Using Social Media in Jobhunting
Social media and networking sites can be used for careers research, job seeking and to market yourself to future employers as well as sorting out your social life – something that many students and graduates are surprisingly unaware of. In a recent survey by SHL, less than 40% of graduates said they would consider marketing themselves to recruiters online. This means that the other 60% are missing the opportunity to present themselves in a positive light and use social media to help them get a job
There are different sites for professional networking and for social networking – your Facebook profile may not present you to employers in the best possible light!
Having said that, you can’t ignore Facebook for job-seeking - many employers do use it to promote their brand and their graduate programmes and allow potential candidates to network with graduates and recruitment staff. This information can help you to pick up useful tips on the company and the recruitment process and to come over as a well-informed candidate so it is well worth making use of.
Stories of recruiters checking out potential candidates via Facebook are largely exaggerated (most recruiters don’t have the time or staff to do this!) but it does happen, so set your privacy settings to the highest possible level and make sure your profile picture is one that you would be happy for a future employer to see!
Also try Googling your name both on the web and for images to make sure that nothing inappropriate shows up.
- LinkedIn www.linkedin.com is a business-oriented social networking site with over 90 million members worldwide. It provides opportunities to network online with professionals from all kinds of different employment sectors: there are also groups for different regions and institutions such as universities (including one for Kent alumni). Google links quickly to LinkedIn and tends to list them towards the top of search results, making a LinkedIn page a valuable tool. Make sure that your LinkedIn page sells you effectively - it should be a bit like an on-line CV, and also allows you to mention your career goals.
- Viadeo www.viadeo.com is a French-based site similar to LinkedIn. Although it has fewer users overall it claims to be the number one site in Europe for business networking and is expanding worldwide.
- YouTube www.youtube.com is not just about funny animals and music videos – it is the second-largest search engine and a great way to find advice from graduate recruiters on interviews or get insights into what it is like working at different companies.
If you feel that you come over better in person than on an application form, here is your chance to prove it - tell people about yourself and what you can offer on a “video CV” like this one www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12194581 .
- Twitter www.twitter.com As with Facebook, graduate recruiters make extensive use of Twitter, giving out information about their organisations as well as actually posting job vacancies. You don’t have to tweet yourself – you can just follow companies, brands, people or issues of interest to you and get an insight into current issues and concerns from what they say. You can use your own tweets to show your interest in a particular career.
How Twitter can help you land a graduate job http://bit.ly/mtS112 from Reading University Students Union
These are another good way to get an insight into an organisation – major graduate recruiters often encourage their graduate trainees, interns and placement students to blog about their experiences – although you need to be aware that these blogs will usually have been vetted by the corporate communications department to make sure that the blogger is presenting the right image!
“Unofficial” blogs can give an even more valuable insight, although they may need to be taken with a pinch of salt.
To find useful blogs just Google the name of the company or career area you are interested in, e.g. IBM+blog or barrister+blog.
Writing your own blog can demonstrate your writing skills, your knowledge of a particular area and your enthusiasm to a wide audience.
Buzzwords make you sound like just another faceless candidate, a plastic applicant with no real personality who just cuts and pstes from other people's CVs. According to a survey by LinkedIn here are the top 10 overused buzzwords used in LinkedIn Profiles in the USA in 2010
- Extensive experience
In other countries extensive experience was most used in the USA, Canada, Australia, dynamic was most common in Brazil, India, Spain, motivated was the most common one in the UK whereas in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, innovative ruled the roost.
A well developed online presence through blogging, social media and networking can demonstrate that you have the desired skills and knowledge without necessarily the hands on experience.
By developing their personal brand, students can independently:
- Increase their employability
- Protect their online privacy
- Show their passion and display their proactive nature
- Get noticed by potential employers
- Develop important relationships
- Establish a strong, professional social media presence
See the excellent personal branding resources at www.ideasbynet.com/blog/personal-branding
- From Facebook to LinkedIn www.mygraduatecareer.com/free-guide-from-facebook-to-linkedin-i162.html a free graduate career guide to using social media effectively and avoiding them being used against you!
- Social Media in Recruitment www.socialmediainrecruitment.com includes case studies
- Social Media for Graduates www.mylesnoton.com/blog/social-media-for-graduates
- BBC article on automated recruitment and recruitment via social networking www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19440255
- The rules of social recruiting - Guardian Article
- Creative Jobhunting www.kent.ac.uk/careers/sk/CJ.htm
- Preparing an on-line portfolio www.kent.ac.uk/careers/cv/portfolios.htm
- Emailing CVs and Web CVs www.kent.ac.uk/careers/cv.htm#EMAIL
Twitter http://twitter.com Get the very latest vacancies and job-hunting updates from Twitter - follow us @unikentemploy and @ukmemploy
Last fully updated in 2013