The way we search for our dream job has changed pretty dramatically in the last decade. Where we would once send letters citing adverts in the local paper, and face very little competition; job hunting in the 21st century is a whole different ball game.
In January 2011, graduate unemployment was at the highest for over a decade and many were accused of being ill-equipped for jobs in the ‘real world’. With half of graduates failing to find work in the first 12 months after leaving uni, where are we going wrong?
The truth is the jobs market isn’t the same as it used to be. With a tough economic climate and an abundance of candidates chasing each job, we need to think ‘outside the box’ when looking for a job. We use the Internet for almost everything these days, so why not our job search?
Times are changing. And in the fast-paced world of business, you can’t afford to be looking in the wrong places. So put down the local paper, and pick up your mouse. Job sites are sometimes a good place to start, but we can be more creative than that. Here are four places to bag your dream job using social media:
LinkedIn is the professionals’ social media site, and you can certainly increase your chances by joining. The online resume site allows you to fill in all your experience, network with other professionals, and even apply for a job.
To get the most out of the site, make sure you have completed your profile. Include a professional, recent photograph, link to your other social networking sites, and ask for recommendations from previous and current employers.
You should also connect with companies and professionals in your niche. This will help you keep your eyes open for any vacancies. Set up keyword alerts based on job titles and location to make your job search even easier. Finally, the ‘apply with LinkedIn’ button should be your new best friend.
Micro-blogging site Twitter is a great place to search for jobs. Many companies will tweet their vacancies, so having an active presence is key. There are also plenty of dedicated job-search accounts for specific niches which are worth a follow.
If you’re interested in a career in PR, follow as many professionals and companies in the niche. Build a rapport with them by responding to and ReTweeting their posts. Once you’ve built up a relationship you can drop them an email regarding internships and full time positions.
Don’t underestimate the power of the humble hashtag either. Many companies will advertise vacancies using #nowhiring or niche-specific hashtags like #prjobs. Make sure you set up alerts so you see all tweets using these posts. You may just find your dream position.
Facebook is another great place to search for jobs, but it can also be a little risky. Unlike Twitter and LinkedIn, you’ll have personal photographs and comments visible on your account. If these are unfavourable, you could risk hampering your job search. Before using Facebook, it would be wise to have a quick check through your profile and remove anything less than professional.
Once you’re sure you have a professional profile, ‘like’ companies within the industry. Respond to their posts, join in conversations, and generally have an active presence. As with Twitter, job openings may be posted here before anywhere else so keep your eyes open.
Many companies will run a business blog, and these are often the first places job vacancies will be published. Set up a Google Reader account that pulls in the blog RSS feeds of plenty of companies, and check it regularly.
The beauty of blogging is that you can comment on a company’s posts, and get your name ‘out there’. You could always enquire about guest posting opportunities. Once you’ve built up a relationship with a company, you’re in a better position to send them your CV.
You shouldn’t forget traditional job search methods though. Use a well designed business card to approach people directly. Make it stand out by including your social media handles, an photograph, and a creative and inventive shape.
While the jobs market isn’t the same as it was ten years ago, neither are the people searching for jobs. Take your job search online, and get creative. Your dream job is out there, and give yourself the best chance of securing it by following these simple steps.