Last week’s blog post looked at how students can use LinkedIn to search for jobs. Social media is meant to be just that – a way to share content and take part in online networking. Not many students would instantly pick sites like Facebook and Twitter as a place to research jobs, but this is changing, with more and more savvy students hitting these sites to seek out jobs and make a good impression with recruiters.

This week, we will be looking at the dos and don’ts of using sites like Facebook and Twitter to help with getting ahead in the recruitment game.

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There is definitely a downwards trend for the number of young people using Facebook, but it’s still a popular scene for employers. Most employers will have pages which you can ‘like’ and some graduate recruitment teams will have dedicated pages where they will share advice on completing their application forms, as well as posting vacancies, latest news and information on events they are hosting. Facebook can be a great way to engage with employers and those students who are more active are more likely to get noticed.

Here are five of our top tips on how to effectively use Facebook to help inform your job search:

  1. Create a professional profile. Don’t mix business with pleasure as it can often lead to many of the horror stories we hear about from our recruitment experts. Keep your professional profile clean and always think twice before you post.
  2. Like, like, like. But only those companies that you are a) interested in hearing more about, and b) want to actively engage with. There is no point in following hundreds of employers as this can be overwhelming and will most definitely have a negative impact when people look at your profile.
  3. Engage. Once you have grown your network of companies, start thinking about how you will engage with them. Some employers will ask students for advice or feedback so be sure to get involved. Others will run a Q&A session and some will be happy for you to post links to useful articles or online content.
  4. Make a plan. We don’t expect you to do this all overnight, but it’s definitely worthwhile creating a day-by-day plan of how you are going to build your online profile. Spend time each day looking at the company pages and using the information you find on these pages as a starting point for your job search.
  5. Frequency. You’ve done so well to create a great online profile, the last thing you want to do is let it fall to the side-line. Use clever online tools like Hootesuite or Buffer to link your social media networks together to make it easier for you to share useful and interesting things you come across. This will keep your profile fresh, engaging and up-to-date.

Twitter

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Now that you have got your Facebook sorted, let’s turn to Twitter! Twitter can be a great student companion when it comes to searching for jobs online. There are a few tricks of the trade, but these are relatively easy to master and should have you on the right track to finding that job.

  1. Create a professional account. Similar to Facebook, employers will be keen to scope you out on Twitter so the same rules apply – keep it clean and remember that things on Twitter can spread like wildfire so always keep this in mind before you tweet or retweet.
  2. Bio. You only get 160 characters for your Twitter bio, so you have to be specific and make it count. This is the first thing people read to gain an image of you so use it as a way for them to get to know you, in other words sell yourself! For example if you are a graduate, include this.
  3. Follow companies and individuals. Search for employers, but also look out for relevant departments and graduate recruitment teams. We find that following existing employees and in particular those working in the graduate recruitment teams are much more helpful than following the company only. These individuals are much more likely to reply and interact with you. Read their tweets, engage as much as you can by retweeting, replying and creating your own content, but only do this if you genuinely have something interesting to say!
  4. The power of the hashtag. You can search for jobs by adding the # symbol in front of a keyword, for example, #marketing and #London. The more specific you make your search terms, the more specific your results will be. You should then start following those companies which are tweeting jobs which could be of interest to you.
  5. Embrace Twitter. Many students will probably be new to the idea of searching for jobs on Twitter but it can a powerful way of connecting with other like-minded individuals, finding employers who you are interested in, and recruiters who might be interested in you! Start to build your network and remember to tweet and engage regularly.

These are our final tips on how to get ahead of the recruitment race using social media. As mentioned previously, more and more employers are embracing the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to engage with potential recruits, so get online and start networking.

Next week, we will be sharing our advice on how to maintain a professional image whilst online. This is becoming increasingly important as more employers are snooping around to see what your Facebook profile, Twitter page and LinkedIn profiles say about you. See you next week!