We recently attended a conference in Birmingham called Facilitating students and graduates in presenting themselves for the 21st century. Catchy title, we know. But the event was full of useful information about graduate job hunting, including how employers are starting to use social media to advertise their vacancies.
So there’s nothing new with this concept as such – companies have been using sites like Twitter and Facebook to promote their vacancies for years now. The crucial part is that organisations are finding the quality of applicants is higher when they have found a vacancy via social media. And it’s cheaper for companies (in case you didn’t know, companies have to pay to advertise their positions on jobs boards, generally a few hundred pound for each advertisement, depending on the site). So free job advertising and a better quality of applicant – social media is a win-win for employers. Which might mean an increase in vacancies only being advertised via social media sites.
What does this mean for you?
Well we’ve said it many a time but as a student/graduate today you HAVE to be on social media and we mean proactively using it to promote yourself, to find out about companies and to network. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account make one now! We mean it. Stop what you’re doing and sign up right now. Even reading this blog. Just open another tab in your browser and get going and then come back to us in a few minutes. We’ll still be here.
Ok have you done it? It’s pretty quick and easy to get started isn’t it? Don’t worry if your profile looks a bit basic at the moment. You can come and have a chat with us to see how to improve it. You can also take a look at some of our other posts about using LinkedIn. The main thing for now is that you are on there and can start to build connections and play around with it.
Next point, if you only use Twitter or Facebook to find out what your friends are up to then you’re missing out on potentially great opportunities to find jobs and let employers find you. Again, we’ve written about this before and you can check out previous posts here. It’s simple stuff – follow companies you’re interested in, read what they or their current employees are up to, comment on things when you have something intelligent and appropriate to say and generally be a nice, friendly person.
And in terms of keeping your social media accounts clean it’s quite simple…if you wouldn’t want a relative to see your Twitter or Facebook accounts than they’re not suitable for employers to view. And they will find you. So keep that inappropriateness to WhatsApp (or WhatsUp as my Dad likes to call it).