For many of us social media is now part of our daily lives and can be a useful tool when finding a job. A CareerBuilder survey found that 70% employers use social networking sites to research candidates during the hiring process; therefore it’s definitely worth thinking about whether you’re using it to its full capacity in your job search. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

LinkedIn

  • Your LinkedIn profile is the CV that never sleeps, so make sure you keep it up to date.
  • Employers and recruiters search for candidates using key words – consider what words are most relevant in your preferred sector or role, and ensure that the information you’re displaying is consistent with any applications you are making.
  • Make sure you turn on ‘Let recruiters know you’re open’ and use you ‘Summary’ and the ‘Skills’ sections to showcase your career goals and accomplishments.
  • LinkedIn tells us that members with more than five skills listed on their account are 27 times more likely to be discovered in searches by recruiters.
  • Increasingly organisations post jobs on LinkedIn, so it’s good to get into the habit of checking regularly and also set-up Job Alerts. There is also a useful student section which includes graduate jobs and internships as well as tips and advice.
  • Remember to check your homepage regularly to see if your contacts post job openings too
  • Find alumni – visit LSE’s alumni page and select ‘Alumni’ from the right-hand side menu; you can search for alumni by where they live, organisation or what they do. Consider reaching out to them to see if they can share insights into how they got their job, recommended strategies you can follow, offer useful tips etc. Such conversations can often give information about opportunities you otherwise wouldn’t have access to.
  • Get a referral – recruiters will sometimes need a bit of encouragement to give your application the attention it deserves, so a referral can be just the thing you need. Alumni might be able to help here – and remember also to check whether your second and third level connections can introduce you to someone who works for the organisations you’re interested in.
  • Use the groups (also located under ‘interests’) to find out what is happening in a particular industry to make more informed applications and help with your interview prep. Group members often post job opportunities and it will probably be easier to connect with people within your groups. Do remember to contribute to the group first!
  • Research your interviewer – when going for an interview, if you know the name of your interviewer check out their profile and read any LinkedIn Articles they have written. This could give you information to help you build a better rapport with them on the day.
  • Keep records – LinkedIn allows you to create your own customer relationship management (CRM) system by making notes, creating tags and reminders about your connections that are visible only to you. You’ll be able to set up a reminder to follow up with an individual in a given time period, or create a searchable database of all those you have already contacted. You can also add alternative email addresses or phone numbers that again are visible only to you.
  • Follow organisations you’re interested in to ensure you’re aware of any important developments and to show your motivation and interest to anyone looking at your profile.

Twitter

  • Many organisations have Twitter accounts that include ‘Careers’ or ‘Jobs’ in their handle, such as @BBCCareers and @IBMCareersUKI. Follow these accounts to keep up to date with the latest opportunities, keep track of any important developments, and show your motivation and interest to anyone looking at your profile.
  • Follow industry leaders and organisations and ensure your Twitter feed becomes a useful stream of job related resources.
  • Share useful resources and comments to develop your network and provide value to those who follow you.

Facebook

  • Most organisations that recruit graduates also have a presence on Facebook. You can ‘Like’ their pages to ensure you stay up to date with recruitment processes and deadlines, and to find out about events they’re holding.
  • Facebook is a great resource for finding out about a company’s culture which you can use to convey your motivation for applying in your cover letter and help you answer that all-important interview questions of “Why do you want to work for us?”
  • It goes without saying that if you’re interacting with employers via Facebook, you should ensure you have a sensible, professional profile and picture, or that your details are appropriately protected in your privacy settings.
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