How to job-hunt with social media

Social media and networking sites can be used in a variety of constructive ways to help your career. They are fantastic tools for carrying out careers research, job seeking and marketing yourself to future employers. If you’re reading our blog and signed up to our newsletter to receive all of the latest exciting opportunities, you’re already making a great start!

Surprisingly, for such a tech-and-social-media savvy generation, a recent survey by SHL, less than 40% of graduates said they would consider marketing themselves to recruiters online. This suggests that 60% of graduates are missing a key opportunity to present themselves positively and use social media sites for more than Friday night photo sharing.

It is worth bearing in mind that there are different sites for professional networking and for social networking and adapting the content you share (as well as your privacy settings!) accordingly – your Facebook profile may not present you to employers in the best possible light.

That said, Facebook can be a surprisingly helpful and versatile job-seeking resource – many employers do use it to promote their brand and graduate programmes, and allowing potential candidates to network with graduates and recruitment staff.

This information can help you to pick up useful tips on the company and their recruitment process.

Stories of recruiters checking out potential candidates via Facebook come up repeatedly so set your privacy settings to the highest possible level and make sure your profile picture is one that you would be happy for a future employer to see!

Social networking sites: the lowdown

▪                LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site with over 90 million members worldwide. It provides opportunities to network online with professionals from all kinds of different employment sectors: there are also groups for different regions and institutions such as universities. It is a bit like an on-line CV, and also allows you to mention your career goals.
Read our article on optimizing your linked-in profile here.

▪                Viadeo is a French-based site similar to LinkedIn. Although it has fewer users overall it claims to be the number one site in Europe for business networking and is expanding worldwide.

▪                YouTube is not to be dismissed as the site where you watch funny videos and listen to music (Gangnam style, anyone?!) – it is the second-largest search engine and a great way to find advice from graduate recruiters on interviews or get insights into what it is like working at different companies.

▪                Twitter As with Facebook, graduate recruiters make extensive use of Twitter, giving out information about their organisations as well as actually posting job vacancies. You don’t have to tweet yourself – you can just follow companies, brands, people or issues of interest to you and get an insight into current issues and concerns from what they say. You can use your own tweets to show your interest in a particular career and follow updates in your chosen industry.

Blogs are another great way to get an insight into an organisation as major graduate recruiters often encourage their graduate trainees and interns to blog about their experiences – although you need to be aware that these blogs will usually have been vetted by the corporate communications department to make sure that the blogger is presenting the right image. Additionally, writing your own blog can demonstrate your writing skills, your knowledge of a particular area and your enthusiasm to a wide audience.

One final tip:

Avoid Buzzwords! According to a survey by LinkedIn here are the top 10 overused buzzwords used in LinkedIn Profiles in the USA in 2010

  1. Extensive experience
  2. Innovative
  3. Motivated
  4. Results-oriented
  5. Dynamic
  6. Proven track record
  7. Team player
  8. Fast-paced
  9. Problem solver
  10. Entrepreneurial

In other countries extensive experience was most used in the USA, Canada, Australia, dynamic was most common in Brazil, India, Spain, motivated was the most common one in the UK whereas in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, innovative took top spot.

Good luck everyone!

The Ivy City Team


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