Social networking (using social media to interact and share information) isn’t just about finding posted jobs…it is about building relationships.
Your job search requires you do more than just apply for jobs online. You need a long-term outlook, not just a quick win.
Learning how to use social networking sites will help your long-term strategy – by creating new relationships to open doors now and in the future.
Add Social Networking To Your Job Search Mix
LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram (social networking tools) help you create new connections and solidify old connections. Any of these can lead to referrals.
These tools do not replace anything! They are vehicles to help you find connections, build new relationships and convey your message to a broader audience (faster, cheaper and more effectively).
There Are Many Ways to Search For A Job
You can search for a job using your favorite job board or site. This is probably where you spend most of your time and energy. But you can also:
- visit a company’s career page
- talk to recruiters
- and network
What if you invested just a fraction of the time you spent searching job boards with networking activities?
You can and without leaving the comfort of your home.
You Don’t Have Time?
So, if I asked you how many hours you spent last week engaged in job search activities, what would your answer be? And if I then asked you how you spent that time, what would you say?
Let me suggest you track your time and activities: how you are spending your time in your job search
Dedicate Time To Social Networking
Here’s an example.
Let’s say you spend 10 hours a week searching and applying to jobs online.
Invest 2 of those hours and do this instead.
Log into LinkedIn and use it for just 25 minutes a day. (Focus on LinkedIn first.) If you want, you could allocate time to doing all these activities on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Here’s how to invest those 25 valuable minutes:
- Skim your LinkedIn home feed to see what’s being shared
- Comment on interesting articles related to your industry or type of job you are looking for
- Re-share articles that relate to your career (but always write something to explain why you are sharing the article)
- View your notifications for birthdays or work anniversaries and send those connections a message on LinkedIn
- Find new companies of interest to follow
- Track down insiders who might be able to refer you for a job you are interested in
- Look for people you know but haven’t connected with yet.
Want more ideas for LinkedIn status updates? Check out this post 25 Inspiring Ideas for What To Post On LinkedIn.
If you want to invest more time in marketing activities for your job search…check this out 1 Hour a Day Marketing Strategies for Job Seekers!
How Do Companies Fill Most Openings?
About 50% of new hires come from referrals. But you probably don’t believe me. So I encourage you to talk to anyone you know and ask them how their company found their most recent hire. Chances are, the candidate they hired was referred by someone.
This is why building relationships is so important to your job search activities and why I suggest you spend more time than you have been.
Your Job Search Activities
The basic job searching activities haven’t changed. However, incorporating the power of social networks into your backpack of resources is worth considering because employers are using social networks to source and hire! Here’s proof you need to figure out social networking.
Pursuing Job Postings
Job boards like Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder, LinkUp, Dice, etc. are still being used by employers. Minimize the time you spend scouring the job boards by creating alerts.
Add the social fix:
When you find a job posted on a job board, go to the employer’s website, check out their careers or job opportunity page and see what is there.
Then, see if they have a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn button. Follow them on all those platforms.
See what they are posting about themselves, find and follow people who work there, hopefully, in the department or area you are seeking employment.
Now comes the fun part! Don’t just send a stranger an invite to connect on LinkedIn. They don’t know you…yet.
- Reshare some of their status updates with genuine praise or additional thoughts (be sure to tag their account)
- Respond to their discussion within the LinkedIn groups they belong to
- FYI: If you share a group with someone and they haven’t changed the default security settings, you can send them an email through LinkedIn.
- Learn about their culture on Facebook and again, you have the opportunity to add to their discussions.
Recruiters Have Jobs to Fill
Go find and follow recruiters posting jobs you are interested in. Follow them on LinkedIn, Twitter or elsewhere. Then follow the same suggestions from above. This helps you stay on the recruiter’s radar.
Are you looking for a list of recruiters to follow on Twitter? Here a list of recruiters I follow. You can add this list to your own set of lists on Twitter.
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.