Remember the days when trying to get an opportunity meant hours of knocking on doors, endless phone calls and rejection by the bucket load?
Don’t be fooled, those days haven’t gone entirely. To get the job you want still involves plenty of hard work and many hours of perseverance, but thanks to the way people interact these days, it’s possible to target that hard work and endeavour in a way that was never possible before, while neatly avoiding the rejection that might be headed your way.
Social media has changed the way people live their lives in many ways, mostly in terms of their social activities. More-and-more however, people are using internet sites to present a profile of themselves, which they can then pitch to potential employers.
As in every walk of life, social media sites can be lots of fun and a great tool and the world of recruitment is no exception. Here are some handy hints and tips on how using technology could just help you land that job of your dreams:
How to optimise social media:
So how do you go about optimising social media sites in order to further your career and find the job you’ve been searching for?
Forget cocktail parties, management seminars, barbecues and games of paintball. Social media sites provide the biggest social circle you could wish for and that’s perfect if you’re looking to move on in your career. Don’t be shy when it comes to asking contacts you know to introduce you to others that you are keen to connect with. In the meantime, search the companies that you have targeted and associate yourself with their profile page. This will give you a little more of a feel for the way they work, the people that are employed there and the way they go about their business. You might also find further contacts that are linked with the company.
Send out the invites. The worst that will happen is that people don’t accept.
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know:
Years ago there was such a thing as a little black book. Here you’d store names and addresses of contacts and people who you had met and got to know. The little black book was a sign of someone’s ability to network and make contacts. The more used and tatty the book, the more you got out and mingled with folk, the more full the pages were, the more popular you were.
These days, for most people, the little black book has been replaced by the contacts page of your various social network sites. The number of Twitter followers you have speaks volumes about you and can portray an image of confidence and credibility that might just suggest to a future employer that you are more than capable of bringing a large number of clients and customers to the business.
Your profile is like an online portfolio:
Whereas once you’d have to create an impression with an eye-catching outfit or an impressive portfolio of work when you went to visit a company, an original display of what you can do by using a social media page can now mean that your talents can be seen in a matter of seconds.
Your very own blog can be put together in no time and is a great way to show your abilities. Simple software such as WordPress is easy to use and can look good with a bit of creative thinking. Once you have your blog up and running, this is a great place to demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm. Create some thoughtful commentary on the issues that you feel strongly about or are interested in and then share the content with as many as possible. Not only will you gain a name for yourself as a social commentator, you will almost certainly impress any future employer with your initiative.
A number of well thought out tweets and intelligent posts, relevant to the area you are looking to work in, will always look impressive and depending on your ability with software, you could even film your upload your own video clips using a video sharing facility – another great way of demonstrating your abilities and getting your message across.
Remember to keep it clean:
Remember though. Your Facebook and Twitter page can work against you as much as for you. If you intend on using these page as a vehicle to find employment, you’ll have to treat it professionally. So sacrifice the regular banter and holiday snaps that social network sites are best known for.
Make sure there is nothing on display that could do more harm than good – incriminating holiday snaps and questionable comments could mean that your potential application is stopped in its tracks. And remember; make sure you set your security settings so that people are unable to upload “incriminating” pictures of you without your knowledge.
Get out there!
You’ve created a professional looking profile, now time to get yourself out there! If you have checked and checked again that your profiles are looking clean, respectable and professional, it’s time to start using them productively. If you have set up a blog, make sure you link to it on your CV. Also include Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to all of your correspondence.
Will this mean that you will get the job that you’ve been after? Not necessarily. But using social media websites constructively can certainly open doors and create the breaks that you need in order to get where you want to be.