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Using Social Media to Find a Job: The Hurdles and Frustrations People Face It is widely accepted that this is the social media age. Increasingly there is very little you cannot achieve using social media.  Not only can you network, as was the original purpose, but you can buy food, clothing, cars and property, book holidays, theatre tickets and flights and of course find a job.  However, social media can be a two-edged sword when it comes to job hunting so we look at some of the ways it can help and some of the ways it can hinder. A Focal Point As a job seeker, the use of social media provides a real ‘round the water cooler’ virtual experience.  Gossips are rife and useful for knowing who might be hiring and firing, and companies are encouraged to have a social media presence so are likely to be posting details if vacancies on there.  Facebook and LinkedIn are the two most significant resources, as space is unlimited so you will find full adverts and lots of information.  Twitter is an excellent place to watch and listen, but you will probably need to dig deeper to find full job details. The All-Seeing Eye However, remember that social media is also the all-seeing eye.  You can find employment opportunities here and conversely employers can find you here.  How you conduct yourself on your own social media pages can impact on your chances of securing work.  An online poll conducted by industry experts in career transition and talent development, Lee Hecht Harrison it was revealed that 37% of business are screening candidates using their social networks.  The figure is set to rise, and while you may feel a little violated by this practice, the fact remains that it translates to 2 out of every five potential employers snooping your world.  It gives them a real insight into who you are and how you view life, and many do take this information to the decision-making stage, so act with care. A Chance to Shine LinkedIn, and even Facebook to a degree provide a free platform to showcase your talents.  If you are just starting out, it can be frustrating as you will have little in the way of experience to add to your C.V., paper or electronic.  LinkedIn can become your resume, and you can add to it by contributing articles and opinion that evidence your knowledge, in place of real experiences.  Interested employers can see this media and could well be impressed by what you post, but remember this needs to be your work, not written by someone else, as you will likely be caught out. Remember Your Place If you see a post from a possible future employer that you want to impress, remember your place.  You can demonstrate knowledge and understanding without overstepping the mark into cocky and over opinionated.  Comment as if you were speaking face to face with the chief executive, so remember your manners and make sure what you write is accurate!  How about composing your reply in Word, running it through a free tool like Grammarly, and then cutting and pasting it in?  That way you avoid embarrassing errors and show you mean business. Do Not be an Irritant Many people feel that when they are looking for work the best way of getting somewhere is to become something of a CV litterbug.  However, this is not the road you want to go down.  It is essential to have a strong CV – and there are some perfect examples out there – that are engaging and readable not used for insomnia relief, but not everyone needs to see it. Posting it on every employers wall or forum is a big no. You should only send out a CV when you are responding to a formal job advert for a position that exists.  In terms of headhunters, well I can tell you from the inside, again we only want CV’s if we have put out a specific call.  If we advertise for a social media expert, a CV from a desperate web designer that does not have the skill-set is nothing more than a distraction for another day. Be a Must-Have Resource There is nothing more off-putting than an air of desperation, so while you are maybe panicking about next month’s food bill, that is not information potential employers need to know.  They are looking for specific people with a problem-solving attitude, someone that is perfectly matched to the role advertised rather than someone begging for any job that might do. With that in mind keep your social media selective and remember your opinion can add weight to your experience.  Be picky about the jobs you do apply for, and be real.  In the meantime, add new skills to your social media profiles by using your free time to learn a language or other form of study.  If a potential employer does some social media mining on you as a person, these all evidence you as a well-rounded individual that they want to have on their team, rather than a couch potato, box set watching individual who seems disengaged. The bottom line is you can be hoist or hung by your social media channels.  If you are going to use them to seek work, remember that an employer posting jobs on there must be somewhat tech savvy and likely to be reading up on you too.  Watch your language, the content you share and keep your profile picture employer appropriate.

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Simon Wilkins

Simon Wilkins

The Headhunter

07554 234 567