Hardly a day passes by when I don’t read about or hear people discussing the latest social media sites available. Sure, the huge players like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are always at the top of the list, but what about the seemingly never-ending roster of others?
I’m looking at you Instagram, SnapChat, Vine, Pinterest, Peach, Medium, Chirp, Pheed, Xing, Tumblr, etc… I could go on, but by the time I finish this sentence there will inevitably be even more!
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If you’re looking for a job, it’s especially important to be in the know. More than half (52 percent) of employers use social networking sites to research candidates according to a 2015 CareerBuilder survey, and that number is up from 43 percent in 2014. In addition, nearly one-third (32 percent) of hiring managers report having found information on social media that caused them to hire a candidate.
Job seekers who utilize social media channels create more opportunities to better connect with potential employers, research organizations and even reach out directly to hiring managers. So what channels should you use for your job search?
Here are some things to consider:
- Keep your industry top of mind: Many social media sites have specific communities that flourish there, and some are dedicated to certain industries. For example, if you’re a developer, GitHub is a great place to showcase your work and connect with fellow influencers. If you’re involved in visual work, Pinterest is a helpful platform for illustrating your skill set.
- Get creative: Use sites like Vine, Medium and Tumblr to stand out and promote your personal brand. Depending on the type of job you’re looking for, create a short video resume, a series of essays on your interests or a relevant portfolio—and then promote accordingly!
- Harness the true power of LinkedIn: Go beyond making connections and searching through the site’s job postings—use LinkedIn and all it has to offer to bolster your next career move.
While there are many positives to using social media for job search, it’s increasingly crucial for job seekers to be aware of your privacy settings and what channels you are using to connect with companies. More than one-in-five (21 percent) hiring managers in the same CareerBuilder survey reported that they specifically look to a candidate’s social media profile for a reason NOT to hire them.
Don’t give them a chance not to hire you. Instead, use social media to your advantage. If you’re unsure if a channel is appropriate for professional contact, always err on the side of caution; better to proceed carefully than give a hiring manager a reason not to make you an offer.
For even more ideas, check out this recent post from career site TheDailyMuse.com.