Wish there was a way you could make your job search less of a headache? Using social media as part of a job search strategy remains quite an alien concept to most people, but it could set you apart from your competition and make the whole process much more fun.

Here are our top tips on how you can use social media to your advantage.

1. Follow your 'dream employers' and trusted recruitment agencies so you're the first to know about latest job openings

The recruitment industry has dramatically changed since the arrival of social recruitment. Recruiters have been posting jobs on LinkedIn for a long time, but most forward-thinking companies are also using Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms to advertise their latest job opportunities.

Systemise your job search by making a list of ‘dream employers’ and following them on a few of their social media platforms. This can help you keep an eye out for potential opportunities that you wouldn’t find on a job board.

You can easily set up notifications for specific Twitter handles on your iPhone or Android, making it even easier and time-efficient to evaluate a company’s culture and keep track of their latest job openings. Many companies have separate Twitter handles dedicated to promoting their work culture and advertising new job openings, such as @BBCRecruitment, @lifeatgoogle or @eBayIncCareers, so make sure that you’re getting notifications for the right handle.

For more information on how to use each social media platform for your job search, check out our blog post on how to hunt for a job on social media which goes through each in more detail.

2. Speak with the recruiter or hiring manager directly

One of the biggest differences between applying on a website instead of responding to a job ad on social media is that you’ll see who posted the job and you’ll be able to interact with the recruiter, HR professional or hiring manager directly. Instead of being one of the hundreds of people who applied through the website’s application portal you’ll be one of the few who got in touch using the contact details on the post. This makes your chance of getting a call much higher.

Want to be super clever? See if you can find the name of the recruiter or hiring manager most relevant to you and, even if they aren’t advertising any jobs that look right for you, go ahead and introduce yourself. It never hurts to start building a relationship now, and when something of interest does come along you’ll probably have a better shot of being considered.

3. Get fast-tracked with referrals

The best way to stand out from all the other applicants is through referrals. Recruiters will have to go through a mountain of CVs and LinkedIn profiles to put together a shortlist of candidates to then meet, qualify and potentially represent to the client.

It’s never easy to truly judge the calibre of a candidate without meeting them face-to-face, so a referral from a mutual acquaintance is usually of high value. If a candidate looks right on paper and is referred by someone the recruiter knows and trusts, chances are they’ll be fast-tracked to the shortlist.

Social media tools make it easy to find a potential referral through your network. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t reach out to the people in your social network – even if they aren’t in the same field – to let them know you’re looking for a new job. The conversation may lead to introductions and referrals you wouldn’t have gained otherwise.

4. Research the interviewer

You may have been advised by a recruiter or careers adviser in the past to research your interviewer as part of your interview preparation, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is so you’ll appear polite and as though you’ve “done your homework”.

The real reason you should do this is because you are selling yourself to the interviewer, who in this context is your customer. The golden rule of sales is “know your customer,” so the more you can know about your interviewer the better. Use LinkedIn to learn more about their professional background, current role, recent projects, etc. and look at other social media platforms to get a sense of the work culture.

This is where working with a recruiter can really give you an edge as they can provide you with even more information that couldn’t be accessed using social media. Learning why the job opening has come about and the objectives and challenges they are facing on a team- and business-level will help you focus the conversation on their needs and your value add. 

Social media is a fantastic tool with enabling possibilities that extend way beyond communication with friends and accessing valuable content. We're excited to see 'social recruitment' become a more of a two-way street that will empower job seekers in future and encourage them to engage with potential employers in more modern, human ways.


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