They say looking for a job is a full time job. Thank goodness there is great technology around to help us right? With a few clicks of a button we can ‘engage’ with employers on social media. Sounds great, but could it be that all this social stuff simply leads to a false sense of achievement? A giant waste of time?
That’s the trouble with all things social media, you can easily spend an hour clicking from one profile to another and then realise you haven’t done anything. It’s easy to get lost if you haven’t got a plan. I would suggest taking a little more structured approach to your job search online.
Take a deep breath and analyse your industry
Before you wage your 5-front war on social media (by that I mean Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Pinterest), analyse the industry you are in.
It’s basic marketing think to look at your target audience before steaming into your campaign. By that I mean looking at the people you want to get in touch with, where do they hang out online? How do they behave? Whom do they connect with? What content to they put out?
By listening first you’ll get a feel for what HR folks, recruiters and line managers are up to on social. Then plan your attack and go for the one social network that they seem to use the most.
What social networks for what jobs
- Accountants – it will come as no surprise to you that accountants and their friends in a professional services setting like hanging out on the professional network LinkedIn. Yes it’s strait-laced and dull at times but it is the place to be for anyone doing B2B (business-to-business) marketing and sales. As a result you’ll find customer facing individuals on here who are open to interact with you. Just the type of people you’d want to approach for vacancies as they are happy to chat and will probably refer you to their HR team.
- Journalists – no prizes for guessing that journos, PR folks, media types in general hang out on Twitter, a LOT. I know recruiters in this space that will only talk to candidates that have a Twitter presence and are actively tweeting. I suspect the transparency of Twitter is the main attraction to people in this industry. Twitter has a fantastic search function that you can use to find conversations about your industry and location – it’s ok to jump into these and build relationships from there.
- Graduates – at the moment I would say Facebook is only useful for graduates from a job search perspective. Some companies actively encourage graduates and even young professionals to apply through Facebook. If you’ve got more career miles on the clock the only way to find jobs on Facebook is to actually look up the company Pages and click on careers tabs. So you might as well look at a company’s website – and career pages.
- Graphic designers – there is one relatively new social network which has skyrocketed in terms of traffic this year. This is Pinterest, a platform that lets you share (or pin) images and video from around the web on to you personal pin boards. If you are creative and producing content like this, Pinterest is one of the best places to showcase your work. And you can also showcase what inspires you by pinning other people’s work. Now, if you don’t work in a creative capacity Pinterest will be a giant waste of time. No finance controller will ever get a job here.
- Java Developers – another newish network is Google Plus. It’s Google’s 3rd or 4th attempt at social networking and it seems they actually got it right this time. Looking at the demographics we find a big contingent of tech people and companies on here. Could be that tech folks are early adopters in general or that they simply like the clean G+ interface. The fact is that it’s easy to search for people on Google Plus, it’s transparent like Twitter but users put down more information about themselves. This is of course useful for proactive job seekers who are able to identify and approach hiring managers. At this stage I wouldn’t recommend using Google Plus for job search if you’re not a tech person.
These types of jobs are just to give you an idea where to start. There may be niche networks that are more useful in your industry and location, keep an open mind and see what your peers are up to. Start with ONE social network and do that really well, build strong relationships with people there and you can easily connect with them elsewhere later on.