As more and more companies use social media when looking to hire new employees, here's how job-seekers can make the most of their online presences.
As more and more companies join social media in order to boost their brand, many are also using it when looking to hire new employees.
Job advertisements are posted on Twitter, many employers routinely use Facebook to vet their applicants and, with many of the people doing the hiring online themselves, potential employees are using social media to network their way into new positions.
One social networking site, LinkedIn, is almost designed for this purpose, giving professionals the opportunity to import their CV and network with others in their industry. You can even specify that you’d like to be contacted about ‘career opportunities.’
Better still is its recommendations function. This feature allows others to comment on your work and acts as an online reference. Employers take these really seriously, so if your old boss is on LinkedIn, why not ask for one?
Twitter is also becoming an increasing source of job opportunities. Many job websites are now on Twitter and aggregate job adverts online, for example journalists can follow @journalismjobs for daily updates.
Equally, some jobs opportunities are posted almost exclusively on social media. Many small businesses, particularly in fields like marketing and PR, will rely on their social networks and word of mouth to fill a position, rather than spending money to advertise externally.
Even non-users can use sites like TwitJobSearch.com to look for opportunities. This works like a search engine, but for Twitter and focuses on tweets containing job positions.
But the best way to capitalise on this growing trend is to be active on social networks yourself. Join Facebook groups relevant to your profession, follow industry professionals on your Twitter account and contact them directly asking about opportunities and build your LinkedIn profile.
There are opportunities out there - it's just a case of finding them.
However, if you are a social networking lover, then it’s important to get your own house in order before you start sending out the applications as over half of employers have rejected a potential employee after checking their Facebook page.
Things to be careful about in particular are boasting about drink and drug use, making racist or offensive comments and having inappropriate photos of yourself.
In reaction, many job-seekers are making their Facebook pages as private as possible, although if you do wish to remain public, then it could be worth cleaning up your page to avoid putting-off a potential employer.
As Twitter grows, it is only natural that employers will check this too and, if your profile is public, then everything you’ve ever tweeted is at the fingertips of a potential employer.
Try googling your own name and see what comes up - is there anything that you wouldn't want an employer to see?
It’s worth thinking about the impression that your social media profiles could give off to someone that hasn’t met you.