How to Use Social Media to Your Advantage

by | Jan 9, 2024 | Job Seeker Strategies

There is so much debate regarding social media and its proper place in society. It seems like, at times, too much effort is being spent writing and reading posts rather than engaging in activity that is (perhaps) more productive or enriching. One area, however, where you can unquestionably add value by participating in social media is with your job search.

When social media first launched, the focus was mainly on how to make sure you don’t embarrass yourself on one of the websites (remember My Space?) with your postings. It is important to refrain from posting photos or comments (this includes forwarding the posts of others) that are controversial in nature. Don’t forget that what is on the internet is there forever. While making sure you maintain some professional etiquette online is still critical, the focus has now shifted to how you can use social media to your competitive job search advantage.

You may be wondering how you can use social media to assist your job search. Let’s outline several ways that you can use the tool to improve your visibility and enhance your candidacy.

• Job Postings: Probably the most obvious way to use social media is to become aware of job postings that have been externally posted. A note of caution – while this can be a way of becoming aware of opportunities, often social media posts by employers are not done on a timely basis. You will probably see the posting made visible on a job site, such as, before it makes the social media feeds of the company itself.

• Make Connections: I have written many times in these pages about the importance of networking. While nothing beats meeting someone in-person, making a personal connection using social media can be a viable alternative. When extending a social media connection invite, it is important to note in the message that you are not trying to sell anything, but rather you have an interest in company “x”. Many people are so inundated with sales connection invites that they automatically hit the “ignore” button, unless something catches their eye that this request is different.

• Follow The Company: A good way to gather information about a company is to follow their social media feeds. You can learn about their business focus, social responsibility efforts, etc. This information can be used to further determine whether you are still interested in this organization. The intelligence gathered during this social media review can also be used when interviewing, to show that you have researched the company.

• Expand To Others: There are other avenues for you to explore within social media that can assist your job search. You can follow in order to be alerted to new postings or when yours truly has a new article ready to be read.  Industry specific organizations that pertain to your field of expertise can also be good to follow. Finally, there are groups within social media websites dedicated to finding a job where you can discover more job search tips or like-minded people to communicate with and offer mutual support.

• Post Comments and Likes: A good way to make yourself visible is to respond to prospective employer’s social media messages with “Likes” and positive comments. Look for posts that highlight the company’s charitable efforts or employee events and respond appropriately. If a recruiter for the company has posted an open position message and you are interested (and qualified), respond in the comment section about your candidacy.

• Communicate Your Interest: If you are looking for a position there is nothing wrong with communicating that out via your social media. This is especially true if you are presently unemployed and not concerned with a current employer becoming aware of your intentions. When communicating your need for a new position, openly solicit viewers for job leads or general networking. By doing this, you can greatly expand your search beyond who you know, but also the connections of those you are connected with.

Social media has come a long way over the last decade. The various websites have transitioned from a tool to be wary of its negative consequences, to something that can be used to gain knowledge and a competitive advantage. By savvily investing a little time and effort online, you can easily use social media to assist you in finding your desired new position.

As always, best of luck in your job search.

The following has been prepared for the general information of WNYJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.

Joe Stein
WNY Human Resources Professional

Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at:
Joe Stein

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