Searching for your dream job can be a daunting prospect, with your first move often being the hardest to take.
Like saying an animator should work at Disney, or an architect should design a skyscraper, looking for a dream job can almost seem impossible.
However, this is where the power of social networking can come into full force.
Social media is often a recruitment technique, especially as both recruiters and candidates often turn to social media for new jobs. Some stats reinforce just how useful social networking is for landing a dream job.
73% of millennials surveyed stated that they found their last job using social media. Over 1/5 candidates say that they found their favourite job thanks to social media.
Professionals will often turn to LinkedIn, the hallmark social network for job searches. But, there are plenty of industry-specific platforms to consider. For example, Flickr is great for photography, GitHub is ideal for developers, and designers often turn to Behance.
Knowing which social network to look for new roles can be important. Though there are also benefits to working with conventional, day-to-day social media platforms too.
After all, two of the best avenues, other than LinkedIn, are Twitter and Facebook.
Whether it’s a social network-based role or you’re looking to break into an industry with a huge social media presence, these tips can help you land your dream job.
Using social media for job hunting
When considering social networking as a tool for job hunting, it’s worth doing so with caution. After all, social media can be a double-edged sword; as it’s potentially an effective tool yet has plenty of opportunities to backfire.
Despite this, it’s certainly worth exploring social networking as a tool for finding a great new job. Utilising the expertise of traditional job searches are always useful. But, certain industries or roles respond glowingly to social networking.
Just like any job hunt, using social networking you need to approach a role with a plan of sorts.
- Review your social media profiles: make sure there aren’t any embarrassing or potentially offensive posts on any of your social media platforms.
- Research your dream industry inside and out: if you haven’t already honed in on certain companies you’d love to work for, do your research and see which companies you can potentially work for.
- Search for and pinpoint any dream job opportunities: once you’ve discovered potential companies you can apply for, see what roles they have available. Also, check what roles they’ve filled in recent history.
- Update your LinkedIn with industry-desired skills and keywords: investigate these companies on LinkedIn. Check the keywords and skills they use and ask for on job listings. Then, adapt your profile to reflect it.
- Look into the decision-makers at these companies: reach out to any hiring or recruitment teams within the company. This includes any HR specialists or managers of the departments you want to join.
- Consider reaching out to these decision-makers on social media: be friendly and casual when messaging and requesting to join the decision-makers networks. Stick to LinkedIn, unless the company has a strong social media presence on platforms like Twitter.
- Craft the perfect CV tailored for each company: once you’ve got the attention of someone within the company, send them your CV. Aim each CV specifically at each company and role. This way, it looks like you’ll be ticking off every box the company is looking for in a potential team member.
Many social network users might have had social media accounts for years, going back as far as their embarrassing teen years.
While recruiters are unlikely to judge an applicant on their awkward emo era, they can be put off by any negativity. This includes comments of previous employers or offensive behaviour in general.
After all, James Gunn was famously let go briefly from directing duties after Disney was made aware of offensive tweets from a decade ago. This mentality isn’t isolated to high profile, public jobs either.
One survey revealed that over half of the recruiters have been put off a candidate after checking out their social media accounts.
It’s unlikely that a recruiter will dig through your past as extensively as a private investigator. But, you never know how your social media accounts can come back to bite you.
This is why reviewing your social presence can make a significant difference to a job application.
Specific tips for job hunting on social media
One of the best ways to start searching for your dream job is to narrow down the sector you’re looking to enter. Whether you have a passion for IT or you want to break into engineering, knowing who leads the industry in your job search radius is a great way to take your first step.
As you start to make your plan for pursuing a dream job in your industry of choice, consider some of these tips to enhance your chances:
- Craft a personal blog: write about your insights into the industry. Illustrate this with examples from your experience, talk about your passion for the industry, and then promote your blog. Do this on social networks that could easily be found if a recruiter views you as a candidate.
- Keep your contacts in the loop: don’t use people when looking for a job, but get in touch if you know someone on Facebook or Twitter who works in the industry. Or, better yet, for a specific company you want to work for. Ask if they have any tips for how they got into their role, see if you can take them out for a coffee to pick their brains. Other than giving advice, they might know of some job openings.
- Don’t have social platforms set to ‘private’: while you clean up your social media profiles and present them yourself as a professional, make sure there aren’t any walls preventing potential recruiters from finding out about you.
- Be a part of the conversation: if you follow industry experts or have friends discussing industry trends on social media, don’t be afraid to weigh in with your opinion. Remain professional and express your interest in learning more. Staying humble and engaging with industry discussions can help attract the right attention.
- Share industry stories: don’t fake it and try to make yourself seem like a total expert on the industry. But, if a story is released that interests you then don’t be afraid to share it with your network. This can serve as a talking point for others in the industry.
Remain modest: sharing and discussing stories with other people in the industry is important, but remember to do so with moderation. Just like conventional social media, you shouldn’t overdo it and flood other people’s networks with posts. This is just as off-putting in professional circles as it is on personal social platforms.