personal web site or blog then start putting the link into your Tweets. If you don’t yet have a personal web site or blog then at least set up a LinkedIn profile (www.linkedin.com) which you can then add to your Tweets. Because your LinkedIn address is quite long use www.Tinyurl.com to create a shorter link so that you don’t use up all your 140 characters in your Tweet. Start using the right keywords in your Tweets. If you are a Sales Manager with experience in selling networking solutions then start Tweeting about networking in your tweets and always include a link to your personal web site, blog or to your LinkedIn profile.

You can use a number of different hashtags (#) for your job search.  The most popular is #jobs however this is rather generalist and will very soon start to clog up your twitter feed with mostly unsuitable jobs from around the world. There are more specific hashtags that will help you to narrow your search so try: #ukjobs, #itjobs, #accountancyjobs, and #mediajobs. #salesjobs and many other similar categories.

Again think about identifying a number of different recruiters who seem to consistently advertise jobs that are in your area of expertise. Follow them and continue to Tweet on topics that reinforce your professional expertise. The chances are that they will contact you.  Remember also that you can link your Twitter account to your LinkedIn profile.

Using Facebook In your job search

Although most people use Facebook for connecting and keeping up to date with friends it can also be a useful networking tool for your job search. Place a note on Facebook explaining that you are available and looking for work.  Your Facebook contacts may be your friends but do you know where they all work? Could that Facebook friend from the football club actually turn out to be the Recruitment Manager for a company where you would like to work? Of course Facebook is a platform to enhance people’s social life but it’s still reasonable for you to ask for advice or contacts from your friends just as you might mention that you are looking for work when speaking to a friend face-to-face.

You can also use Facebook as a tool for your research prior to an interview. E.g. Place a note saying I’m going for an interview at ABC Company tomorrow, does anyone know someone who works there? Remember that as well as individuals, lots of companies now have Facebook pages where you find further information about the company, its culture, key personalities  and other background information that may not be available on their public web site.

Don’t forget to check your privacy settings on Facebook and be careful of what you post in your public profile. Remember that many recruiters and employers use Facebook to carry out checks on potential employees. There are plenty of examples of jobs that have been lost or job offers revoked because of in inappropriate Facebook content. Be Careful!

Other ways to search for jobs using Facebook

You can look at the Facebook Market Place which contains some job advertisements. Although not very well known and not very extensive this may work to your advantage as fewer people will be applying for the jobs. It’s certainly worth looking at the Market Place on a regular basis.

Another possibility would be to place your own advertisement on Facebook. This works in the same way as Google Ad words and you will pay on the basis of the number of clicks on your advertisement. Facebook often offers £25.00 of “free” advertising so this may be an option worth trying at either no cost or at minimal cost.