Tactics of Seeking Jobs on Social Media

Recently, HOSTEUR™ published a paper of mine entitled “Seeking Jobs on Social Media: Are You Ready?” (p. 13 – 17). The paper answers three research questions:
  1. What is social media?
  2. How do companies use social media in recruitment and selection?
  3. What can job seekers do in responding to companies’ social-media strategies in recruitment and selection?

People who follow my blog probably know the answers very well. In today’s discussion, I would like to summarize and quote some of the tactics I discussed in the paper. I also hope to open up for comments because what you share may help a job seeker find a job.    

  • Understand employers’ expectations. Job seekers must know the characteristics or qualifications that recruiters seek in candidates.
  • Design an appropriate personal brand that fits in employers’ expectations and the job seeker’s career goal. Job seekers need to answer: “What do I want the recruiters or hiring managers to know about me?”
  • Join the professional organizations/groups on LinkedIn and participate in discussions. That means initiating intellectual conversations and answering other group members’ questions. It is very important that a job seekers shares useful information in the network.  
  • In addition to the popular social networking sites, create an account in other professional communities on the internet, such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Inc.com (a community for small business). Why? They will help optimize the search engine results.
  • Use the same name and title on every social media site. This will help search engines identify and bring up the right profiles at once.
  • Cross-reference one another on a person’s social media profiles. The question is: “Do you have an information hub for all your profiles?” The hub could be blog, a personal website, a LinkedIn profile, etc. Let the recruiters and hiring managers to navigate the profiles from one to another.  
  • Build a network with industry experts, professors, co-workers, references, people who share the same interests, and people encountered in professional occasions. Whom we know matters!   
  • Before building a personal brand, search a person’s name on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. See what people talk about the person on the Internet and social networking sites. If there is an issue, fix it or even hire an agent to help clean up the negative content.
  • Build a strong personal brand on social media by frequently posting relevant comments or discussions that support the job seeker’s personal brand. Over time, the job seeker should be known as an expert in a specific domain.
  • Ask professionals who are familiar with the job seeker’s work for endorsement on social media. The recommendations can help a job seeker to validate and promote his/her personal brand.
  • Because very few employers want to hire a negative person or a questionable candidate, a job seeker must be very careful when posting negative comments (unless they are constructive), complaints, or those pictures/comments that do not project his/her personal brand.
  • Pay attention to the hidden messages conveyed on social media. Do you think your pictures indicate who you are? Pictures taken at the award ceremonies are always very helpful in supporting a resume or what is highlighted on the application letter. 
  • It is all right to show a candidate’s true personality in some ways. In some degree, job seeking is similar to dating. While companies are looking for candidates who fit in the organization’s culture and jobs, job seekers also want to find the jobs they like. If a candidate “pretends” to be somebody else and gets a job offer that does not match the candidate’s personality, s/he will very likely end up hating the job and leaving the company. Rather, a job seeker should target the positions or companies that match his/her personality and be true to oneself.
  • It is important that a job candidate uses a professional profile picture and keep their profiles public to some degree. If everything is “hidden” or “private,” how would a job seeker amplify the power of social media?
  • Be very careful of the questionable content posted on the internet. If that’s something you don’t even want your family to know, probably it is not a good idea to put the content on the internet.
  • It takes time, or even a very long time, before a person can establish a strong personal brand online. So, everyone should all start practicing now regardless if s/he is looking for job or not.

Kwok, Linchi (2011, Fall/Winter). Seeking jobs on social media, are you ready? HOSTEUR™, 20 (2): 13-17.
The picture was downloaded from LIBN.com 

Relevant discussions:
Personal Brand and Social Media
Managing Your Online Reputation
Ways to Clean Up a Person’s Negative Online Reputation

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