Applying for jobs used to mean sitting in the privacy of your own home, perfecting and printing your C.V. on posh paper, then firing it off to employers advertising in the local paper. Things have certainly progressed a little in recent years.
If you haven’t already, set yourself up with an account on Twitter. Simply enter your name, email address and a user name (stick with your own name for job hunting purposes) into Twitter.com and remember to keep your professional and personal life separate.
When you’re asked to follow a few people to get you started, why not choose companies you’d like to work for? If you usually check the online job boards, have a search for Monster’s twitter account and follow it. Following your local job centre’s Twitter feed fills your homepage on Twitter with available jobs close to where you live, often before any adverts are printed or posted elsewhere.
Whilst you are waiting for a new batch of tweets to arrive it’s worth visiting Linkedin.com. You’ll be typing in your name, email address and a password again here, but you’ll also need your C.V. to hand. On Linkedin you can create a truly interactive C.V. that connects you with colleagues, like-minded professionals, groups and future employers. You won’t be alone either. Unlike some job sites, Linkedin has really active networking groups and status updates from everyone you’ve connected with so you’ll not feel isolated in your job search. You can ask people you’ve worked with before to recommend you or use keywords in your profile so that you are noticed by recruiters.
And don’t forget good old Facebook! All your favourite job boards, employers and many job centres now have pages that you can ‘Like’ to get all the latest vacancies and job-hunting advice direct to your newsfeed.
You’ll find that other social networks you use will also be attracting employers as they realise where to find new recruits. It’s worth having a search around to see if your dream job is waiting for you in amongst the latest posts from your friends. The tips below can apply to any social network you use for your career search:
- Set up your profiles to show off the skills and experience you have.
- Take an interest in conversations that people are having about where they work and new opportunities.
- Be bold. If you don’t ask you don’t get – as they always say. Talk to people who are working where you want to work.
- Manage your personal brand online and promote yourself.
- Take care with who you follow, what you post and how you might look to someone who is thinking about hiring you.
And it doesn’t stop there. New social networks, apps and gadgets are springing up every day. What if you could bump smartphones with a recruiter at an event to share your C.V? Imagine getting a push notification whilst trying on clothes at your favourite shop inviting you to apply for a job there? How would you get on if an employer said it would only hire people who did well at an online skills based game? Be prepared, this is just round the corner :
You’ll either find these new trends exciting and refreshing or truly challenging. It’s best to try out a few new ways to find work sooner rather than later. This way you can stay in touch with the pace of social media innovation and see if you can use it to your advantage when grabbing that new career you’ve been looking for.