Social media is everywhere these days. Every time you turn on your computer or your phone, it’s one of the first things you see. It’s even a major part of how we get our news and information. So, why not use it to your advantage during your job search?
First, look at your friends and connections that are in careers that you would like to be in. If possible, look through that person’s history. How did they advance to get the job that they have now? What was their education like? This information is usually posted on people’s public profiles, so why not use it to see what has worked for others?
If you are friends with that person, reaching out to them can be helpful. If they’re close by, invite them to a cup of coffee and sit down and pick their brains. Do they like their job? How did they hear about the opening? What was the application process like? Who did they know in the industry before starting? Questions like this can reveal a lot of information, and it might show you some open doors that you had never considered before. Even if you get nothing else out of this, you get to catch up with a friend.
Next, look at the companies that you are interest in on their social media pages. Sometimes, they will post openings here before they post them anywhere else, so liking their page or following it can be a small advantage that you can give yourself. At the very least, this gives you an idea of what the company culture is like, what kinds of things they are doing, and it helps you to stay connected to news in the industry of your choice, too. All of these things are helpful as you advance your career. Pages like Facebook will also recommend other pages that are similar to the ones that you follow, and this can educate you about other companies in your field that you may never heard of. Looking at these can open up even more opportunities for you.
Do keep in mind that social media can work against you, too. Here’s the thing: the people that you want to hire you are already using social media. They use it to promote their products, of course, but they also use it to scout out their candidates. If you are applying to a job, oftentimes your Facebook or LinkedIn page will be visited by an HR person or a hiring manager to get an idea of whether or not you are worthy of an interview. Be sure to keep these social media pages clean and supportive of you. You’ve worked far too hard to have something you posted a year ago ruin your chances of getting your dream job tomorrow.
Just remember that social media is everywhere, and it’s not just used for fun or keeping up with your friends. Companies have long known this, and a social media presence is almost a must for every serious company. Use this to help you learn more about your field and leverage that knowledge into more career opportunities. It can be tricky to get started at first, but the time you spend on the computer (or smartphone) with this goal in mind could have big rewards down the roach once you land your dream job.