Social media isn’t all fake news and friend requests.
Sometimes, you’ve got to take to the web to lock down that next great opportunity.
Still, despite the ubiquity of online job sites, not everyone thinks to use their favorite time waster to find work.
And, there are definitely some tips and tricks that will make it easier to uncover the perfect job on LinkedIn—as well as places like Twitter or Instagram.
Here’s what you need to know before messaging hiring managers en masse.
How to use social media to find your next job
Why it’s worth trying
So even if you choose to limit your job search to online job boards and networking events, you still need to make sure your digital self is ready for its closeup.
With that in mind, it’s clear that hiring managers and recruiters are hanging around social already. So, why not get a leg up on the laggard competition and meet them where they already are.
With that in mind, here some ways to boost your profile and maybe your starting salary.
Check yourself out
Have you Googled yourself before? If not, it’s best to do this before you start fixing up your profiles. You might not like what you see.
If your online profile is thin, or not super flattering, fleshing out your social profiles can be a good way to stifle the rankings you’re not happy with.
Create a complete LinkedIn profile and everything from employment details to education, experience, and top it off with a professional photo.
LinkedIn ranks well in the Google search results, so a good profile goes a long way. Double down by filling out other social profiles with your professional details.
If you already have profiles set up, then you’ll need to do a quick audit to ensure they’re in working order.
This means it’s time to ditch the keg stand shots, the sloppy Halloween pics, and tighten up the information in your bio.
Let people know you’re looking for work
Make sure your social media profiles clearly state that you’re seeking a job.
While it doesn’t seem like much, letting people know you’re on the hunt may help you identify some new opportunities–and in some cases, someone in your network may point you to an opening before it’s posted.
You’ll want to include the type of role you’re interested in and that you use keywords that ensure recruiters can find you in a sea of social job hunters.
Keep things fresh
There’s no point in creating a profile unless you’re going to use the thing. Update job titles and they change, link to blogs you’ve posted or your online portfolio.
You don’t need to update all the channels every day, but you want to show that you’re actively engaging with others in your industry.
If remembering to update your socials doesn’t quite come naturally, you can always enlist the help of a social scheduling tool like Tweet Deck, Buffer, Hootsuite, and so on.
Follow relevant companies and individuals in your industry
Make a list of the companies you’d like to work for, from there, simply Google the name of the company + Instagram or Facebook. If you find some companies don’t have accounts, consider following individual employees.
We should mention, it’s likely a bit weird to add these people on LinkedIn, but following them on Twitter and Instagram might be worthwhile. Just don’t be a creep.
Instead, “like” a relevant post here and there and use this as an opportunity to do some hashtag research.
Twitter & Instagram
While LinkedIn gets all the job search cred, Twitter and Instagram both deserve a shout-out, too. We lumped these two together, as the strategy is similar for both platforms.
Both platforms give users the chance to follow influencers and connect with other users by using relevant hashtags and @-ing people.
Share articles from other people in your field, comment on others’ posts, and just, well, engage.
The idea is to position yourself as someone who knows a lot about your field—and eventually, people will start to follow you. With Twitter, of course, the process is more about sharing articles, links, and short asides. Whereas Instagram is all about the visuals.
In either case, make sure you’re sharing good content and staying on brand. Ideally, making connections on either platform means you’re positioning yourself to get referrals.
Learn to work hashtags
Hashtags are actually a practical search tool, not just a vehicle for showing off your wit. Instead, following the right hashtags can help you quickly identify relevant content such as job postings.
By following the right hashtags, you’ve created a direct line to the content you actually want to access—so you won’t get caught up looking at cats instead of looking for work.
Glassdoor has posted some tips for recruiting by hashtag: many postings will come with generic #jobopening, #hiring, etc. Try these first, then narrow your search.
For something more specific, look toward Hashtagify.me for inspiration or copy the hashtags shared in industry leaders’ posts.
Facebook doesn’t initially seem like the best platform for locking down a dream job. But, LinkedIn doesn’t have the job market cornered.
Sure, Facebook is a bit more personal than the professional networking platform, but showing old FB a little love can pay off big-time.
For example, if you’ve recently published an article or you’re participating in a professional event — say, giving a lecture — share a link.
Like LinkedIn, Facebook has groups that span all manner of industries. Type in web development or brand manager into the group search box, and you’ll see a list of all kinds of groups within your role or industry.
Finally, many brands (especially B2C ones) promote their products, services, and company culture on their Facebook page. For this reason, it’s the perfect platform for gathering “interpersonal intel.”
For example, you’ll see posts covering stuff like company retreats, Taco Tuesdays, inter-office hijinks — all fertile ground for potential talking points.
For example, there are a ton of groups dedicated to remote work opportunities, web development jobs, and more.
One of the best things about social media is that it works to help you grow your network well beyond the confines of any conference or networking event.
However, the digitization of the job hunting process means that users need to spend more time tailoring profiles and engaging with people in their industry in addition to polishing their resume.
In the end, you never know when those opportunities might come knocking. So, best to be prepared with a streamlined handful of handles and a willingness to do a little digging.