13 tips on how to use social media to get a job

Social media can be a great job hunting tool, but you have to use it properly. Read on for 13 tips on how to use social media to get a job.

Whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or something else, social media is a platform for you to showcase your best self, nothing more and nothing less. If you put in the work you will see results, and if you don’t, you probably won’t.

How to use social media to raise your personal brand profile, expand your network, find jobs, and advance your career? Here are

Update your accounts. Don’t leave accounts just sitting there unused. That looks lazy and like you are the type of person who leaves loose ends, which is a turnoff to employers. If you haven’t updated your Twitter since 2015, and aren’t going to be tweeting any time soon, consider deleting it.

Use your real name. If you are trying to brand and market yourself on social media, use your real name. It is counter productive to call yourself something clever (Amanda Huggankiss) or hide your identity (Jane Doe 1972) when you want people to know who you are.

Always be polite and gracious. No matter which platform you’re using, never get into fights, call people names, or insult anyone. Just don’t. It does not look good on you.

Join relevant groups. Facebook has job search groups for different geographical locations, as well as industry specific groups. Join these. Get involved, read posts, join conversations. Some of them will be more useful than others but you have to test them out to know which ones.

Follow and friend people you admire. If you’re on Instagram or Twitter,  follow them. If you’re on Facebook, add them as a friend if you’re comfortable doing that. Just send a note explaining why. I’m a big fan of making friends online and do it all the time.

Keep it professional (mainly LinkedIn). Know your platform and, mainly on LinkedIn, stick to professional posts. On other platforms, this falls into the same category as being polite and gracious – don’t do anything online that you wouldn’t want your boss or a potential boss to see.

Make parts of your Facebook profile public. A compelling and likeable presence is better than no presence. This is why, if someone Googles you and finds a Facebook profile, it’s a better experience for them to see a cover photo, profile photo, and some posts, rather than a grey page telling them to add you as a friend if they want to see anything about you. Make posts related to your industry and profession public, and keep your other posts limited to friends. Though, again, there should be nothing in there you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see. You never know who is a “friend of a friend.”

Share industry relevant stuff. This applies mostly to LinkedIn but also to other platforms. If you read an article relevant to your industry, share it. Make comments on industry news or topics and be engaged in information about your sector.

Write articles. LinkedIn has a publishing platform where you can write articles and share them. Do that.

Engage with other people’s posts. Don’t make it all about you. Like and comment on other people’s posts. Share them and say something like “Some great insight from Whatshisname McGillicuddy on the challenges the silly string sector is currently facing!” and tag that person. This calls attention to you in a way that is flattering to them. People love that sort of thing.

Ask for help. Ask friends on social media for help finding a job and feel free to let people know you’re open for work. This does NOT mean changing your LinkedIn tagline to “open to new opportunities.” Don’t do that. You can let people know you’re open without making it painfully clear that you are unemployed. Hiring managers don’t want to hire people who are unemployed. It’s one of the most unfair, frustrating biases in hiring, and you have to be aware of it.

Follow companies and their job pages. Companies have pages on all kinds of social platforms. They too are looking to raise their brand profile, as well as to recruit top talent. Follow their pages and monitor for job openings – or anything that implies that there might be openings in the pipeline or behind the scenes, such as staff departures or company expansion. Then reach out. That is literally what those pages are for.

Monitor for relevant events (and attend them). Groups and companies may post events that you can attend. Check out fundraisers, shows, parties, or meet and greets. See where your online network hangs out, find them there and say hello. Take it offline and meet people in person. As a freelancer, I’ve actually been hire by people I’ve never met in person and have only ever spoken to online. But that isn’t going to work for everyone. Get out there.

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