5 ways to use social media in your job search

5 ways to use social media in your job search

If you’re going to be smart about your job search, you have to use all the available tools at your disposal. With so much crossover between our online lives and our careers, it makes sense to use social media to help you find your dream job.

Here are some tricks you can use to familiarise yourself with what matters to your future boss, and reveal the culture of the organisation you wish to work for, before you hit ‘send’ on that application.

1. Gain an insider’s view with Instagram

Whether your goal is to work for a globally recognised company or a DIY startup, one of the best places to get a feel for company culture is Instagram. Most organisations use the platform to show off what life is like in their workplace and demonstrate what brings them together. They’ll use Instagram to celebrate special events, awards and conferences, to call out special employees, or to show off cool tech, architecture or their HQ’s scenic surrounds.

All of this is valuable material because it offers you a glimpse of company vibe before you set foot on the grounds.

Instagram also works as a great touchpoint for gaining a sense of the organisation’s values. Scrolling through their feed will help you to zero-in on what’s important to their community and figure out if you’re a good fit. If they’ve made a good impression – and you can tie your own interests and career goals to what you’ve seen – bring this to the interview and wow them by recalling what’s resonated with you.

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2. Do some recon on LinkedIn

There’s no excuse in today’s digitally connected world to start a cover letter with, ‘To whom it may concern‘. Most job descriptions will identify who a position reports to even if the hiring manager isn’t named. One way to uncover the hiring manager’s name or title is to head over to LinkedIn, jump in the search box and find the organisation. Once you’re on the the hiring manager’s company page, you’ll be able to see whether they’re listed as an employee (choose ‘See all employees on LinkedIn’) – or, you could search for their job title if that’s all you know.

Once you’re confident you’ve figured out the name of your future boss, check out their LinkedIn profile to identify what they value most. If any of their skills, experiences, interests or passions align with your own, be sure to emphasise them in your cover letter. This will help you to stand out among other candidates.

3. Send a secret signal to recruiters

Did you know LinkedIn now has a feature you can turn on to mark your profile as ‘Open to opportunities‘? You can use this tool to show recruiters where you are in your job search, identify the types of roles you’re open to hearing about, indicate which industries you wish to work in, and give your preferred location. LinkedIn says this tool can double your chances of receiving relevant messages from recruiters.

A word of warning: if you’re currently employed and trying to keep your job hunt on the down-low, there’s still a chance recruiters from your current workplace will notice your ‘hire me’ signal.

4. Prime your audience using Twitter

Virtually every organisation has a Twitter account. While it may not be managed by your hiring manager, there’s a high likelihood that the person you wish to impress follows and engages with the organisation’s Twitter feed. So go ahead and like a few posts – even comment if you feel bold. It’s one subtle way to make your name stand out for the right reasons.

Pro-tip: Make sure your own social media profiles are in order first – you don’t want to stand out for the wrong reasons!

Remember that your social media presence acts as an extension of your resumé, as well as your personality. While sassy comments might be fun for your friends to read, if you’re searching for a job then you’re far better off showing off what a great prospective employee you’ll be. Try pinning a post to the top of your Twitter feed that showcases your interests or achievements, such as:

  • A new degree or certification
  • Involvement in your favourite charity
  • What your passions mean to you, such as a comment on a social cause, sporting win or artistic pastime.

Twitter can also help you to develop a sense of the current issues affecting the people in your industry. So pay attention to the topics that influential commentators or organisations weigh in on and retweet.

Find the name of your future boss on LinkedIn and use Twitter to swot up on industry-relevant current affairs.

5. Find yourself a Facebook community

By using Facebook’s Groups feature as a discovery tool, you can find active communities in your field. These groups are certainly useful for making industry connections; however, the real benefit for job hunters is that community members often share job openings with the knowledge that they’re reaching a group of like-minded and skilled peers.

It also pays to make an effort to participate the group discussions. If you use your position as a current student or recent grad to showcase your knowledge of the latest trends in your field, it may positively influence your chances of landing a job with one of the group members down the track.

By using these tried and tested social media strategies and leveraging your new insider knowledge, your odds of catching a hiring manager’s eye are that much greater.

La Trobe University’s Career Ready team can help equip you with skills and support you in your job search. Make an appointment with a Career Ready advisor today.