A colleague of mine recently asked me a VERY good question: “do you still need a Linkedin page even if you already have a job?” My answer was: “ABSOLUTELY!”
According to the 2013 Social Recruiting Survey Results published by Jobvite, 94% of recruiters and companies either currently use or plan to use social networks to support recruiting efforts. The top three social networks for recruiters are Linkedin at 94%, Facebook 65%, and Twitter 55%. In my previous blog, I wrote about how recruiters can use social media to expand recruiting efforts. Therefore, I decided to write about ways job seekers (whether active or passive) can use social media in their job search.
Survey results show that over 90% of recruiters use Linkedin to search, contact, and keep track of potential candidates and to post job openings. Therefore, even if you already have a job, you should still maintain an active and updated Linkedin profile page. I see social media as a channel for individuals to market and position themselves in the career field they are either pursuing or are going to pursue. Even if you are currently employed, Linkedin is a great platform to showcase your skills, projects that you have worked on, and that you are up-to-date on industry trends. Most importantly, make sure you connect, engage, and network with people in your field through joining specific career-related groups. The connections you make on Linkedin will come in handy when you do have to look for a job in the future.
What to do?
- Make sure your profile is complete and up-to-date. Add visual work samples (websites, videos, event pictures, etc.) and projects that you have worked on.
- Post industry related blogs, articles, infographics, etc. that you think others might find helpful and interesting. This shows that you are aware of current industry trends and that you are passionate about what you do.
- Join groups related to your career to connect with industry professionals.
- If you have extra time, start a blog on Linkedin. Blogging is an excellent way to show others your expertise in the field.
Unlike Linkedin, Facebook was not developed for professional networking. However, there are still major perks to using it as part of your job search strategy. Survey results show that 51% of recruiters use Facebook to generate employee referrals, and 65% use it to showcase employer brand. Linkedin offers recruiters insight into a potential candidate’s professional background while Facebook gives them an idea of your personality. AND your personality tells the recruiter whether you would be a good cultural fit for the organization or not. Therefore, how you show your personality on Facebook could make or break the recruiter’s assessment of your application.
What to do?
- DO NOT post anything that would set off a red flag for recruiters (ex. illegal drugs). Data shows that 83% of recruiters respond negatively to illegal drug references.
- DO PUBLISH industry related posts and PRACTICE good grammar rules. Survey results show that 61% recruiters respond negatively to grammar and punctuation errors because it shows that you may not have the communications skills that the job requires.
- Feel free to analyze potential employers’ Facebook pages as well. You want to make sure that they are a good cultural fit for your values and work ethics.
I personally like using this social media platform for keeping up with industry trends by following other marketing professionals. Although Twitter is not the go-to social media site for recruiters, it should be for job seekers. Candidates can use Twitter to clearly position themselves in their career field. Job searching is very much a job of its own and involves a lot of marketing. Showing that you are involved in the current industry discussions will set you apart from other job seekers. In marketing terms, this shows “thought leadership.”
What to do?
- Follow other people in your field.
- Post/share industry related items.
- Use #hashtags to expand reach.
- Don’t be afraid to speak up on what you know!
Remember, these social media practices are not just for when you are looking for a job. Like marketing for a product, you should always be marketing yourself. Establishing yourself in your field not only benefits future job searches, but also your current work.