9 Tips For Using Social Media In Your Job Hunt

linkedIN blog

Most of us use social media on a daily basis, but did you know that used strategically, social media can also be a great job search tool? Here are some tips to get you started.

Develop a professional presence

What do people find when they Google your name? This is something you need to look at, as most employers these days will Google potential job candidates to see what comes up. If the results bring up unprofessional pics or posts, then it’s time to clean up your online image. Start by taking down anything you wouldn’t want an employer to see, and set up a professional profile on LinkedIn, and make sure you include a professional-looking photo. Do the same for Twitter, Google and Facebook, and any other social media you use.

Know what information to include

Look at how other professionals in your industry present themselves online, what social media networks they belong to and what information they include in their profiles. This will give you insight into industry ‘best practice’ and will help you to develop your own profile. Make sure all your social media profiles include keywords that a recruiter or hiring manager might use to find a person just like you.

Be careful what you say

You need to present the best image of yourself online. Whether you’re blogging, tweeting or updating your Facebook status, it’s important that you maintain your reputation and professional credibility. The last thing you want to do is destroy all your hard work by making a careless Twitter comment. What you do on social media is there to stay, so think before you tweet, blog, post or share.

Activate your privacy settings

You need to effectively manage the information that’s available about you online. That means you should make sure your personal information on Facebook is private. Use the Privacy Settings and Tools menu to manage what’s visible to others and ensure that it’s set to Friends and not Everyone! This way, if an employer Googles you, they won’t be able to see the details of your profile and delve into your personal life.

Establish your own URL

Add the URL for your LinkedIn profile and Twitter handle to your CV (but not your Facebook profile). This provides an employer with another avenue to connect with you and allows them to see you in a professional light. It also demonstrates that you are social media savvy, which is an increasingly desirable asset.

Engage in online conversations

Participating in online conversations and discussion forums helps you to establish yourself as an expert in the field. It also demonstrates that you are serious about contributing to your industry, so you should share content, forward links and answer questions whenever it’s appropriate.

Connect with the right people

LinkedIn can be a great resource for finding information on organisations and the individuals who work there. If you’re looking for opportunities that aren’t advertised, put together a list of companies that you’re interested in. Use LinkedIn and your investigative powers to find out the names of people who work there and then look at ways that you can start connecting with them.Follow them on Twitter, repost their tweets, and look at who your shared connections are.

Let people know you are looking

Make sure your connections know that you’re looking for a job, as your contacts are the best people to provide you with referrals. You want people to think of you when a position becomes available and for them to let you know when they hear about a position they think you would be interested in.

Follow industry news

There is not one social media network that works best for all job seekers. The important thing is to know which platforms are most used by your industry. Find out the latest happenings by joining specialist industry groups on LinkedIn, following industry blogs, signing up to newsletters and participating in discussion forums. This helps you stay up-to-date with the latest industry information and provides you with the opportunity to make connections that could result in job leads.


The Job-Seekers Guide to Twitter – Part 2

Last week we talked briefly about signing up for Twitter, the importance of filling out of your profile in detail and some basic functionality.

This article will explore the @ and # keys in a little more detail, as well as provide some basic examples of Twitter Job Seeking in action.

Search Search..Search

O.k, last time we briefly discussed using the search bar. Now it’s time for an in-depth example.
In this scenario, I will be playing the role of a Job Seeker looking for marketing work, either in Norwich or some sort of remote position.

1) Sign up for Twitter, fill out my profile in detail and upload a presentable picture.
2) Add all of my friends and anyone that I know, even remotely, to create the largest possible network of contacts.
3) Time to use the search bar.
4) Lets try – marketing work, Norwich
5) This returns no ‘Tweets’ so we proceed to search through the ‘people results’ on the right side of the screen.
6) Click ‘view all’, the small blue text at the top of page, underneath the first line of text.
7) This brings up a large list of everybody who has been indexed with either the terms ‘marketing work’ or ‘Norwich’ on their profile. The list will be ordered by relevancy, so all the people with ‘marketing work’ and ‘Norwich’ included in their profile description will be at the top of the list.
8) Now, time to build your network.
9) Right click each name as you move through the list, and open them all in new tabs. Go through a few at a time so you don’t get confused.
10) Best practice here is to now ‘Follow’ any person or agency you believe could be helpful to in your job hunt.
11) So to demonstrate, in my search the second people result comes up as furthersearcha SEO and marketing agency.
12) You’ll want to ‘Follow’ furthersearch, then move onto the next relevant profile in the search results.
13) It’s best to spend anything from 10-30 minutes doing this, ‘Follow’ any Twitter profile that is of interest to you and make note of those that you really liked the look of.
14) I’d advise to make sure you ‘Follow’ at least 10-20 Job Aggregation Sites as well as relevant marketing companies. By Job Aggregation Site I mean something like this – Marketing PR Jobs
15) This way you’ve got the best of both worlds and you should receive a steady stream of jobs pop up in your Twitter feed – worst comes to worst you can apply for a job you’re not that keen on to keep your funds up while you continue your search.

Bear in mind that the ‘Search bar’ a lot of the time won’t return a list of ‘Tweets’, so just browse the people results to the right.

OK, so now you know how to use the ‘Search’ bar to suit your purpose.

Search, Follow, Hello?

So now you’re following a bunch of new agencies and people, what now?

Well here comes the easy part. Talking to people and spending a week or two building a presence.
Better yet – you may not even have to. If you spent a decent amount of time ‘Following’ relevant Twitter profiles, it’s now as simple as playing the waiting game.

1) The Twitter profiles you chose to ‘Follow’ through the search function should now periodically post ‘Tweets’ that pop up in your Twitter feed (your Twitter home page)
2) All you have to do – is wait. Monitor your feed every hour and apply, apply and apply.
3) Many of the Job Aggregation Sites post new jobs every few hours, a lot of these jobs will not require a lot of relevant experience and if anything can serve as stepping stones to building your employability profile if you can’t see yourself there long-term.
4) For the company profiles or individuals you chose to follow – you may have noticed you can’t directly message them, as they aren’t ‘Following’ you.
5) How can I fix this? In some instances this can be difficult – if you chose to follow very large Twitter profiles with thousands of followers, however, most Twitter profiles will generally respond to your messages if they are polite and well thought out.
6) For example – you’ve just started following a local marketing agency, how do you get them to notice you?
7) Pay attention to what they are saying, or what they are Tweeting! If they post a question and you feel you have an informed answer (try not to be too opinionated) let them know.
8) Retweet some of their content – if they post useful or informative content, hit the little re-tweet content beneath the link.
9) @ mention them. In your Twitter status post something nice and complimentary about the company.
10) Reply to their Tweets. Another option you have is ‘Replying’ to ‘Tweets’ posted by the profile. For example, they post an article relating to current events and you decide to reply with your two cents, perhaps agreeing with their point of view. Once you have ‘Replied’ to their Tweet – you’re now on their radar. They may not immediately ‘Follow’ you out of courtesy, but give it time and show a genuine interest – these things can take time.

Your first graduate job

Saw this really interesting blog about working life in your first graduate job. It takes an enjoyable, light-hearted view on how to manage office politics, how to tackle the unknown, not taking things too seriously and remaining flexible!


Have a read and post your comments on your experiences in your first graduate role below.

9 simple steps to getting the most out of Linkedin

Most of the recruiters and employers have quit traditional methods of searching for a perfect candidate. No longer do they spend all their time going through job portals but they also search for interesting candidates on social media sites, blogs, forums and professional networking sites.

Linkedin is one of many such sites that help you reach out to employers and gain useful information to make you better informed when applying for a job. With more than 6 million registered users in the UK, and a new member joining Linkedin approximately every second, Linkedin represents a bank of potential employer contacts and information.

Here are some top tips to make Linkedin a vital component to your job search, reproduced with kind permission from ‘onlineastevens’:

Step 1 – Complete your profile and make it relevant

Use the progress bar. It’s simple, 100% is the target. As you are completing your profile add context to every element of your work experience. This gives the viewer an insight as to whether you’re worth connecting with. What will you be using your Linkedin profile for? Networking? Job hunting? Business development? As an example, if you work for an advertising agency and you’re trying to attract more clients, write about your success stories and large campaigns, not about your transferable skills.

Step 2 – Seek recommendations

Do not be afraid to ask for recommendations, they qualify you as a useful contact

“90% of people trust online recommendations from people they know” 

Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey of over 25,000 Internet consumers from 50 countries

This behaviour applies to online consumers and online networkers. Request recommendations from colleagues, customers, graduates, suppliers, basically anybody that you have had a professional relationship with. It will feel weird the first time you do it, but more often than not people are more than happy to obligue. Like products on Amazon, people with recommendations are a more attractive prospect.

Step 3 – Link up with LinkedIn

Link your Twitter, Facebook, blog and website to your LinkedIn profile. If you’re a WordPress blogger, then add the WordPress application which will automatically send out updates of your latest posts. Another plugin you can use is the SlideShare application to share any presentations you would like to share.

Whilst on the subject of social media accounts, Google yourself and make sure your online presence, across all networks, is of a professional standard. Delete or protect anything that isn’t.

Step 4 – <This is an easy one> Personalise your profile link

This is easily done. Best case scenario is making your personalised profile link the same as your Twitter name.

Step 5 – Search for and add groups

The first and most natural approach here is to add groups that match your skills profile, and it is useful to do this. However you should also add groups that are used by your target market, even if they are not directly relevant to you. Also, don’t just use these groups as a platform to push your wares – this will turn people off you straight away. Offer advice and useful opinions, position yourself as an expert of your field.

Step 6 – Add EVERYONE!

Whenever you speak to contacts via email, add a line that states you would like to link up on LinkedIn. Don’t wait for a response to your email – invite them to connect on LinkedIn straight away. 9 times out of 10 your invite will be accepted. This is a great way to grow you connection numbers quickly and make the most out of every professional interaction.

Step 7 – Promote your Linkedin profile

Add your Linkedin profile to your email signature and if possible your business cards. Give people every opportunity to connect with you.

Step 8 – Use Linkedin Answers

This is the section of LinkedIn (first option under the ‘More’ menu) that is used to ask industry-specific questions to the Linkedin population. Try to answer 2 or 3 questions a week and you’ll be surprised at how benefitial this can be.

Step 9 – Use Linkedin regularly

Anything that is worth doing takes time and with Linkedin, the more effort you put in the greater the return. This doesn’t mean spending hours on the site. Once you have steps 1 to 8 in place, you can expect a useful return on the following:

  • a status update each day
  • one or two comments on groups each week
  • adding all new business contacts on a day-to-day basis

If you want to make a start, connect with me here, you may also want to connect with the University of Stirling Alumni Group by searching Linkedin Groups. There, that’s two contacts already!!