Why Use Online Social Networks?
What can social media do for you?
- Lead to information on job openings not yet advertised
- Showcase your abilities to potential employers
- Help you expand your network
Online social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are important tools for your job search. Social media can help you connect with employers or find out about job opportunities. They also let you highlight your education, experience and talents.
According to a recent survey by Career Builder, 43% of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates. As such, it is important to make sure your social networking activities help, rather than work against, your job search. Make sure any profiles you write are free of typos, the information is positive and clearly written, and your photos present you in a favourable light.
Online Social Networking Tools
Employers are increasingly using LinkedIn as a recruiting tool, so building your LinkedIn profile is worthwhile!
LinkedIn is the professional equivalent of Facebook. You can use it to connect to millions of professionals who use the site to recruit employees, find jobs, participate in online communities, and share expertise. To access LinkedIn, you must first create a profile.
To get the greatest value from LinkedIn, you should:
- Make your profile publicly accessible, so employers will see what you would like them to see when they search for you on Google
- Use relevant key words in your profile, so that recruiters and other professionals will be able to find you more easily
- Join professional, networking and alumni groups
- Search for people—not just to research people you plan to meet, but also to search for skills, areas of expertise and training that help people in your field get ahead
- Search for and follow organizations—find the names of people to contact for information interviews, identify the titles of positions you’d like to apply for, and more
- Let contacts know that you are in the job market, and specify the skills you have to offer
- Direct people to your Twitter, blog, online portfolio or webpage
- Request introductions to people you’d like to meet
Further information available at:
Facebook is a social—not professional—networking site. However, if used correctly Facebook can be a useful part of your job search.
You can use Facebook to:
- join relevant professional groups, adding details of your professional interests to your page
- stay in touch with contacts through alumni and other networking groups
- follow companies of interest by becoming a fan of their corporate pages; and more
- search for, and respond to, job postings
Many companies have a corporate presence on Twitter and use it to post job openings.
Twitter is great for broadcasting short calls of help with your job search, giving professional updates, and more.
Twitter also lets you connect with people you can’t access through Facebook or LinkedIn. You can learn what issues concern them and what skills they value.
You can also search Twitter for posts on job search to find links to articles and advice.
Meetup is the world’s largest network of local groups. Many of these groups are based on professional networks. You can search the Vancouver site for groups with similar career interests (ie: “Information Technology”) or experiences (ie: “newcomers”)
Online Discussion Groups
Online discussion groups can also be useful job search tools. Taking part in discussion groups allows you to showcase your knowledge and connect with others in your field, including potential employers.
For more information see:
Still looking for more information? Try the following resources:
- Networking for Employment A guide for newcomers to British Columbia
- How to find a Job on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ / Brad Schepp. 2012. Central Library, 650.142 S325h1
- Use Social Media to find your Dream Job / W. Daniel Quillen. 2016. Vancouver Public Library, 650.142 Q67u