“Social media” is a relatively new concept. The term was introduced only about ten years ago. Using social media for career advancement is even more recent. The nature of social media is a relationship tool. It is designed to make connections, and get to know the people you are connected with and vice versa. This can be a huge opportunity for today’s job seeker.
As career practitioners, we need to understand how social media marketing works and how to apply these tactics towards a client’s career transition. Whether they like it or not, clients are selling their skills and we need to help them market this product. Employers use social media to identify, research, and source candidates. Each online post the job seeker makes might be the start to a warm introduction to a new relationship between that hiring manager and the candidate.
Using Social Media as a Marketing Tool
We can assist clients in transition by applying business-like tactics to the search and treating a profile as a commodity. This starts with identifying marketable skills, not only the technical skills but also the soft skills that are becoming more obsolete.
Uploading Work Product
Job seekers should expand their ability to leverage social media applications to allow potential employers to get to know them. The LinkedIn profile can be expanded to include documents which feature examples of work, awards, certification and more. These can be found by recruiters doing a simple search. Moreover, job seekers can use social media in creative ways to demonstrate their skills. This can include video, PowerPoint presentations, infographics, and more. A job searcher who posts a video demonstrates soft skills such as communication, professionalism, and intelligence.
Continuing further with the client’s profile, we can set up tracking on who clicks on the video, where they are from, the number of clicks and even how long they spend on the profile. LinkedIn provides the basic information such as who reviewed the profile. Using this information, our job seeker can more specifically reach out to those who have already reviewed their profile developing that relationship further.
An increasing number of companies are no longer using public job boards but will post an opportunity on their company website and social media feed. Job seekers can use social media as a way to get to know their targeted businesses. Following company blogs and posts gives today’s job seeker insights about a company that, until recently, had not been available unless you were already on the inside. As long as our clients are strategic in who they are following, they will not miss elusive opportunities that appear only on social media.
Posting on Company Sites
While I’m on the topic of company blogs and business pages, our clients can be visible posting and commenting on employer’s pages. With companies going online, job seekers are faced with increased competition. Using the employer’s social media to stand out as a thought leader will enhance a candidate’s chance of being noticed when it comes time to hire. Plus, having up-to-date information from company blogs, may help in future interviews.
Integration of the Old and New
We are currently at a point where we need to integrate old and new techniques. Lisa Rangel of Chameleon Resumes says “The trend I see is a blend of new school and old school techniques to be used to land a position faster— it is no longer old school techniques are out and new progressive techniques are in. It is truly a combination of the two that are most effective for job seekers. For instance, you might use a mobile app/contact management program to determine that someone you know and want to network with is in your physical location and you use the app to reach out in an impromptu fashion (new school), but then you will meet face-to-face and have conversations to help each other (old school). Another example is, you might research attendee lists from conferences (old school) to find target hiring managers relevant to your search and reach out to the person over twitter (new school) to set up an online chat to discover how you might add value to his/her initiatives. Lastly, one might use a resume building process (old school) to fortify a robust LinkedIn profile or Infographic resume (new school) to have both traditional and progressive representation to cover all bases needed throughout a job search.”
The use of social media in career advancement is only going to become more prevalent as more companies go online and more job seekers use their creativity to set them apart. Online visibility will be more important than ever as the demand for positions increase with the globalization of applicants. So, as career practitioners, we must continue to build a deep understanding of social media marketing to provide appropriate service offerings.
CPC Mastermind, Shannon Mack provides services through Careers in Motion, a recruitment and development company focused on empowering people in career transition to trust their own inner leader. You can learn more about Social Media in Career Development at Shannon Mack’s online chat at: CAREERPRO 2015.