If you’re reading this on LinkedIn, then chances are you’re aware of the ever-increasing importance of social media in business, particularly when it comes to looking for a job. It really is difficult to understate the part that websites such as LinkedIn play in the 21st century recruitment process – googling ‘social media recruitment’ will return page upon page of results extolling the virtues of social media in both finding and filling a role.
As a candidate, there are two ways of approaching your use of social media: actively and passively. Taking a passive approach is not completely without merit (though clearly if you make more of an effort you’re likely to get better results); however it is important even if you’re not actively engaging with social media that if someone were to look you up they wouldn’t be horrified by the results. As almost everyone knows by now (or should know!), most potential employers will look you up on social media prior to making a hire to check for any potential skeletons in the closet.
In terms of proactive engagement, the situation becomes a little more complicated – how exactly do you get the best out of social media, particularly if you’re looking for a job? Focussing your energies on LinkedIn should be a priority – make sure you do the following:
- Flesh out your profile – add your skills, experience and a brief summary of yourself using words related to your ideal job (you will then show up when a recruiter or employer is searching for candidates for such a job)
- Join groups (all our jobs are posted to our LinkedIn group, for example) and follow company pages – this will make your profile more visible, particularly if you engage with other members
- Make connections! After all this is what LinkedIn is all about. Look for people that might be able to introduce to you to other contacts in your sector.
These are just a few basic suggestions, but it’s a good place to start!