I currently advise many job seekers to use social media to enhance their job search. However after the initial burst of enthusiasm many candidates do very little to progress their job search. Why? Well I believe, to many of us, it’s simply not natural! I don’t, unlike my young adult children, feel isolated without my phone pinging in my ear or vibrating against my skin with Twitter and Facebook updates. I must confess, on the odd day I’ve left my phone somewhere, the feeling of isolation is quite pleasant!
However I use social media because it is important to my business, my staff and many of my friends and I’ve had to develop a discipline around social media based on Pareto’s 80/20 rule. The recognition that 20% of my effort has resulted in 80% of my results. Therefore recognise the importance of LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook in that order and consign the rest to being part of your hobby or work in progress for the future!
LinkedIn has to be your primary outlet for your career. You have to keep it up to date and your profile must reflect your CV as there are now tools available that search for inconsistencies in your CV and your brand. If there are irregularities between the two, these tools will discount you or rank you lower therefore lowering your chance of securing an interview. Your LinkedIn profile need to be 100% complete and you should aim to have 500+ network contacts to be taken seriously. You also need to provide regular updates on your availability and be seen in groups relevant to your contract career goals. 92% of recruiters are on LinkedIn so you need a strong profile!
Twitter is mostly for celebrities or so people think and you can’t find jobs on there…. Poppycock! There are a host of tools out there to help you and configuring your profile and interests correctly is vital. Nevertheless it is easy to search and find jobs being streamed via Twitter. Most job searchers simply don’t bother to seek out vacancies on Twitter and I know successful contractors who only use Twitter to find a job! Put some work into understanding Twitter and make sure your profile has some suitable photos on it.
Google+ is essential to boost your job search. The mere fact that you have a Google + profile will boost your job search and your social media visibility. Yes not everyone is on it yet but as LinkedIn cranks up its charging policies and limits searches while raising fees, you will see the rise in importance of Google+ as a free media for recruiters and a must have for candidates.
Facebook is only for socialising and making friends, well that used to be the case but nevertheless it is still a useful media. I accept that people are not looking for candidates to fill roles when they are on Facebook but they can accidently pick up ideas and refer back to them at a point in time when they are recruiting or looking for a job! I advise every job seeker to lock down their private profile for access to friends and family and open up a professional page for their Limited Company and or the professional services they personally provide.
Automation can really help job seekers. You need to get your personal brand out there on the big bad internet and consistently communicate the message. The minimum frequency should be daily the ideal every 2-3 hours commencing as early as 7pm and running through to as late as 10pm. Twitter can be used as the primary message driver however Buffer or Hootsuite can be used to program messages rather than having to remember to Tweet!
Involvement and Engagement is the answer: Even if you do manage to complete all of the above you need to engage with people, liking, following and taking part in groups across these principal media. This will get you seen and heard and will bring you to the attention of recruiters and decision makers.
Success in contracting is usually defined by accessing the hidden job market and you can access this market effectively through the use of social media. If you need help on using these media, courses are available, webinars’ and these can be free or a morning can cost as little as £75-£100 for a very useful introduction.
Tags: BITE Consulting, Contract jobs in london, Hidden job market, Job Search, Networking, social media
This post was written by Keith