Social media is a great job hunting tool. It’s a free and simple way to make new connections, discover potential employers and get noticed. For job hunting purposes, Twitter and LinkedIn are the two most useful social networks although this advice can also be applied to others. CILIP members looking to expand their professional network should also log in to SocialLink .
A LinkedIn profile is a bit like having an online CV, it is the go-to tool for recruiters and head-hunters looking to fill jobs, so it’s well-worth spending some time creating your profile. If your CV is already written then you can use that information to fill out most of it. You’ll also need to write a summary to appear at the top of your profile page. This should be written in the first person and can be as long or short as you like. We’d recommend keeping it on the short side and including key information about your key skills, what you do in your current role and a brief career history.
If you want to be found by recruiters on LinkedIn (and be seen by potential employers) you need to make sure that your privacy settings allow them to view your profile. These are found in the ‘Privacy and Settings’ pages and under the ‘privacy’ options you’ll even find an option to be included in recruiter searches.
Top LinkedIn tips:
Recruiters search LinkedIn profiles by keywords, so make sure you have these in your profile. For example – your company may list your job title as “Information ninja” but there’s a good chance that no-one else knows what that means. Try using a more common one such as “Information manager” instead.
Make connections, join groups and fill out all the sections of your LinkedIn profile. Linkedin in grades search results on ‘profile completeness’ as well as number of connections, so doing these things will help you appear higher in the search results. Having said that, don’t try to connect with hundreds of people you don’t know, you will be blocked from requesting further connections.
Follow the company pages of places you’re interested in working, vacancies are often posted to LinkedIn (sometimes before they make it to the job boards).
Profiles with a photo receive more views than those without.
There is a large and active library, information and knowledge management community on Twitter. It’s less a place to find jobs and be head-hunted and more of a good way to ‘meet’ new people working in your sector and raise your profile. Follow relevant people and companies, find out what the most common hashtags are for your sector and don’t be afraid to ask questions – most people are more than happy to offer advice.
Even if you’re not using social media as part of your job hunt it is worth doing an audit of your online presence before you start sending out your CV. Do a Google search on yourself and see what information potential employers could find – is there anything there that makes you look unprofessional? Do you need to adjust your privacy settings on any of your social media accounts?
Take the first step in finding a new job, write your CV and figure out where you want to go.