Harnessing the Power of Social Media for Your Job Hunt
Many people are familiar with the saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” When searching for a job, the question becomes, how do you get to know who you need to know? A minority of positions are filled by applicants finding them in newspaper advertisements or listings on Internet job boards. Most positions are filled by referrals from coworkers or colleagues. Knowing someone is the most likely way to land a position.
Some of the traditional methods of getting to know someone who can recommend you for a position include fraternity or sorority memberships, participation in amateur sports, joining trade associations or civic groups and club memberships.
These forms of socializing are all still excellent ways to expand your network and let people know of your qualifications, but usually require money and time. Social media can help you take advantage of the Internet to exponentially increase the number of contacts who will be able to associate your CV with your face and your voice.
Even if a hiring manager does not have a chance to meet you before reading your CV, social media platforms provide many tools that will allow him or her to gain insight into your qualifications and abilities. You can use these tools to demonstrate that you can solve problems. The tools can help you demonstrate that your experience gives you unusual expertise not shared by those competing for the same job. Proficiency with social media platforms can show that you keep current with online technology.
A good way to begin your online Canada job search is by starting a Facebook, MySpace or Google+ account if you do not already have one. Even before you become familiar with the features of these platforms, you can establish yourself as a source of information simply by answering questions posted by others.
If a question is relevant to your work or area of expertise, all the better, but answers to any questions may be seen by friends of friends and help you gain an online reputation for being knowledgeable and willing to help. You can use your Facebook or Google+ page to create a professional profile that lists your abilities and accomplishments. You can also link these profiles to a blog, if you have one, or to your LinkedIn profile.
You can use a blog to write about recent developments in your field and explain how you have overcome problems in your work. You can use your blog as part of your participation in LinkedIn groups.
Although LinkedIn is considered a social media site, it is designed primarily for business networking. It is now considered an essential networking tool for professionals, whether they are looking for a new position, hoping to fill a position, or working to establish strategic relationships.
LinkedIn has a feature that allows you to keep up with developments at organizations that you select, so it may help you to learn where to send your CV in a specific company. You can start this process by linking to individuals who work at the company. You can also link your Twitter account to LinkedIn. The first 140 characters of your LinkedIn posts will appear on your Twitter page. Many recruiters and hiring managers regularly check such posts to find qualified candidates for positions.
Keep a few things in mind before using social media in your Canada job search. Social media have not changed the fact that the best time to begin your job search is while you still have a job.
Social media do give you the advantage of being able to publicize your accomplishments and problems you have solved in your current position so that you may receive requests to submit your CV from sources you may not know about. Social media will not completely replace a hard copy of your CV or a firm handshake. They can make it possible for you to have more opportunities to meet people who make hiring decisions. Finally, give some consideration to the content of your posts and privacy settings. It is just as easy to make a bad first impression as it is to make a good first impression online.