Using social media networks to find a job
Social media refers to websites, technology, applications or tools that allow online sharing of information, and encourage interaction between individuals via the internet.
Some of these tools focus on building online communities or networks, and you can use these networks to help you find job vacancies, and to get advice and guidance to help in your job search.
A few of the key social media sites and tools that lend themselves to job seeking include:
LinkedIn—a site for professional networking.
- Connect and network with other professionals.
- Get advice from experts in your industry.
- Find jobs and new business opportunities.
- Watch a video to help you get started with LinkedIn.
Facebook—a social networking site for individuals and businesses.
- Create a personal profile, share photos and videos, connect with other users as friends to exchange messages.
- Ask your network for help finding a job, let them know what you are looking for.
- Follow businesses and associations to keep up to date with industry news and events, including information about careers and upcoming jobs.
Twitter—a microblogging site, for quick, short updates in real time. Messages are known as 'tweets'.
- Use hashtags (a way of categorising Tweets) such as #jobs, or #jobadvice.
- Follow businesses you'd like to work for, or recruitment agencies for their latest stories, ideas, opinions and news.
Blogs—online articles or 'posts' that are usually organised around a particular topic. Search for blogs published by individuals or businesses.
- Get current tips and advice about job seeking from recruitment companies and agencies.
- Engage with authors through comments and discussion threads.
Social media help and advice
Social media and the social networking it facilitates occurs online, so the best and most up to date tips and hints for using these sites are also found online.
All the social media tools have information to get you started, and offer comprehensive help content.
You can look into courses like those offering web 2.0 training (web 2.0 is a phrase associated with the uptake of websites and tools that facilitate and encourage collaboration and sharing of information).
Do some online research—particularly about how to use these websites and tools to help you find jobs. Search online for topics like 'social media and job seeking' or 'finding jobs using Twitter' and do your own research from there.
Do your research
Some websites provide advice on how to use social media to find a job, including tips for using these sites responsibly. You should do your own reading and research to get a good overview of the advice available, then use your own judgement about which sites you trust the most.
Check the following websites as a starting point for your research (not endorsed by Queensland Government):
- Mashable—The ultimate social network job searching guide
- About.com—Social media do's and don'ts during your job search
- Forbes—The best ways to use social media in your job search.
Think before you post
The nature of social media is that it's social, but you should be aware that it is not just your friends who may read your posts or comments, or view your photos.
Things you do online can affect your future career and employment chances. Many employers check the social networking accounts (e.g. Facebook and Twitter) of possible employees to gauge their character and suitability for roles.
To make a positive impression with employers through your social media accounts, you should:
- think before you post—don't post negative comments about current or former employers (venting your anger or frustrations about your work online can be a career limiting move)
- clean up your accounts—remove potentially embarrassing or offensive content, including inappropriate images (even ones where your friends have tagged you)
- change your privacy settings—change your privacy settings to hide certain content from work colleagues
- respect your employer's social media policy—many employers have a 'no social networks allowed' policy while at work.