Social media is a powerful tool. But, it might surprise you that it can be used for a lot more than sharing videos of dancing cats and cyberstalking photos of your ex-roommate’s recent vacation. In fact, social media can come in pretty handy when you’re hunting for a new job. “Yeah, yeah, I need a LinkedIn profile,” you’re probably thinking to yourself. And, true, LinkedIn is a necessity in this day and age—particularly if you’re looking to get yourself in front of recruiters and potential employers. However, there are a few things you can do on your other social media accounts in order to up your chances of landing an interview, and maybe even a job. Have I got your attention? Good. Here are a few tactics you can put into play on social media in order to step up your job search. You can enviously scroll through those vacation photos when you’re done.
1. Follow Companies
So, you just submitted your information to apply for a position with a company that you’re super interested in. Now what? You’re left feeling like you just dropped your resume into cyberspace and have nothing better to do but to sit and wait. Instead, go follow that company on any platform where they have an account. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest—if they’re there, you should be following them. That’s your new motto. Doing so is a great idea for a few reasons. First, it demonstrates your level of interest in the company. Secondly, it’s a great way to stay updated on any current events and happenings within their organization—which is great ammo if you end up scoring an interview! And, lastly, it’s just one more way to keep your name in their minds. They likely get notified about new followers on their accounts, so they’ll see your name and profile pop up!
2. Follow Influencers
Stalking companies isn’t the only thing you can do to boost your reputation on social media. You should also seek out and follow any relevant, well-known influencers too. Why? Well, it fills your social feeds with inspirational and helpful articles and videos that those industry leaders frequently post and share. Plus, it presents you as someone who’s well-informed and eager to learn from insightful, powerful professionals. Think about it: if a hiring manager or department head visits your Twitter profile, clicks to see who you’re following, and just sees a list of accounts like Kim Kardashian and Grumpy Cat, you immediately won’t seem like a serious candidate—and you haven’t even had the chance to say anything yet. There’s no rule saying that you can’t still follow those accounts (you want to have fun on social, after all!). But, peppering in Sheryl Sandberg and Jack Dorsey helps to present you as a more well-rounded applicant.
3. Post Industry Articles
Social media is all about sharing information—but that doesn’t just mean posting about what you ate for dinner (although, those tacos look delicious). You should also use your social accounts to share industry tips and information. Whether it’s a video offering networking tips, a news story about a big change in the tech world, or a super helpful article about how to leverage social media in your job search (ahem, hint, hint), posting insightful, high-quality information shows that you’re in-the-know and keeping your finger on the pulse of the bigger picture. Having a potential employer think of you as an emerging thought leader? Well, it never hurts.
4. Share Posts
Your dream company just tweeted about securing a new round of funding. That organization you recently applied with posted a blog post about an exciting new announcement. The employer you’re about to interview with shared a Facebook post highlighting their awesome company culture. Yes, you obviously saw the post. But, take the next step and share it with your own followers and connections—or, at the very least, “like” it. It shows that you’re engaged in what’s going on with the organization, even though you don’t work there (yet). Plus, companies never complain when people are willing to spread the word about the great work they’re doing. It’s just more promotion for them!
5. Send Messages
Connecting with other people is one of the main pillars of social media—it’s called “social” after all. So, don’t feel like it’s against the rules to reach out to others, even if you don’t personally know them. Send a tweet with a nice compliment directly to your dream company’s Twitter account. Or, pass along a personalized LinkedIn invitation to that manager you admire. It might feel a little unnatural at first, but it’s truly an effective way to make connections and spark some valuable conversations!
6. Participate in Discussions
Speaking of conversations, you don’t want to exist in a vacuum on social media. Instead, you should treat it as your opportunity to participate in some thoughtful discussions with other people. It’s a great way to not only meet new people and learn a few new things, but also to demonstrate your expertise and opinions in a certain subject area. Join in on a LinkedIn group discussion about a topic you’re passionate about. Or, find a Twitter chat about a subject that you’re eager to learn more about. I think you’ll be surprised at how beneficial that experience is. Social media is a huge part of life today. And, it’s easy to think about it as something that exists completely separate from your job search—with the exception of LinkedIn, of course. But, used correctly, social media is actually a super helpful tool to boost your reputation and increase your chances of landing that coveted interview. So, put these tips to work and make great use of the time you’re already spending on your social accounts. Trust me, those videos of dancing cats will still be there when you’re done.