Social media use is a double-edged sword for people who work at home. On one hand, it’s a terrific tool for networking, finding work and promoting one’s services and clients. On the other hand, social media can be a giant distraction offering a rabbit hole of off topic possibility. Today we’re going to focus on how to use social media to find work.
Using Your Own Profiles to Attract Clients and Recruiters
Before beginning your job search, take a look at all of your public social media profiles. Most clients and employers search online to learn about the people they’re hiring. They’ll check Twitter, Facebook, and especially LinkedIn to be sure you’re a positive representative of their brand.
It’s perfectly fine to keep certain profiles like Facebook and Pinterest as casual places to enjoy the company of friends and family, but if this is the case, make sure there’s nothing posted publicly that might embarrass you.
Give a once-over to accounts you’d like to share with potential clients and employers. LinkedIn is probably your most important profile for looking for work as it’s considered an online resume. Be sure your photo on that site is professional. Avoid using photos of you with a significant other, or in your bathing suit on the beach.
Consider editing your public profiles to showcase your expertise. For example, if your Twitter profile says you’re a mom who enjoys hiking, it doesn’t tell a hiring agent much about you professionally. However, if you edit the profile to say you’re a freelance writer specializing in digital marketing, someone who is interested in hiring a digital marketer will want to learn more. People who are hiring use search terms to find worthy candidates, so set your profiles with this in mind.
Social media as a job search tool
Social media and the different social networks provide plenty of opportunities. Consider doing the following when looking for work:
- Follow job search sites on Twitter and Facebook: Plenty of job search websites, job search engines, and career-oriented websites post job leads on Twitter. Give relevant accounts a follow so you can see opportunities in your feed. Also consider following the #WAHM or #Telecommute hashtags for shared opportunities.
- Search the job listings on LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a terrific resource for job seeekers and many top brands that are hiring do so through LinkedIn. The search engine is intuitive and easy to use. In fact, many listings are exclusive to LinkedIn.
- Who’s viewing your LinkedIn profile? LinkedIn has a feature that enables you to see the last three people who viewed your profile. Consider reaching out to these people or connecting with them on other social networks to see if there are available opportunities within their companies.
- Read blogs that share job listings: The Internet is not lacking for blogs that share niche-related jobs.
- Facebook groups that share jobs: There are now Facebook groups where the members share job leads with each other. For example, Social Media Jobs is a popular group for those looking to find jobs in that field, and Telecommute Job Leads are for those who are looking to work from home. Not all groups are telecommuting specific, but many offer leads for telecommuters as well as more traditional employment.
- Use keywords: Use specific keywords on Twitter, LinkedIn’s job search engine, and even Facebook. Some of my favorites are “Telecommute,” “remote,” and “telework.”
Social media as a networking tool
The social networks aren’t only good job search tools, but they’re especially useful when it comes to networking. Everyone you meet on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or another social network is a potential client. If you make a good impression, they’ll remember you when they need to hire someone who does what you do.
Some good places to network online:
- Facebook groups: There are Facebook groups for all interests, areas of expertise, and career choices. For example if you’re a finance writer, you can join groups for freelance writers who share job leads, as well as groups for people in accounting and finance who are likely to hire.
- LinkedIn groups: There hundreds of LinkedIn groups set up for professionals to discuss their niches and showcase their expertise. LinkedIn is a career-oriented social network, so do spend time there.
- Twitter chats: Join relevant Twitter chats so you can participate in their daily discussions. Many of the top people in your field are also participating so they’re a good way to build relationships with important people.
Groups and chats aren’t there necessarily for you to sell yourself, but rather for you to meet people who are in the same field or have the ability to become potential clients.
More and more people are taking to social media to network or find jobs than ever before. As a result, the competition is fierce. If you put your best foot forward you’ll have a good shot at standing out above the rest.
Don’t be afraid to spend an hour or two online each day in order to network and check out leads. Even if you have enough work to keep busy for the time being, it’s still a good idea to network with other professionals and keep an eye on job search sites to spot trends and stay current. This way if you need to look for work again, you’re ahead of the game.