Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Social Media in Job Search

The millennials are here. Every year more and more people enter the workforce who grew up not knowing a world without an "online".
A couple of years ago my friend decided that he need to look for a new job. I told him to start developing his network on LinkedIn. His response was “I need a new job, not a new hobby”. This retort was no shock to me considering he still owned a rotary phone. However, he did make me think. Was his a common attitude, is it still?
It's 2012 now and there is no denying that social media is taking over the world. Every company with a will to survive has some sort of social media strategy. It's easy to see its value with advertising and brand enhancement. What is less visible is the value in recruiting and job hunt'en. I was interviewing for jobs not too long ago and more than one HR Director seemed to hold the idea that social media was a waste of time. Still? I guess we have a longer road than I thought.
Since I use social media for recruiting and employer branding I read a lot about the subject. I am connected to other big advocates and they saturate my life, my online life. Sometimes it is easy to forget that while a ton of people are invested in social media there are a ton who only dabble in it. Everyone isn't 'there' yet. Some people still buy a newspaper. OK, maybe I went a bit far with that one but some people still haven't embraced the new world.
The first of the big media sites is LinkedIn. This is the most professional and transparent on why you need to get on there to job hunt. The whole idea of LinkedIn is to create professional relationships and a public resume. It is just part of the deal. Your boss won't freak out if you're on LinkedIn. Your boss will probably just ask to join your network. The whole concept is great, as you can see from #4 in this article but I know too many easily marketable people who don’t take advantage of it.
LinkedIn is a place to post your resume and accomplishments even when you’re not looking for a job. You know what, recruiters love passive candidates. One day you could get lucky. Your dream job could fall into your lap because someone saw your LinkedIn profile. With new features constantly being added such as  the follow company button, job hunt'en only gets better here. Recruiters have a whole  slew of great LinkedIn toys making it easier to find you. This site has been around for a while and it keeps getting better. I won't be shocked if it takes over all things recruiting and job hunt'en (talking to you job boards). If you're not on LinkedIn, get on there.
Facebook is a little different because it is more social but I do think it has great value. For example, you can re-connect with an old college buddy. This buddy could be working at your dream company. Send a little facebook message saying “Hey, I noticed you’re at XYZ Company, do you know of any job opportunities there?” It can't hurt. Facebook is also a great place to follow career pages and brands. It keeps you in the loop. You do want to be careful because, as I mentioned earlier, facebook is predominantly social. When you're searching for a new job keep your profile clear of ridiculousness. That's right, keep your 'Trip to Amsterdam' pictures hidden for the moment. It won't kill you to use discretion but it could kill your chances at a company.
Twitter, ah twitter….I love it! I find it to be ever so useful and informative. I follow various people and brands. I stick to following those who post valuable information. To me, twitter has the most educational value of all the social networking tools. I follow tweeters who post links and/or comments that have helped me grow both professionally and in my knowledge of American Idol ;). I actually don’t follow celebrities because I find their tweets to be less interesting than a good old-fashioned snarky column or blog. I do follow experts and industry leaders who provide useful insights. Not everyone uses twitter the right way, but those who do are gems of knowledge.
Pinterest is the latest of social media trends and I am loving its potential. It is an online bulletin board and I will dedicate another day to this fireball of social media. There is a new kid in town and this kid has power!!

To end my “pro social networking” monologue my advice is to hop on monster, careerbuilder or any job search site but don’t stop there. Start looking in places you play and if you're not playing on these three big then start.


  1. Great post Katie. I like that you point out the differences between the various platforms - I find that I try to keep my FaceBook profile limited to only friends whereas I direct "business peeps" to my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. We just started using Pinterest to promote our blog and it's amazing how many people click over from there!

  2. Glad you enjoyed it!
    Yeah I agree, facebook is pretty much friends or people I personally know. Have you found Google+ to be useful? Right now I think it's hard to get a solid network since not a lot of people (in my world) are using it.
    Pinterest is so addicting, I love it!