Social Media in Job Search

The role of social media in job search is increas­ingly important. Did you know that there are a lot of jobs available on social media? But where could you find them and how? Social media uses various job-related #hashtags, which can be used to gather together links, texts or, for example, job adver­tise­ments on similar topics.

It is not necessary to use all social media channels, but you can choose one or two of the channels that suit you the best and create yourself compre­hensive and up-to-date profiles there.

It is more and more common today that job adver­tise­ments are published on social media because potential employees can be reached quickly and easily through social media channels. It is also possible to find those people through social media channels who are not actively looking for a job.

Employers value social media skills. By using social media channels, you can show potential employers that you manage the use of social media, and by taking new social media channels into use, you can also show employers that you are open for new ideas. Thus, you may want to attach a link to your Instagram account, for example, in your job appli­cation and thereby gain some extra points during job search.

In practice, social media services in job search are marketing channels that publish infor­mation on vacancies and where employees can announce their job search and show their skills. It is a network that is utilised in job search and a channel for commu­ni­cating about vacancies. Of course, not all channels or services need to be used, but you can choose the ones that are most suitable for yourself as well as the ones that best meet your job search goals. You should, however, try out different channels or services to see what works best for you.

The most popular social media services used for employment purposes are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Other channels used are e.g. Periscope, Google+, WhatsApp and Snapchat.

Facebook

On Facebook, your own activity affects the amount of benefits you can gain. Your own network of friends, acquain­tances, relatives and other Facebook friends can help you with your job search. You must just put a word around that you are looking for a job and request your friends to share this infor­mation, and this way the infor­mation spreads to their networks.

You can also search for vacancies with hashtags such as #recruitment #recruit #vacancies #summer jobs etc. You should follow adver­tise­ments and announce­ments by companies and other job providers (TE services, i.e. Public Employment and Business Services, and various private employment agencies), and also join job search/recruitment groups on social media where the whole community supports the members’ job search. In addition to providing useful tips for job search, these groups may provide tips for writing job appli­ca­tions and CVs, instruc­tions for job interview situa­tions, and other tips for the different stages of a job search process.

Jobs on Facebook

Facebook has its own section for job adver­tise­ments. A link to this section can be found in the menu on the left-hand side of the front page, under the “Näytä enemmän/Show more” link. You can search for jobs adver­tise­ments posted on Facebook based on location, field of industry, and type of duty. Jobs on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jobs/

When you wish to apply for a job, click on the “Apply now” button below the adver­tisement. Facebook opens an appli­cation and the profes­sional infor­mation you have added to your Facebook profile will be automat­i­cally trans­ferred into the appli­cation. This appli­cation can be, however, changed before submitting it. Once the appli­cation has been submitted, a Messenger conver­sation will be opened between the applicant and the employer’s page, where the employer can confirm to have received the appli­cation. The employer cannot see your full personal profile but only the infor­mation found in the appli­cation as well as the infor­mation you have publicly shared on your profile.

Personal reflection task 1:

  • If you are on Facebook, think about the image your current public profile gives about you. Which photos have you published and what kind of publi­ca­tions have you made? How could you contribute to your employment through Facebook?
  • If you are not on Facebook, think about the profes­sional benefits of joining it. Could you consider joining Facebook for this purpose?


Twitter

Twitter is a great place to network for profes­sional purposes. Here are some tips for using Twitter in job search:

  • Add a profile picture and a short description of yourself. Briefly describe who you are and what you do. If you wish, you can add infor­mation about your job search or a link to your LinkedIn profile, for example.
  • Follow people and companies in your own field or in the field you are inter­ested in. Partic­ipate in discus­sions. Twitter will soon suggest you to follow people with the same type of interests. You may also want to follow recruitment and employment agencies that share job adver­tise­ments on Twitter.
  • Create and share content that tells you about you, your interests and your thoughts. Highlight your skills and tell you about the things that you find most important. Keep, however, in mind that anyone can see your tweets, so you should consider carefully what to share and what not to share.
  • You can search for tweets on different topics on Twitter. You can search for vacancies on Twitter by using hashtags such as #työpaikat, #rekry, #duunit, #työnhaku, #työ, #somerekry, #ura, #avoimet­työ­paikat or #rekry­tointi (in Finnish) or #jobs, #recruitment, #job search, #job, #career, #vacancies etc. (in English).

Personal reflection task 2:

Are there well-known people in your field? Can you find their Twitter accounts?

Pinterest and Instagram

Pinterest and Instagram are visual social media services where images have a bigger role that texts. A Pinterest or an Instagram profile is one type of visual job appli­cation that allows you to show what you can do, and what kind of jobs or things you are inter­ested in and motivated by. They are good channels for showing your own person­ality and samples of your work. For example, pictures of hairstyles made by a hairdresser or an upholsterer’s pictures of their work process tell a lot about their skills and styles. 

Tips for using Pintrest and Instagram in job search

  • Most of the content on Pinterest consists of so-called repins, i.e. the users have collected the content from somewhere else. If you want to stand out, create your own content in your profile.
  • Find and follow experts and opinion leaders in your field. You can find them by using the search function, by browsing through popular categories, and by following people you know.
  • Follow, like and repin companies you would like to work for.
  • Make your own portfolio of pictures or videos that tell about you, your hobbies and interests, your work, and your background. You can also add a link to your LinkedIn profile, for example, or publish the contents of your blog.

Video services such as Youtube and Vimeo

Video services can be used in job search in many ways.

  1. You can search for vacancies that companies publish in form of videos.
  2. You can watch presen­tation videos of inter­esting jobs.
  3. You can search for example videos and instruc­tional videos for writing a CV, for job inter­views, and for job search in general, for example.
  4. You can make your own video CV or a video job appli­cation and share it through the service.
  5. You can present your compe­tence in form of videos and share these videos through the service.
  6. You can also use these video services in video inter­views.

Video contents uploaded in YouTube or Vimeo can also be linked to other social media channels, such as Twitter and LinkedIn. This will make the video easier to be found.

For more infor­mation on making a video CV, see the section Job Search Skills.

LinkedIn

Task 1. Watch the webinar The Linkedin profile – step by step. You need to register with your email address to be able to join the webinar (Momentum project 2021)

In this webinar, Linkedin profile ABC, the best and most practical tips for building a Linkedin presence to attract employers and finding the relevant job oppor­tu­nities from Linkedin’s various types of job postings.

Task 2. Create a LinkedIn profile for yourself using the instruc­tions provided in the webinar.

More about Linkedin

LinkedIn is a social media channel suitable for profes­sional use. It is a versatile channel for job search and networking, since LinkedIn is meant for both employees and employers. Employers, i.e. companies, have company profiles in the service, and jobseekers create their personal profiles in the service.

You should be active on LinkedIn, because the more you use LinkedIn, the wider network you create. In addition, the more you update your profile, the easier it is for potential employers to find you. 

How do I use LinkedIn?

  • In your personal profile, you can tell e.g. about your job search status, contact infor­mation, educa­tional background, your compe­tence, and your work history.
  • The profile infor­mation should be filled in carefully. You should also add a decent, profes­sional profile picture of yourself to your personal profile as well as a cover photo.
  • Summary is one of the most important elements in your profile. It is shown in the profile immedi­ately after your basic infor­mation. The summary should convince the reader and the potential new employer. It is a short adver­tisement where you should write 3-4 of your key compe­tences or the most important achieve­ments in your previous jobs. You can also tell about the types of jobs or positions you are currently applying for.
  • Use keywords or hashtags that describe your interests and compe­tence. Recruiters use them when searching for suitable profiles. In addition, the Skills & Endorse­ments section is an important place for keywords or hashtags that describe your compe­tence. Your own contacts can also recommend you here in this section.
  • On LinkedIn, you should create inter­esting content related to your own compe­tence, such as status updates, articles, group discus­sions, and other comments. This will make you easier to be noticed and increase other people’s awareness of you.
  • Networking is an important part of the service. The size of your network also affects your search results. You should, therefore, network and also accept contact requests from other people than just your friends and acquain­tances. You should also send contact requests to other people, e.g. repre­sen­ta­tives of your field and potential employers. In this case, you should include a personal message to the request. Encourage your network to suggest you suitable jobs they find and ask them to share your profile.
  • Pay attention to the privacy settings on LinkedIn. Check what your public profile looks like, who can see your updates, and what apps appear on your profile.
  • Some companies allow you to apply for jobs directly with your LinkedIn profile, so you may not need any separate appli­cation forms or papers.

Where can I find jobs?

  • On LinkedIn, employees are sought with so-called direct searches, i.e. they are contacted directly on the basis of their profiles, without a separate job advertisement.
  • The focus of recruitment and job search is on the Jobs section, which is a place where vacancies are adver­tised. There you can, for example, search for vacancies based on compe­tence or type of company.
  • In addition, jobs can be found in groups where companies can add job adver­tise­ments free of charge. You can also get good advice for job search in job search groups and in profes­sional groups.
  • Some companies also advertise their jobs through targeted marketing, which are titled “Promoted”.

Source: Käännös. Sujuvat työnhaku­markkinat –hanke (Flexible Job Seeking project). Creative Commons Nimeä-EiKau­pallinen-JaaSamoin 4.0 Kansain­vä­linen -lisenssillä.

Blogs and vlogs

Blogs

A blog gives a more diverse picture of a jobseeker than a tradi­tional CV. By reading one’s blog, the employer can get a lot of infor­mation about the jobseeker quickly and easily. The blog tells, for example, about the employee’s skills, thoughts, experience, IT skills, visual eye, and inter­action skills. Blogging is inter­active, so one purpose of blog posts is to create discussion. Sharing knowledge and experi­ences with readers can bring new perspec­tives and increase one’s profes­sional compe­tence. In addition, the blog allows you to network and make new contacts.

Students at the start of their careers can start blogging with a portfolio blog, for example. A digital or an electronic portfolio differs from so-called tradi­tional portfolios only in terms of imple­men­tation; it is an electronic collection of work samples. The blog can also include school assign­ments or your own thoughts and experi­ences about studies as well as the field you are studying. A portfolio blog can contain text, sound, images, video, and animations.

More experi­enced jobseekers can have a so-called expert blog for showing their expertise through publi­ca­tions. The publi­ca­tions deal with topics or issues related to the field, solve customers’ problems, or provide guidance on how to use products.

Blog tools include 

Vlogs

Instead of a tradi­tional blog, you can keep a vlog (video blog/video diary). The idea of vlogging is the same as in a blog, but the vlogger publishes videos instead of writings. Videos are usually published on YouTube, where vloggers who publish videos are also called YouTubers.

Tips for vlogging:

  • Plan your videos in advance
  • Keep your videos short
  • Learn how to edit your videos, you do not have to shoot every­thing at once
  • Follow other YouTubers
  • Finnish YouTubers: https://vlogit.fi/

Employer and recruitment on social media

An employer uses social media to market itself as an employer. On social media, you can get relevant infor­mation on current issues in companies and in the field as a whole. Employees are often sought with keywords “a good guy” or “a suitable person”. By following companies on social media, you can get an idea of ​​what kind of employees the company is looking for or what kind of company culture or atmos­phere the workplace has. Do the employees partic­ipate in sports events together? By observing this type of things, you can see whether there are sporty employees working in that company and whether they value people who take good care of themselves. Do the employees spend time with each other in their free time? If they do, the employees are likely to be social people who get along with each other. You can think about yourself and the qualities you have; are you suitable for that particular company, would you fit in with others, and would you enjoy their company in shared occasions?

Job adver­tise­ments on social media

Many companies advertise their vacancies through their social media profiles. Such publi­ca­tions may also provide you with tips on jobs that are not publicly adver­tised or actively marketed. It is, therefore, advisable to follow inter­esting companies and potential employers on social media, even if job search is not topical for you at the moment.

Companies can also buy ads that appear on e.g. Facebook and Instagram as sponsored job advertisements.

Adver­tise­ments are targeted, which means that they appear to the users of the service according to certain criteria, such as location or education. You should, therefore, check that your personal infor­mation is correct and up-to-date, so that job adver­tise­ments will be visible for you.

Task 3: Search for potential employers in social media channels. In which channels can you find the potential employer you are inter­ested in? You can search for companies’ social media profiles even if you are not a user of that service yourself by just googling e.g. “Company name + Twitter”.

Think about the image you get of the company and its work culture. How do they describe themselves? Do the publi­ca­tions have infor­mation about the employees and what kind of an image do you get of them? How well would you fit in with them, what do you have in common?

Reputation on social media

What kind of an image do the social media services you use give about you?

A decent, up-to-date profile and active partic­i­pation in discus­sions in the field reinforce the image of a good and profes­sional employee. If you keep trolling and complaining on the internet and try to annoy other people on purpose, it gives a negative image of you that is impos­sible to be turned into a positive one anymore.

Checklist for your own social media image

  • Check the photos you publish of yourself. What kind of a first impression do they give about you? What does the cover photo tell about your life?
  • Post relevant comments on public forums.
  • Help and guide others – this will bring out your expertise in the field and create a positive image of you. Who knows, maybe someone mentions your name to an employer?

Tips for photos used in job search

  • You can take the photo with your mobile phone – you can also edit it with the image editing software on your mobile phone, if needed.
  • Crop the image; it should only show your face or your face and upper part of the body – avoid full-body shots.
  • Make sure the background is tidy and calm and that your face stands out from the background.
  • A good photo is sharp. You can put the camera on the shelf to take a picture of yourself.
  • The best light for taking photos is natural light. Bright sunlight does not give the best results and a dark photo gives an unpro­fes­sional impression of you.
  • Make sure the photo and its lines are straight.
  • Avoid overly artistic filters, frames and effects.
  • The photo repre­sents you and the repre­sen­ta­tives of the company look at it to decide whether you could represent them and their values​. Thus, does your photo suit well with the image of the company you are applying for?
  • Think about the direction the photo is taken from – should it be taken from the bottom, top, side, or front?
  • Your person­ality and style can and should show in the photo but remember a profes­sional touch.
  • Forget “duckfaces” and too revealing photos – they are not part of job search!
  • Take a photo that gives the employer a positive image of you.
  • Do not give up if the first photos are not successful. Take some more or ask someone else to take it for you.
  • Ask other people to comment on your photos; what is the best photo in their opinion?
  • Keep your profile and basics infor­mation up-to-date
  • Make sure that the public infor­mation on your profile is correct and up-to-date and can be browsed by potential employers. Are the photos you have published suitable for your future employer to see? When your infor­mation on Facebook, for example, is correct (e.g. place of residence, education), you will receive targeted job ads (sponsored ads) directly to your news feed.
  • Show own person­ality and compe­tence on social media
  • Publish samples of your work and photos and videos of your hobbies and interests on your profile. Potential employers may come across with your content and become inter­ested in you. You should also attach links to your job search-related social media profiles in your email signature when emailing about jobs.
  • Be active in job search
  • Check the social media channels of different job search services every day.
  • Browse through the websites and read publi­ca­tions of inter­esting companies regularly.
  • Like the social media sites and publi­ca­tions of potential employers.
  • Show your activity and compe­tence by getting involved in discussions.
  • Use search functions and hashtags.
  •  
  • Use your networks
  • Be open about your job search on social media.
  • Ask your friends, acquain­tances, and relatives for infor­mation about vacancies suitable for you.
  • Post an open job appli­cation on your social media profiles indicating infor­mation on the type of job you are looking for and ask your network to share it.
  • Join job search groups and profes­sional groups.


    Finally: Be yourself and trust yourself!

Source: Käännös. Sujuvat työnhaku­markkinat –hanke (Flexible Job Seeking project). Creative Commons Nimeä-EiKau­pallinen-JaaSamoin 4.0 Kansain­vä­linen -lisenssillä