Many use social media for leisure, but it's also a powerful recruitment tool. Learn more about how your online presence could be the key to successful job hunting
High Fliers' The Graduate Market in 2019 has confirmed that social media is an increasingly popular method among employers for finding graduate talent. In 2017/18, three-fifths of graduate recruiters stepped up their social media usage from the previous year, with 94% of employers using social media to promote vacancies.
It's easy to see why - We Are Social UK's 2019 Digital in the UK survey found that 67% of the UK population is on social media. With the average user over the age of 18 clocking up nearly two hours of social media time per day, advertising jobs through this medium is fast becoming the quick, accessible way of reaching graduates and those who'd like to make a career change.
Create a LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is a social network for professionals, and it's the easiest way to make connections in your industry from the comfort of your home. Your profile should detail relevant professional information including your previous experience, skillset and education history, which you can then use to connect with companies and individuals and start building a network of contacts.
You'll be recommended jobs based on your interests and the companies you follow, so by signing up you could come across opportunities that you didn't know existed.
Make sure your profile is ready to be seen by recruiters by:
- Utilising your biography - this is the first thing recruiters will see when looking at your profile, so make it count. Let them know what type of roles you're looking for and share your current location, as well as your course, key modules, dissertation, work experience, interests, hobbies and key accomplishments - but be selective, as some part-time jobs may not be relevant.
- Following relevant companies - they'll post company- and sector-wide updates, so this is a great way of staying clued up on what's happening in the industry.
- Looking to people you admire - thanks to the 'Experience' section of LinkedIn profiles, you can see the steps taken by people in the roles you're aspiring to enter.
Job hunt through Facebook
Facebook is the nation's most popular platform. Of Internet users surveyed for Digital in the UK, 78% claimed they have access to Facebook. What's more, the site reports that it can reach 40 million of the UK's population through advertising.
As the majority of Facebook's audience logs in for personal use, it may not seem like the obvious place to look for jobs. However, with the amount of active users at their fingertips, and the new Jobs on Facebook feature, employers are now listing opportunities on their accounts, which users can then apply for with the click of a button.
To make the application process as smooth as possible, fill out the 'Work and education' section of your profile, adding any notable achievements (such as promotions and travel opportunities) to your 'Life events' timeline.
Avoid making rude or negative comments about previous employers on your profile, even in jest, and don't share anything that would be deemed unprofessional - whether or not you've applied for a position through Facebook, employers often look to candidates' profiles to gauge whether they'll be a suitable fit for the company.
Find a career on Twitter
Without a built-in jobs feature, you may be less inclined to search for jobs on Twitter - but it's fast becoming a place for employers to find passionate, ambitious graduates.
Twitter offers a more relaxed approach to social networking, where users discuss their interests through likes, retweets and sharing 280-character updates. To use this to your professional advantage:
- Get inventive with your bio - you'll have to be snappy, as Twitter only offers 160 characters for this, but it should be enough to introduce yourself and state the types of roles you're looking for. Tag your location here and link a website - this could be your LinkedIn profile, or a blog or portfolio to give employers easy access to your work.
- Engage with others in your industry - following someone you admire on Twitter is a less personal process than connecting with them on LinkedIn. By joining in conversations, which you can find by searching relevant hashtags, you'll gain access to a range of voices, opinions and opportunities to inspire you and start building contacts.
- Stay up-to-date with current affairs - tweets take seconds to post and are quick and easy to digest, meaning organisations use them to report breaking news and make announcements. If you're following the right mix of professionals and companies, your Twitter feed should be a real-time account of what's happening in your industry, as it happens.
- Get to know your employers - it works both ways. Search and follow employers to find out what projects they're currently working on and to get a feel for the company.
Include your Twitter handle in job applications. It's a great way to show employers your personality, and having the confidence to invite others in will make a great first impression.