Social media is often synonymous with social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These social networks allow users to connect with friends and family, as well as network with potential colleagues and business partners. Using social media as a component of a job search can be especially useful to seek out people and companies that might be hiring.
While there are dozens of social networks that you may be a part of, most companies and hiring managers will likely be found on the most popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If you don’t have an account on all three of these networks yet, and you are in search of a job, consider starting an account and devoting a few minutes each day to actively using each network to help you in your job search. LinkedIn will be the most useful for you in a job search, as this social network is designed specifically as a professional social network. With LinkedIn, you can search company profiles to see which companies are hiring. Then, you can ask to make a connection with a hiring manager and send them an introductory message. This is critical so you aren’t just another resume in the stack of hundreds they have likely received. You can also identify if you have connections (or friends) in common who may be able to make a personal introduction. While reaching out to a hiring manager without an introduction can be beneficial to the formal interview process, a personal introduction from a mutual friend can lend additional credibility to your reputation and positively impact the recruitment process.
Twitter and Facebook are also great tools for identifying if a company is hiring. Often, companies will post open positions on their Facebook pages. If you are determined to work for a company, either on a full-time basis or as a contractor, become a fan of the company’s Facebook page and watch it closely for any open positions. You may also want to directly interact with the company on the page and express your interest in working for the business, or ask who to contact about open positions. Although sending on a message to a hiring executive on LinkedIn is appropriate, avoid this approach on Facebook. Finding an HR exec’s Facebook profile and sending a personal message is more invasive of personal space than on other social networks.
If you do desire to reach out to the hiring manager of a company you know is hiring, or want another way to follow a company to see if they are hiring, Twitter is also useful. Create a Twitter account and then follow all the companies where you may be interested in working. You could watch for any tweets about open positions, or tweet at them using an @mention to ask about potential opportunities. You may also want to consider using Twitter search to find executives for companies where you are interested in working and follow them as well. Compared to Facebook, it is more acceptable to send tweets using Twitter to employees of other companies to talk about potential opportunities — advertised or not.
How do you use social media to see who is hiring? Let us know in the comments.