Social media, with its ever-growing popularity, is fast becoming an important part of the job-hunting process for both job seekers and recruiters. Job seekers can use social media platforms to search for opportunities and to research companies they are interested in working for. Recruiters can use social media to track down suitable candidates and reach out to them. Recruiters can also use your social profile to find out a bit more about you and decide whether or not you’d be a good fit with the company culture. Social media profiles can give recruiters an impression of who the candidate is and what they are like as a person in a way that a CV is unable to.
These days, it’s just as important to have a professional online presence as it is to have an up-to-date CV, to network face to face and to attend job fairs.
Should I use social media for my job search?
If you want to be the first to know about new opportunities, make more personal connections with potential employers and use as many channels as possible to attract invitations to interview, social media can be a fantastic tool.
Social media has made it possible to connect with other professions and companies more easily than ever before. It gives users the opportunity to build relationships with others in their profession without having to be constrained by a certain time and place. Social media has made networking easier and the savvy job seeker will take advantage of this. Many law firms have an active social media presence and provide their followers with company news and job opportunities, which can give an idea of the company culture. Engaging with these profiles and their posts can be a great way to start demonstrating your interest in a particular firm. It is a way of making your name known before your application even reaches the recruiter, giving you a head start and making a good impression.
Which social media sites should I use for my job search?
Right Management recently carried out a survey of recruiters and HR managers and found, unsurprisingly, that LinkedIn was the site most used for recruiting. However, 52% said they also used Facebook, which shows that having a professional profile across all social media sites is important.
Nicola Deas, practice leader of career management at Right Management, said: “It’s critical, particularly in this difficult job market, that job seekers develop the right skills and have access to the right opportunities to find employment. It’s never been more important to learn how to effectively network with peers – online and offline – as well as being able to create an online profile with compelling messages that will get noticed by employers and recruiters. It’s not enough to just have a good CV today.”
So, even though it’s still very important to have a standout CV and to attend networking events, LinkedIn and Facebook could be real assets in your job-hunting efforts. In addition, it is always worth considering any other social networking sites where you might have an account, like Twitter. If your feeds are showing the industry news you’ve been reading, any professional achievements or events you’ve attended, you will stand out to employers. Twitter is also a great place to discover and interact with new companies, find out about prospective jobs and show interest in your industry.
Do employers use social media to screen applicants?
Social media screening has become common practice for many companies during the recruitment process. In fact, 70% of employers said they used social media to screen applicants before employing them, according to a survey conducted last year. Being able to establish the type of person an applicant is on paper gives employers a much more well-rounded view of that individual.
With this in mind, it is really important that before you fill out any applications, you go through each of your profiles and make sure there aren’t any comments or photos that you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to see. It’s also worth doing a quick Google search of your name to see what comes up and getting rid of anything inappropriate. There are social media screening tools that can help you with this process; however, for most individuals, a quick check will be sufficient.
Social media tips for job seekers
So, how do you make the most of the opportunities presented by social media? Here are five tips to get you started:
1. Perfect your LinkedIn profile
As this is the social media network most used for recruitment, getting your LinkedIn profile in shape is a great place to start.
Make sure that you’ve added all your qualifications, skills, experience and a professional profile picture. Once these are up to date, it’s time to get connecting. Wherever possible, get endorsements from former or current colleagues and give as much detail as you can about your skills and interests.
Import your contacts so you’re as widely connected as possible and take time to connect with new people in your chosen profession. By doing a bit of research you will find interesting people, companies and information about your industry. You can show your enthusiasm by sharing any relevant articles or news stories, joining industry groups and getting involved in the latest conversations.
You’ll then be in a great position to start networking with the companies you’re interested in working for. By the time your application lands on their desk, you should already be on their radar.
2. Clean up your Facebook page
Does your Facebook profile show you to be a positive and professional individual, or do you come across as a bit of a party animal? Clean up anything that might make an employer question your commitment to your career. Don’t forget, most companies will have a profile on Facebook, so you can start following relevant industry pages and engage with their posts.
3. Don’t forget about Twitter
Twitter is a very useful platform for demonstrating your interest in the industry. There is a busy and engaging legal network on Twitter that allows everyone from judges to laypeople to join in the discussions. Make sure your profile matches what you’ve put on LinkedIn and start following relevant people in the industry.
It might be worth signing up for a tool like Tweetdeck to get a more comprehensive overview of how the industry communicates on Twitter.
4. Become a blogger
Having a blog and linking to it from your social media pages can be a great way to expand your online presence. Start posting about the areas you are interested in and employers will see that you are a motivated individual who is actively engaged in the industry. Someone who has the commitment to regularly update a blog also demonstrates some of the personality traits recruiters look for, as well as a genuine interest in their career choice. By making sure that your content is current, well researched and correct, you will also show your knowledge and understanding of your chosen area of law.
5. Give YouTube a go
You could even consider creating a video or a series of videos focused on the industry, or even as a way to introduce yourself to recruiters in a more personal manner. Several law students and junior lawyers have recently taken to YouTube to share their experiences and advice. For inspiration, take a look at Chrissie Wolfe’s channel, “Law and Broader”.
Article provided by Simply Law Jobs.
At Simply Law Jobs, we specialise in advertising thousands of the latest job vacancies across all levels of the legal sector. We are the UK’s leading legal niche job board, providing businesses with a cost-effective and efficient alternative to generic job sites. Job seekers are at the core of what we do, so we offer candidates a site tailored entirely to their industry. Our promise is simple: We ensure quality over quantity and provide the very best approach to candidate targeting, delivering an outstanding return on investment.