How to Facilitate Your Job Search with Social Media
By Hannan Ben Slimane, Intern
Social media is not only useful for having a sense of community with clients and engaging in discussions. Today, more and more people can build any kind of network, have contacts and even find jobs via social media. In this article, I will talk about my own experience concerning the job market and social media but also how you can use social media wisely to stretch out job opportunities.
The reason why I wanted to talk about this subject is because I have been through this before. I found my internship here at Fusion thanks to Twitter. It took me one tweet, a couple of re-tweets, a DM (direct message) and few emails and a call later, I had the position as an intern! I believe Twitter is a good tool to build your network with contacts in your field/interest. Of course, you have to be interesting too if you want people to follow your tweets. It is a win-win situation.
I am a social media savvy person. I have Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram and Viadeo (the french version of Linkdin). I also have a Google+ account but I have to admit that I only signed on because of the buzz it had at its launch. Knowing that Google+ does not have his own feature or would I say »personnality« , I will just stick to Facebook because it is pretty much the same. Indeed, I believe that if you want to create your own social network and be relevant, you have to be different from the others. But that is another story…
Whether you like it or not, you have to be careful on what you post/say on the social media platforms you use, even if you think they are «private» and you are talking about your personal life. New recruiters are now using social media to find candidates but also to evaluate them in advance. Any job seeker must now be present on job boards but also have to pay attention to their digital reputation and explore new features that are social media represent.
LinkedIn is the perfect example of the relationship between social media and employment. With 161 million users on February 2012, LinkedIn is the #1 professionnal social media site in the world. There, you can have your own profile and put all your skills, education, experience (pretty much your resume) and build your professional network.
Since these sites are considered to be social media, the word social is in it which means you have to be active ! Like any building, network and reputation must be maintained. In the same way you spend half an hour or an hour a day to read and reply to your emails, spend at least thirty minutes a day to maintain your network and monitor your reputation. Follow the news, answer comments, create content, discover events, expand your network … And do not hesitate to meet your contacts in real life, this is still the best way to maintain and develop connections. But remember that the goal is to get noticed by potential employers.
If you are contacted for an interview, know that your interviewer will probably do a search on your digital profile. Use social networks to arm yourself for the interview. Learn about the health of the company, on the conditions and the working atmosphere, the level of compensation, benefits offered, etc. To do this, do not hesitate to contact actual employees of the company, tie relationships and make your inquiry. You can even search the profile of your contact, you may have the chance to discover a common interest (a love for football, the same regional origins…) and the opportunity to engage in friendly conversation
Finally, these networks are double-edged swords, they can ruin your chances of being hired as a favor and give you the decisive edge. Control of your future depends on the knowledge of these new tools and their use.