Social media has become an important part of the job hunting process in recent years for both jobseekers and recruiters. Jobseekers can use the platforms to track down opportunities and research companies they are interested in working for. Recruiters can use social media to find suitable candidates and reach out to them. They can also use your social profile to find out a bit more about you and decide whether or not you’d be a good fit with the company culture.
These days, it’s just as important to have a professional online presence as it is to have an up-to-date CV, to network face-to-face, and to attend job fairs.
Should I use social media for my job search?
If you want to be the first to know about new opportunities, make more personal connections with potential employers, and use as many channels as possible to attract invitations to interview, social media can be a fantastic tool.
Social media has made networking easier and easier and the savvy jobseeker will take advantage of this. Many law firms have an active social media presence and provide their following with company news, job opportunities and can give an idea of the company culture. Engaging with these profiles and their posts can be a great way to start demonstrating your interest in a particular firm.
Which social media sites should I use for my job search?
Right Management recently carried out a survey of recruiters and HR managers and found that LinkedIn was the site most used for recruiting. Surprisingly, 52% said they also used Facebook, which shows that having a professional profile across all social media sites is important.
Nicola Deas, practice leader of career management at Right Management, said: “It’s critical, particularly in this difficult job market, that job seekers develop the right skills and have access to the right opportunities to find employment. It’s never been more important to learn how to effectively network with peers – online and offline – as well as being able to create an online profile with compelling messages that will get noticed by employers and recruiters. It’s not enough to just have a good CV today.”
So, even though it’s still very important to have a standout CV and attend networking events, LinkedIn and Facebook could be real assets to your job hunting efforts. It’s also worth considering any other social networking sites where you might have an account, like Twitter. If your feeds are showing the industry news you’ve been reading, any professional achievements or events you’ve attended, you will stand out to employers.
Do employers use social media to screen applicants?
Social media screening has become a standard part of the recruitment process for many companies. In fact, 70% of employers said they used social media to screen applicants before employing them, according to a survey conducted last year.
With this in mind, you should go through each of your profiles and make sure there aren’t any comments or photos that you wouldn’t want an employer to see. It’s also worth doing a quick Google of your name to see what comes up and getting rid of anything inappropriate.
You could use a social media screening tool, however, the best thing to do is to go through each of your profiles before you make any applications.
Social media tips for job seekers
So, how do you make the most of the opportunities presented by social media for your job hunt? Here are five tips to get you started.
1. Perfect your LinkedIn profile
As this is the social media network most used for recruitment, getting your LinkedIn profile in shape is a great place to start.
Once you’ve added all your qualifications, skills, experience and a professional profile picture, it’s time to get connecting. If possible, get endorsements from previous or current colleagues and give as much detail as you can about your skills and interests.
Import your contacts so you’re as widely connected as possible and start sharing any relevant articles or news stories. Join industry groups and get involved in the latest conversations.
You’ll then be in a great position to start networking with the companies you’re interested in working for. By the time your application lands on their desk, you should already be on their radar.
2. Clean up your Facebook page
Does your Facebook profile promote you in a positive and professional way, or do you come across as a bit of a party animal? Clean up anything that might make an employer question your commitment to your career. Start following relevant industry profiles too and engage with their posts.
3. Don’t forget about Twitter
Twitter is also a useful platform for demonstrating your interest in the industry. Make sure your profile matches what you’ve put on LinkedIn and start following relevant people in the industry.
It might be worth signing up for a tool like Tweetdeck to get a more comprehensive overview of how the industry communicates on Twitter.
4. Become a blogger
Having a blog and linking to it from your social media pages can be a great way to expand your online presence. Start posting about the areas you are interested in and employers will see that you are a motivated individual who is actively engaged in the industry. Someone who has the commitment to regularly update a blog also demonstrates some of the personality traits recruiters look for, as well as a genuine interest in their career choice.
5. Give YouTube a go
You could even consider creating a video or a series of videos focussed on the industry or even as a way to introduce yourself in a more personal way to recruiters. Several law students and junior lawyers have recently taken to YouTube to share their experiences and advice. For inspiration, take a look at Chrissie Woolfe’s channel, ‘Law and Broader’.
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