You’ve heard it all before: nowadays, if you’re not on social media, you might as well concede that you don’t exist. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and a whole lot of other, more specialized social networks are the place to be for the job seeker of the third millennium. Yet many of those very same job seekers don’t understand far more about this process of job hunting in social media than the hype. It’s great to know that there are so many tools at the disposal of today’s hopefuls, yet, at the same time, it’s impossible not to admit that both the social media, and the job market landscapes can look rather daunting and overwhelming. Still, the 6th Annual Social Recruiting Survey from Jobvite acknowledges this trend – yes, employers and recruiters are looking for talent on such platforms. So, how does one go about making sure they’re using all these tools to do job hunting in social media right? We’ve got a couple of tips we collected from the experts, check them out below.
Have you read The Social Media Side Door, by Ian Greenleigh? It’s a great read, for all those who want to bypass the foils of social networking and cut straight to the proverbial job hunting chase in the process. Greenleigh argues that the problem most job seekers face in social media is that of the so-called “gatekeepers”, i.e. those elements of social networking online that stand between them and great job opportunities. He then goes on to fundament his job-seeking philosophy on taking it slow to get somewhere fast. His main tip in this respect is to focus on turning each interaction on a networking platform into one from which one’s interlocutor stands to gain. Be helpful, provide the information people need from you and you’re far more likely to get noticed and have the favor returned. People love other people who bring value to what they do – and this kind of asset is exactly what you want to be perceived as, by a potential employer and/or recruiter.
Stay in the loop
Think back to your very first hobbies, passions, and interests. When you first discovered that one activity that still tickles your fancy, you lived it, breathed it, and ate it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That’s exactly the kind of genuine interest you need to keep alive in your career track of choice. The theory here is that, if you’re passionate about what you do, you’re going to want to know all about it. Who are the movers and shakers? Who are the up-and-comers? What are they saying and where are they headed to? You will need to know all these things, track their moves, online and off, and read all that they’re writing. This, of course, doesn’t mean you have to blindly agree. Argue politely, explain your arguments, connect influencers, feature their work and develop a nose for coming trends. Be colonized about what you do, and it won’t take too long before you’re perceived as an authority in the field.
Job hunting in social media is all about connection
As we explained, albeit in passing, in the above paragraph, social media is, well, all about being social. Social validation is as powerful an incentive online as it is in our daily lives outside the World Wide Web. As such, if you want to build a buzz around yourself, you also want to share, comment, re-post, re-tweet, and connect with those who influence you. This part of the process also involves moving past the difference in statute between you and your career role models online. It doesn’t matter that you’re virtually unknown, while they are authorities – they’re still just as likely to appreciate the buzz you’re helping build around them as you would be.
Easier said than done, right? After all, if it were that easy to become priceless, people would be doing it all the time, irrespective of their social media prowess. That may be true, but it’s equally true that social media makes it easier than ever to become a valuable content source in one’s field of choice. Curate, aggregate, and communicate. People will soon start crediting you with their trust, they will engage and start conversations, and they’ll soon look to you for insights and commentary. Trust us: the power of social media in this respect is unprecedented.