Are you getting the most out of social media when it comes to looking for jobs? Whether you want to find out about new companies, explore different job roles, or market yourself to future employers, see our overview of how to make the most of the following online tools:
LinkedIn is a professional networking site, with over 100 million users. It is free to join and relatively easy to set up a profile. Unlike Facebook, it is a business orientated site, where companies and individuals build connections and network. You do not have to already be in employment to join LinkedIn, in fact, there is a dedicated area relating to students.
You can use LinkedIn to:
- Market yourself. Put together a professional online ‘CV’ that demonstrates your skills and motivations. Ask past employers or tutors to endorse your work through recommendations. Employers look for potential candidates on LinkedIn and some recruiters search out candidates on the site so it is a good way of marketing your skills and experience.
- Find vacancies and get recruited. Employers are increasingly advertising jobs on LinkedIn so use it to find vacancies. There is an easy to use job search tool whereby you can get job alerts sent to you. Add as many of your skills as possible to your profile to ensure that you come up when recruiters search for candidates.
- Build up your network. Start by connecting with friends, family, other students on your course and people you have worked with or interned with in the past. Join your school and university alumni groups as this will contact you to hundreds more people. You can also invite people to join LinkedIn and connect with them.
- Use your network. Find out information about jobs, sectors and organisations by asking relevant people in your network. Use the connections you have to open up new connections, which may in turn lead to opportunities. Use LinkedIn networks to information interview, pose questions on group discussion pages and look at other people’s profiles to get a sense of how their careers have developed in particular industries.
- Engage with companies. Find organisations you are interested in and follow them, thereby getting up to date information on what the organisation is doing, its profile and whether it is hiring at the moment. Ask organisation contacts about culture of the organisation, what it’s like to work there and how they got their job.
- Join groups that are in the field you are interested in and link up to like-minded people, post questions and demonstrate to employers that you have an active interest in the field.
Companies and organisations use Twitter to provide information about what they are doing as well as posting job vacancies. You don’t have to tweet yourself but doing so can demonstrate to employers that you are engaged and interested in the industry.
You can use Twitter to:
- Follow companies, people, organisations of interest and brands to get industry insight and keep up to date. Tweet questions and ask for information or advice, which can contribute to your online networking activities.
- Use # (hashtags) for a quick way of searching for particular roles. For example, search for #internship to bring up each tweet that has been tagged with that term. Ensure that your tweets are positive and informed so as to give potential employers a good impression.
- Follow jobsites to get the latest vacancies and follow QM Careers to keep up to date with career events and news.
Whilst Facebook is not a business website, you may wish to use it for the following:
- Follow organisations that use Facebook for marketing, recruitment and updating information on their activities.
- There may be people in your Facebook network that work for organisations that you are interested in. You could send them an email through Facebook asking them quick, informal questions to get a bit more information.
- QM Careers has a facebook page where we will post information on current jobs, information on careers events and careers related articles and links.
Large organisations often have blogs written by their graduate trainees or interns which give insight into the company. Be aware that these are likely to have been vetted by the company themselves so may not present the most balanced information. Unofficial blogs can give more insight but keep an open mind when reading them.
You may wish to show future employers your writing skills, your interest in a subject area and your engagement with an industry through writing your own blog. This is especially useful for careers which require you to demonstrate strong writing skills e.g. journalism.
YouTube is the second largest search engine and as such, is a good way to find out more information about companies and what it is like to work for them. Larger companies often post information and advice on interviewing and assessment centres. You can also use YouTube to get information from careers professionals on different aspects of job hunting and find ‘how to’ videos on setting up profiles, writing CV’s etc. We have produced some short videos interviews of QM Graduates talking about their jobs, which are posted on our YouTube channel.