But fixing it is easier than you think.
When my friend Leanne was looking for a new role in the heady world of print journalism, she couldn’t work out why her dream job wasn’t falling in her lap.
She applied for a bunch of roles through SEEK, but was overlooked time and time again.
Eventually, she asked for feedback and found out why: Her CV was pretty kick-arse, but she hadn’t bothered with shining up her LinkedIn profile. That meant that her Twitter and Instagram accounts were packed with pics of her dog and the superfood salad she ate last Tuesday — so they didn’t really scream ‘profesh writer woman looking for a new job.’
Leanne also didn’t realise was that the vacancies she had set alerts up for on SEEK had actually appeared on Facebook, Twitter and sometimes even Instagram a good few days before the job sites.
What Leanne learned is that harnessing the power of the social can be a great way to maximise your chance at finding your dream job as it happens AND showcasing just how flipping incredible you really are.
Wondering how to do it? Fret not – we’ve got you covered.
1. Suss out and sort your LinkedIn In profile.
If you’re not on LinkedIn, then you’re a losing in the self-promotion stakes. With 90 million registered users, it’s an employment behemoth that not only showcases your experience but also allows you to search for relevant vacancies and connect with those in your industry.
Updating your LinkedIn profile doesn’t have to be a complicated process. A clear and concise rundown of your CV, a great (and relatively professional) profile picture and the beginnings of a relevant network are the basics you need in place.
Once that’s sorted, start looking for connections. Whether it’s current or ex colleagues, old university buddies or people you’ve met through work assignments make contact.
It’s also worth searching for relevant organisations that you’re keen on working for to find out more about the people who they currently have working for them. This is a fantastic way to ‘skill match’ and see what you should be listing on your profile (and CV) and if you may need to work on adding certain things to your experience.
You can also use LinkedIn to search directly for vacancies in your niche. This is often more beneficial than a listing on a job site as you can click directly through the vacancy into the company profile, identifying possible connections and necessary details for your application, along the way.
If you’re an avid user of Twitter, chances are good you know your way around your profile, at least socially.
But Twitter, if used correctly, can also be a great way to track down new vacancies, connect with potential employers (and colleagues) and give some insight into who you are as a potential candidate.
Ensuring that your profile is ‘job ready’ (i.e. choosing a good profile pic, assessing your tweets and deleting anything that may not place you in the best light) is the first step. The next is to start monitoring specific hashtags relevant to your industry and/or job seeking (#hiring #vacancies #job).
It’s then a great idea to start following relevant organisations and individuals and producing some great tweets of your own that show where your skills and experience lie.
Sure, tweeting about the longest bus ride in the history of the world that you’re currently experiencing on the way home from work is fine, but mix things up. Chuck in some commentary on a relevant news piece or current event that applies to your industry, or engage in discussion with the people and places you’ve pinpointed as relevant to your job search.
3. Play the game on Facebook (and Instagram).
While keeping your Facebook page personal is often advisable, there’s still plenty of scope for using the world’s most popular platform as a job-seeking tool. Leanne found that many of the organisations with current vacancies would list them on their Facebook page — often before the ‘official’ job site listing would appear.
As with LinkedIn and Twitter, following brands and businesses relevant to your job search is key. This also gives you an idea of the culture of the business and the kind of person they’ll be looking for if/when they start hiring.
If you’re currently unemployed, letting your Facebook network know and even adding a link to your LinkedIn profile is advisable, as you never know where a fresh lead may come from.
Don’t discount Instagram either. Some tech-savvy, trend-conscious organisations use the pic heavy platform to advertise and gauge interest in roles they may have available.
Searching relevant hashtags and keeping an eye on the feeds from your favourites is the best way to find these vacancies as they become available. Instagram gives you the added bonus of being able to shape your profile to appeal to your potential employer, especially once you’ve seen a vacancy you’re keen to apply for.
What ended up happening to my bud Leanne? Once she realised what she was lacking, she got busy and upped her social game. Her daily bus ride became less about uploading cute dog pics to Insta –and more about tweaking her LinkedIn profile and building up a Twitter presence.
With a bit of work ,her new socially sorted profile saw her eventually source a new role within an hour of it appearing. She could then apply instantly using a link to her brand-spanking-new LinkedIn CV complete with endorsements from colleagues and a thriving professional network.
Her Instagram account and interest in all things health and wellness was a hot topic of conversation in her interview — and she’s now officially sorted with her new role.
A success story indeed.
Need some inspiration to kick-start your job hunting? Here’s some advice from women we admire:
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