Social media networks have become increasingly important for modern-day employees and job seekers alike. With millions of people using social networking to enhance their careers, it’s vital that your online presence stands out and makes a good impression.
But what is social networking? How do employers use social media to recruit? And how can you use social networking to boost your career?
This article will teach you the ins and outs of social networking, including what it is, how employers use it to recruit employees, and six tips for effective social networking that’ll build your dream career.
Social networking refers to the use of social media, websites, and other online applications to interact with other users and find people who have similar interests or work in similar industries.
Many individuals use social networking to build relationships with other people, as well as build their professional portfolios and image so that they can find the best work opportunities.
Here are the main advantages of social networking:
The internet is available 24/7. This means that you can post your professional skills and experience online — making it readily available to anyone anywhere. As such, potential employers can see your profile and contact you directly if they like what they see.
It also means that you can look at others’ profiles and contact them if you feel like they can be a useful part of your professional network.
Discover the ten types of people that you need in your network.
When you’re focused on your own job and the responsibilities that come along with it, it’s very easy to overlook other jobs and opportunities that may be a better fit for you.
Social networking opens your eyes to new career paths and opportunities that you weren't aware of previously. This could be doing the same job in a new setting, or it could mean going into a completely new career avenue.
One of the biggest advantages of having a strong social network is that you can keep your connections informed about changes in your career as they’re happening.
As you make the news known by updating your online profiles and sending out networking emails, people in your network — especially professional contacts — can help introduce you to new companies, provide advice, or help you find a job.
It’s all about knowing the right people. When you have positive professional relationships with people, they can put in a good word for you with their network and vice versa.
As a result, you’ll be able to continue to grow your professional network with people who form part of your industry and related industries.
However, for your professional connections to truly help you, it's crucial that you keep in touch with your network after you’ve established relationships.
Social media is one of the main platforms that employers use to hire employees. According to research, 67% of employers use social media sites to research potential job candidates.
Here are the three main ways employers use social media to recruit new staff members:
Companies post quality content, company news, and job postings on their various profiles to attract prospects organically.
In doing so, these companies build their brand and attract active and passive job seekers:
Active job seekers: People who are actively searching for a job.
Passive job seekers: People who aren’t currently searching for a job but are willing to move companies if they find a better opportunity.
Additionally, they also let their employees share their company posts on their own social media profiles so that more people become aware of the brand.
Finally, many companies also have a dedicated careers page on their website that potential employees can reach through their social media links. By linking to this page on their social media profiles, people can easily find open job opportunities.
Many companies also use social media ads to advertise open positions.
The great thing about social media ads is that employers can control who sees their ads by targeting a certain group of people.
Therefore, they can target their ideal candidate (people who fit the job description) and, in doing so, hire better-suited employees.
Companies will often actively participate in social media groups where their ideal candidates hang out.
They’ll comment on certain posts and interact with people. As a result, people will get to know the brand and start building relationships.
Though this method of recruitment isn’t direct, it still makes candidates aware of the brand — which leads to them becoming loyal followers and potential future employees.
Here are the top six tips you should follow for effective social networking:
Your social media profile is the first thing that employers look at when considering hiring you. Therefore, it’s extremely important for you to tidy up your social media profiles so that you look professional and reliable.
Make sure your social media profiles consist of the following:
A professional profile picture.
Well-written and unique bios that explain more about you.
Proper use of language and grammar in your posts.
Make sure to remove anything from your profiles that you wouldn’t want future employers to see.
Much in the same way that you wouldn’t randomly walk up to a person and ask them to be your best friend, you also shouldn’t jump straight into messaging a prospective employer and asking them for a job.
Instead, you should discreetly and patiently engage with them by following them, getting involved in discussions on their profiles, and slowly building a relationship with them.
This way, you’ll be seen as a credible professional whom they might consider hiring one day when a job position opens.
If you’re looking for a new job, let your network know through social media and email. This way, your professional contacts who are in the same or a similar industry as you may be able to give you great referrals.
Facebook can also help you in this case since your personal connections (friends and family) will also be able to recommend you to others.
Make sure to include the right information on your profiles that makes it extremely easy for employers to see your qualifications, skills, and experience.
If you have an online portfolio, link it to your social media profiles. Also, remember to incorporate the right keywords into your profile’s bio/description so that hiring managers can find you easily when they search for specific candidates.
For example, if you’re a pastry chef, you’d use keywords such as “experienced pastry chef,” “pâtissier,” or “baker” in your description.
The content you post on your social media profiles has a direct influence on whether someone decides to hire you or not. 55% of employers who use social media to find job candidates have found content that caused them not to hire that candidate.
Therefore, you need to avoid making ill-advised or controversial posts or comments — as this could damage your reputation.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give your opinion online. You just need to be careful about how you do it.
Most importantly, you need to take part in discussions, share interesting blog posts (that are relevant to your industry), and join industry groups to show potential employers that you’re an expert at what you do.
Make sure to follow brands and participate in conversations with companies that you’d be interested in working for in the future. By doing this, you’ll build connections with people who are already working at those companies who can open doors for you.
Social networking can mean the difference between achieving the life and career that you’ve always wanted or simply settling for the here and now.
Implementing the tips outlined above will help you get seen and build powerful connections that can build your career to new heights.
If you’re currently looking for a new job, head over to our expert’s guide on finding a job that’ll show you the step-by-step process of how you can search for and find your ideal position.