How to Really Use Social Media to Get a Job

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By all other accounts, you may believe the social job search is the best way to find the perfect career. After all, you’ve probably read the statistics indicating that most recruiters use (or plan on using) social media in their recruitment efforts. Though you may feel like you’re a social media whiz, you may not be on the same page as your employer of choice.

According to research conducted by Jobvite, there’s a disconnect between the way job seekers prefer to hunt and the way employers recruit, particularly socially. For instance, while 94 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to source and vet candidates, only 36 percent of job seekers are active on the site. In addition, 83 percent of job seekers prefer and use Facebook for their job search, but only 65 percent of recruiters utilize it. Due to this disconnect, missed opportunities are bound to occur, leaving your social job search in the dust.

The solution to the disconnected job search may not be as difficult as you think. Here are several ways to navigate through the social job search correctly:

Know when and where to be active

Certain times of the day are going to be more active than others. Some recruiters may be more active in the mornings, while others may post jobs or look for candidates in the afternoons. Take a peek at some popular companies in your industry and make some judgements based on their posting styles.

In addition, you need to know where to be the most active. While 77 percent of Fortune 500 companies have active Twitter accounts, only 35 percent have Google+ pages. This will vary by industry, but it’s important to allocate your time towards platforms where your target companies are active in order to maximize your search.

Use mobile

These days, most people have some sort of mobile device. Moreover, 27 percent of job seekers expect to be able to apply for jobs from their mobile devices and 43 percent of all job seekers use their mobile devices for job-seeking activities. While not every company has joined the mobile bandwagon, it’s still a good tool to use in your social job search.

Keep this in mind: Not all content will translate correctly through a mobile device. If you’re going to send a document or application through your smartphone or tablet, make sure it’s format is compatible with the career site. Even if you have the right background or experience, it can be hard to convert certain types of content if your device is not optimized correctly or if an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) cannot read your materials.

Make the post out of recruiter-friendly platforms

There are certain websites and social platforms recruiters live on. For example, LinkedIn is a recruiter’s paradise — and, since not all job seekers are active there, you may have an increased shot at getting noticed.

Here’s a tip for you: Make it obvious that you’re looking for a job. Change your LinkedIn headline to include your city, interests, and industry to make this clear and increase your shot at showing up in a keyword search. Here’s an example: “Marketing professional in New York City interested in global non-profit work.”

While you may believe you’re navigating through the social job search correctly, I encourage you look a little deeper, evaluate certain disconnects , and use out these pointers to really amplify your search.

What do you think? What are some other ways to navigate through the social job search correctly?

Photo courtesy of Jason Howie; Flickr

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta is the co-owner and leader of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for companies, outplacement firms, job seekers and university career centers. You can connect with her and the CareerShift team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.