Midday Fix: How to use social media to find a job

Jessica Schaeffer, Director of Marketing and Communications - LaSalle Network

LaSalle Network, staffing and recruiting firm headquartered in Chicago

(3 locations—Chicago, Oak Brook, Arlington Heights; but main office in Chicago)

200 N. LaSalle St.

Chicago, Il  60601

312-419-1700

www.thelasallenetwork.com

Tips:

Is social media a good job search tool? 

  • Yes! Our survey also found that it's a more popular job search tool now than it was in previous years. 68% of this year's graduating class said social media was their preferred job search tool.
    • Recruiters are constantly using LinkedIn and checking social media profiles, so if yours isn't updated you could be missing out on potential job opportunities.
    • Facebook also recently implemented a job board, which lets companies post open positions on the site, so job seekers could find out about open positions that they wouldn’t otherwise know about
    • If you follow recruiters or companies on twitter, they’ll often use the platform to post “hot” jobs they’re working on which will let you know the types of positions they’re hiring for
  • All the platforms give job seekers the opportunity to engage with a company, whether through “liking,” “posting,” or “commenting” to get in front of hiring managers in a different way than just a cold email
  • Your personal brand: Social media allows job seekers to build their brand and show their interests, expertise, qualifications, etc. on a variety of platforms

 

Where should you start when using social media to find a job?

  Figure out what your goal is. The different sits serve different purposes and social media can be a huge time suck, so know what you want to get out of it.

  • Think about where you’re active – every platform offers some advantage to job seekers, so if you don’t have an Instagram, it’s probably not worth creating one just to find a job since Facebook or Twitter could help with that, too
    • If a platform is confusing or feels clunky when trying to use it – don’t force it!
  • Do a pre-mortem. If you’re looking at employers or applying to jobs via social media, they will be screening your profiles, so take a pre-mortem. Google yourself and see what comes up. How are you presented? If you find questionable things posted or you don’t come across very professionally, don’t use that channel.

 How should you start using social media when looking for a job?

 

  • Build your profile. Make sure all your information is up to date. Complete any missing information. Scrub any irrelevant information or anything that portrays you in a bad light.
  • Share relevant information. Show you are a thought leader in the space. If you write and blog frequently, share that. If you don’t, find articles that are relevant to your industry or your role, and share and comment on those to show your expertise.
  • Tap your network. Set a goal for how many new connections you want to make and how many current connections you want to reach out to. Research where they work and who they are connected with. Does it make sense to ask them for an informational interview or an introduction to someone in their network?
  • Research companies. Social media offers great insight into what a day in the life of an organization looks like. Take advantage of it. Make a short list of companies where you want to work. Then, cater your application, cover letter or introductory e-mail to explain what you know, why you would be a strong addition and how you can add value immediately.

Is using social media an effective way to find a temporary summer job?

 

  • Social media shouldn’t replace using job boards in any job search, but it can help supplement the summer job search
    • Using social media can alert you to last-minute job openings, urgent openings, or multiple openings a company needs to fill
    • Follow and engage with companies that will have an increased need for work during the summer: restaurants, parks, recreation, leisure/hospitality, construction
    • Social media job postings don’t stay up as long as job boards do, so it’s important to regularly check in on the companies you’re targeting and apply to any openings posted right away

  What are some mistakes people make with social media?

 

  • Forgetting to audit their social media presence. Potential employers pay attention to how someone comes across via social media – whether it's twitter, facebook, instagramor LinkedIn, they look at those sites, so don't have anything up that could come across negatively for employers.
  • Not keeping their profiles updated. This is especially true for LinkedIn. Recruiters and employers can search by key words of profiles and if you have experience with something, but haven't included it in your profile, they won't find you.

o    Your LinkedIn profile should be similar to a resume – you want people to see it and know your skills and experience.

  • Not tailoring their reachouts. If you're going to send a message to a recruiter or hiring manager, make sure it's tailored and specific for that person or company. They'll know if it's a mass email and will ignore it.
  • Not showing interest in your industry. Employers want to see that a job applicant is genuinely interested in and cares about their field. Even if you don’t write your own content, keeping a pulse on what others are saying in your industry by sharing and commenting on blogs, press, etc. shows employers you care and are curious.