Use that social media to be a social butterfly - with potential employers.
Employers are actively utilizing social media as a way to dig deeper into job applicants’ qualifications. In today’s job market, it’s critical that your social media presence present you as a model citizen and someone a hiring manager would want to bring on board.
Once you’ve got your social media presence in order, however; it’s not enough to sit back and wait for employers to connect with you. It’s your job to actively seek out employers and engage with them.
Make sure you’re social networking the right way - try following these tips for engaging potential employers using social media.
Connect on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn should always be your starting point, no matter what part of the job search you’re currently wrapped up in. But it goes far beyond having a LinkedIn profile that impresses employers.
LinkedIn offers the perfect forum for reaching out and connecting with the gatekeepers who hold the key to your next job. You can search by company, title or any number of factors to find these gatekeepers.
Once you locate someone you think might have some say in whether you get that interview or land that job, it’s perfectly fine to reach out to them. While it may not be considered best practice to send a friend request on Facebook, LinkedIn is the perfect platform for connecting with employers without ever actually meeting in person.
How do I know? I’ve done it and been successful in landing the job because of my efforts. Ask for the connection first, but make sure you’re up front in your intentions. Leave a note with your connection requests that states you’d like to talk to the person about working at their company. If possible, reference work they’ve done that impressed you. You’re much more likely to get your foot in the door that way. A little flattery goes a long way.
Once you’ve made the connection, ask a few questions about the job and about the company. Don’t send your resume until you’re asked, but feel free to dig into whether the job and the company are the right fit for you. Keep moving the conversation forward until you land that first interview. After that, your job search goes offline and out of the digital world.
Be active on Twitter.
Before we jump ahead and make that leap from digital to analog, however, there are ways beyond LinkedIn to connect with employers using social media. Take Twitter, for example.
Twitter is far more than a way to discover content. It’s a place to position yourself as a thought leader, and it’s even a place to make connections with potential employers.
Start by researching companies to see if they have Twitter handles dedicated to recruiting. Many smart companies are getting on board with this, and it’s important that you get on board, too. Look up your target companies and then check to see if they have a recruiting handle. If they do, follow that handle and keep tabs on what’s being posted.
In addition to recruiting handles, it’s perfectly acceptable to connect with those in hiring positions. Start out in stealth mode by simply liking, retweeting or otherwise engaging with their posts. This gives them the opportunity to find out that you exist, as they’ll be notified when you engaged with their posts. Don’t overdo it, however, or you’ll look like a crazed fan, and that’s never good.
Interact with maybe two or three Tweets before taking the next step. Reach out to your target and let them know you really appreciate their posts. Get the conversation started and then explain your interest in working with them. It’s always good to mention that you’d welcome learning from their experience. Once again, a little flattery goes a long way.
Once you’ve established a rapport, you can direct them back to your LinkedIn profile to learn more. By this point you’ll have either scared them off or connected on a level of mutual respect. If you’ve done things right and achieved the latter of those two objectives, you’ll benefit once you apply for a job by ending up top of mind.
Utilize your connections.
This works across all channels, even Facebook and other channels that aren’t traditionally looked at as professional. Your connections all have other connections, and it just might be the case that one of those connections happens to be with a potential employer at a company you’re interest in.
Reach out to your connections who you know work for employers you’re targeting. Ask them about what it’s like to work for their employer and then follow up by inquiring into what insight they might have into the position you’re considering.
As they begin to open up, try to get an idea of whether they might be willing to make an introduction. That’s the key here. Whether it’s LinkedIn, Twitter or any number of other channels, a connection vouching for you can help get the social media conversation rolling much faster with a potential employer than going it alone.
Have you ever heard the song lyric “I get by with a little help from my friends”? That lyric rings true for using social media to connect with employers. A social media nod from one of your connections serves as a sort of mini-recommendation. If you’re fortunate to gain one such recommendation, use it to your advantage.
Don’t, however, cause a disadvantage for the person making the connection for you. Be ready to go all in once the connection is made, and make sure to say thank you…again and again…especially if you land the job. And be ready to perform at the highest of levels if you end up ultimately landing the gig.
What are you waiting for?
If you’re reading this article, you’re obviously online right now, unless, of course, someone printed this article out for you on actual paper. But who does that these days. Crazy. Right?
Make sure your social media profiles are solid to ensure that your personal brand is well represented, and then begin networking. Make connections. Start conversations. State your intention.
As you begin to get noticed, the employers will begin to fight over you. Do it properly, and you’ll land that dream job in no time. And, as a sort of pay it forward type of thing, once you land that job, be sure to use your newfound knowledge to help others create the same results in their job search.
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