By Drew Hendricks
Looking for a job? Forget about classifieds ads, mega sites like Monster, and even Craigslist. If you want a good job, social media is the place to be these days.
Younger generations consider social media the only platform for job hunting, and with good reason. It lets you stand out from the crowd, secure a connection with a real person, and allows hiring managers to get a more complete “profile” of you than they would from an application.
Plus, not every job is advertised. In fact, a company might not even be hiring, but if you reach out with the right social media approach, you might be able to wiggle your foot in the door to your dream job. Here are the six steps you need in order to make social media your own personal job hunting mecca.
Using Social Media to Find a Job
1. Clean up your profile
For many people, creating a brand new professional profile might be the best bet. Otherwise, if you’re job hunting, make sure your profile is professional and clean. The easiest way to do this is to take advantage of your privacy settings and ensure that the public (potential employers) can see very limited information and photos. You can also start managing your groups/circles/etc. so that hiring managers only have access to professional posts and photos.
2. Offer something, don’t ask for something
Imagine you’re a hiring manager and you get an email that says, “Are you hiring?” Even if you were, you probably wouldn’t hire a person who’s basically asking a pretty blunt favor in exchange for nothing. Instead, write a thoughtful introduction that showcases what you know about the company/position (do your research), and what you can bring to the table.
3. Follow influencers for job leads
Even if you’re not actively looking for a job right now, you might be a prime “passive recruit” who would leave your job for the right opportunity. If you have dreams of working for a certain company, follow them and any of their hiring managers. Follow leaders in your industry to get the inside scoop.
Basically, stay informed.
4. Ask your friends for tips
You never know who might have a connection to your dream job. If you’re on the job hunt, there’s no harm in asking for tips or recommendations on social media. Maybe your cousin’s friend’s brother-in-law is actually hiring for the position you’ve always wanted.
The more feelers you put out, the better.
5. Pay that $1 to get your DM in the inbox
There are all kinds of subtleties to direct messaging (DMing) depending on the platform, but of course one of the most popular sites is Facebook. However, if you’re not already connected to a company or hiring manager, your message will go into their “Other” folder instead of their Facebook inbox. Notifications are not sent for “Other” folder messages, and many people never check them.
You can pay $1 to get your message to someone’s Facebook inbox, or you can send a friend request to establish a connection first. Save your $1 DMs for the jobs you really want and otherwise find a way to connect that will actually snag their attention.
6. Become an influencer yourself
There’s no magical time when you’ll be qualified to blog, post or share insights about your industry. If blogging or vlogging is your forte, start today. You might capture the interest of a future employer and, at the very least, build a name for yourself.
Drew Hendricks is passionate about tech, social media, and the environment. He writes for several major publications, including Inc., Forbes, and Entrepreneur.