In this time and age online presence becomes crucial in keeping your friends&family close, your coworkers in the loop and even in getting you hired in a new place. With the average user having around 3 online accounts(Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram/Pinterest) studies have shown that up to 92% of companies use social media when recruiting. This means you’ll find the job ad on their website’s career, on their LinkedIn or even on their Twitter and Facebook. To give you an example, I found one job on Twitter, one on LinkedIn, and one on Facebook. They are professional companies with whom I collaborate well. Depending on what you do, I write for a living by the way, bigger and even smaller companies started to use Social Media to search for a new employee. Whether you are a social media specialist, a graphic designer, an architect or a statistician, having some kind of social media presence might come in handy.
Social networks attracted the attention of the HR departments for two reasons: it’s cheaper than organizing single or group interviews and it helped them find faster the right people for the job.
Why shoud you use Social Media
Also, depending on your network of friends and connections, you might use social media’s super power yourself. Give a ‘shot out’ when you’re trying to find a new job and a friend or two might offer you some insight into the jobs available into their circle. Also, some people, good Samaritans, repost/reshare statuses claiming they are looking for a job. Moreover you can check new jobs on Facebook&LinkedIn groups, use certain hashtags on Twitter( #wearehiring, #hiring #job or in the case of writer #writingjob, #contributingwriter, or #freelancewriter) and Instagram( yes you read that right, Instagram. Again with some specific hashtags you might find some jobs around there; few for now) and even sign up to receive an email from job sites when a new company is in the looks. At the same time, following on Twitter or connecting on LinkedIn with the companies and the people you admire in your domain will also keep you in the loop when a new job is available and keeping you up-to-date with the trends in your field.
Moreover, truth be told few positions are on job websites. In my (short) experience people hire other people after asking some of their friends for referrals. You, as well, if you see a job post but you already have your hands full, may share the news of the job opening to your network of friends.
You may view one company’s activity online and get an idea if it is convenient for you, if your values correspond to those of the company. You can also connect with current or former employees of a certain company and ask for advice. Remember that a wide area of interests will only get you points for a new position, since companies are looking for creative, engaging and flexible people. Keep in mind that the HR staff will form an opinion about your personality from your online presence so be sure to keep your social media accounts away ‘negative influences’. Hard partying and drug abuse photos will turn away a potential employer in 7 cases out of 10.
Some tips for rocking your online presence
Whatever your feeling are about social networks, they are changing the work of job hunting one step at a time. Take a look at some tips I consider crucial when you want to use your online social networks to get a job.
- Use professional social media profiles – not one time did I researched someone and I found from his Facebook or worse form LinkedIn that he worked ‘on my brand’ and was a prince in his free time. You should have a simple user with first and last name or if you use a pseudonymous everywhere online, add your name in the parenthesis. Keep in mind that a sloppy online presence will only decrease your chances of getting hired.
- Have a tagline! – experts claim that you should have the same photo, colors, and tagline on every platform(Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Quora, etc ). I disagree with a single tagline. I believe you should adapt the tagline to the platform you use. If your Instagram looks witty and more relaxed, use a suitable tagline.
- When looking for a job, state it in your social media’s bio – when I was job hunting, I used a tactic that I learned while browsing the web searching for the secrets of a successful ‘hunt’. I added to my Twitter and LinkedIn bio the words ‘professional writer for hire’ and it worked like a charm. Sure you can replace professional writer with something else 🙂 .
- Be involved in the (online) community – answer questions from rookies, offer some advice, interact on groups and generally keep in mind the saying ‘Pay it forward’. You don’t know when a new opportunity pops.
- Use keywords – this is really important – use keywords in your profiles – Twiter, Quora, Google+, LinkedIn. Depending on what you’re good at – design, writing, programming, art curation – use keywords related to your field. For design use ‘Photoshop’, ‘InDesign’ and such, for writing use ‘content writing’, ‘proofreading’, ‘editing’ for programming use programming languages – C, C#, Pearl, Java – you get the idea. However, if you are clueless about your keywords search for the experts in the field on LinkedIn and take a look at the keywords the used.
- Keep your social media networks up-to-date – instead of creating a Twitter account and post three times in 5 years, you’ll have to work a little a post at least 2-3 times a week. Employers like a well-rounded employee that knows the latest trends in the field.
- Reply ASAP – someone contacted you for a collaboration? Congrats! That means your work and your online presence is compatible with employer’s needs. It’s one of the worst things to send a job proposition or question and to receive a reply after a week. Manage your enthusiasm and reply within 24 hours.
- Don’t expect some magic results overnight – sure your work experience and your online presence only strengthens your persona, but don’t expect jobs to pop after a few days or weeks.
Doing what you love is freedom, loving what you do is happiness.
Lana del Rey
How about you? Do you have any power tips for boosting your online presence?