Four simple ways to use social media to help your job-hunt

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Today I was giving a talk on social media marketing and the role of the social media agency at the University of Cambridge. I took a few moments at the end of my lecture to reflect on how the students in the session could use social media themselves as part of their job-hunt. On how employees can use social media to find out more about applicants for roles - with many frequently-cited examples of inappropriate things on Facebook damaging candidates and employees. But more importantly how you can use social media to help explore, research, learn and prepare for applications and interviews.

In the short presentation below we talked through four steps that the students, and indeed any job-hunters, can take to use social media to support them in their research, applications and interviews for roles. These steps, starting with the simplest, must-do, are:

  1. Take control of your personal brand online - realise you have one and make sure you have a professional brand alongside your more personal one. Assume that any employer will look for you online and consider what they will find.
  2. Use the tools available to research employers - blogs and online communities run by brands provide a brilliant insight into the business and what they are doing. Using social media to research potential employers will furnish you with more insight and material than standard recruitment materials will.
  3. Find to people to talk from target employers to (and talk to them) - find people on Twitter, in online communities or on networks such as LinkedIn that work for employers or in the industry and engage them, ask them questions and their opinions.
  4. Experiment with social media yourself - the best way to start to engage and to control your personal brand online is to experiment with social media yourself. This does not have to be just about your job-hunt. Maybe start a blog about your hockey team or your holidays. Use social media and experiment with blogs, Twitter and other tools. Only then will you really realise the potential it has.
Social media as a job-hunting tool: The basics
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