It’s no secret that the economy is lousy in the United States and Europe, and that means that competition for job openings are higher than ever. With everyone jumping on the social media bandwagon, it seems like a logical place to post and look f
or jobs. But you can waste your valuable job searching time and energy without a plan. I interviewed job search expert and blogging guru Jacob Share for his top tips on maximizing LinkedIn and Twitter for hunting job openings.
1. LinkedIn is clearly the most professionally-oriented major social network. But with apps like BeKnown for Facebook, job searches on Twitter, and emerging startups like Zerply also trying to be a job resource, do you think that will change?
There are definitely competitors salivating to become the next LinkedIn, but so far I don’t see any serious competition; LinkedIn is still the default place to post your resume online, and the default place that recruiters go to search for resumes online.
According to a recent article, LinkedIn principally makes money 3 ways:
- Selling recruitment services to employers
- Selling premium advertising, and
- Selling premium subscriptions to employers and users.
Of the options you mentioned, only BeKnown has the potential to take some of that business from LinkedIn, but while the concept of sourcing candidates via Facebook is attractive to recruiters, there isn’t yet much motivation for non-job seeking users to use BeKnown and it will take a large push from Facebook itself to convince most of its users that it’s also a professional place to be for them.
2. What are your top tips for getting found in your niche on LinkedIn?
To be found, you need to understand how you’re being looked for.
Less sophisticated recruiters and HR managers on LinkedIn will search by querying various keywords plucked from their job description, coupled with a search filter on location, to find relevant candidates in the area.
The more sophisticated recruiters and HR managers have tools that search LinkedIn querying for various keywords with long, complicated queries that are designed to only find fewer, more relevant candidates. Then they will use their Talent-level LinkedIn accounts to filter them again and then contact them directly.
In other words, for recruiters, pertinent keywords in your Public Profile and personal information are how you’re going to be found.
So when you start your job search, make sure your profile contains the right keywords. And what are they? Take 5 job listings that appeal to you and create one big Wordle with their texts. The largest words are a good start for your keywords.
Everyone else that might find you is a non-recruiter, and they will find you if you have a memorable personal brand.
The idea is that by smartly building your brand on LinkedIn, other users who know of relevant openings will think “wow, Jacob would be the perfect person for that position. I wonder if he’d be interested?”
The way to build your brand on LinkedIn is to:
- Have a Public profile that showcases your achievements in your niche
- Connect and help other users, especially in your niche (but not only!)
- Be an active participant in niche LinkedIn groups
- Ask and answer questions that show off your expertise in LinkedIn
For more ideas on finding jobs with LinkedIn, read my Gigantic Tips Guide for Finding Jobs With LinkedIn.
3. Larger companies generally have more resources to dedicate to social media and even create separate twitter accounts for their job postings, thus making them pretty easy to find, but how can a job hunter use twitter to find jobs in smaller companies, or openings that aren’t blasted out to thousands of other people?
First of all, Twitter Search is only good for real-time search. Instead, one tip that I talk about in my Ultimate Twitter Job Search Guide is to use Google to search Twitter’s tweet archive, and its Advanced Search filters for better results. For example, Twitter Search only includes tweets from the past 10 days. Using Google, you can find relevant job listings that were posted 11 days ago and beyond.
As you correctly point out, larger companies have larger budgets and will try to do things in a more rigorous, professional way, using automation tools that will post job listings on Twitter using a standard format. Smaller companies, on the other hand, will simply tweet out what they’re looking for using more common language such as “we need a …” or “looking to hire a … “. You can then use a tool like LocaFollow to search for similar tweets in a certain location, i.e. where you’re looking to work.
4. When job searching through social media, a person is likely to come across offers from companies they are unfamiliar with. What are some precautions you can take to make sure you don’t get
The first rule of not being scammed is that if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. So if anything sets off alarm bells in your head, skip it. There really are other leads. Don’t set yourself up for a fall; job search is hard enough as it is.
The second rule is to do a background check. Read up on the company’s website, Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, Google+ page, etc. Are actual employees portrayed there, with names and pictures? If so, look for them on the social networks, especially LinkedIn, where you can often also find former employees, who are less constrained in what they have to say about the company and might be more willing to give you inside information.
As you can tell, this background check also serves as great research for potential interview questions you could ask, if the opening really is legitimate.
I’ve also blogged about why job search spam should scare you.
Thanks Jacob! You can check out his Gigantic Tips Guide for Finding Jobs With LinkedIn and Ultimate Twitter Job Search Guide for more tips on getting the most out of LinkedIn and Twitter in your job search.