In previous posts we discussed the importance of tapping into your network as part of your job search. With the creation of social media, networking is increasingly happening online. According to an Ipsos Reid survey conducted in July 2011, approximately 86% of Canadians aged 18 to 34 and 62% of those aged 35 to 54 on the internet had a social network profile. Today, approximately 7 million Canadians use the professional social network LinkedIn and this number is increasing. That is a lot of people in a network!
If you use social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, you may communicate with more people online than you actually do in person. This means that if you are a job seeker, your online social network may be one of your greatest assets! Those people you are connected to could be your link to your next amazing job. They are more than friends and former colleagues, they are contacts with a wealth of knowledge and connections that may lead you to your next job.
When using social media, consider the strengths of each platform and what job search opportunities they present. For example, Facebook’s notes feature can inform your friends that you are looking for work and what specifically you are looking for. Through LinkedIn you can view the profiles of people you are targeting and see common connections between you and them. Your Twitter followers may not be people you know, but they likely share common interests with you and therefore would be interested in or have contacts in sectors you are targeting. Don’t forget Facebook’s and LinkedIn’s “status update” features are a broadcast system you can use to inform those you are connected with that you are seeking employment and how you are progressing in your search.
You may find it beneficial to meet up with some of your contacts in safe public places such as at job fairs, evening networking events and special community events. Let people know which events you plan to attend and invite them. The more you do this, the more often your connections will think of you when other special events or even job opportunities arise.
Social media is a wonderful networking resource that can aid you with your job search. Whether you are just starting or are an experienced user, you can get more online networking ideas through one of our three employment services offices.