Market Overview

Targeted Networking on LinkedIn and Twitter for Job Seekers

The job hunters of today have to seek out helpful human connections, making the old saying, “It’s who you know as much as what you know” more important than ever.

This is where social networking sites like LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD) and Twitter come in. Done right, that process involves networking. It isn’t enough to mail out a bunch of resumes, sit back, and wait for an interview.

According to GlassDoor, six years ago 78 percent of recruiters used social media as part of their recruiting strategy. Today that number is 94 percent. Job seekers who fail to maximize their use of social media are missing an important part of today’s job search market.

Some of the tips GlassDoor offered for networking on Twitter and LinkedIn were:

Direct Contact

Find out who does the hiring at a company, follow them on Twitter, and connect with them on LinkedIn.

Don’t Overreach

Don’t ask for a job immediately. It’s OK to make it clear you are interested in employment in that industry but, unless you have responded to a specific job posting already, use the connection as a way to introduce yourself and communicate.

Interview Follow-up

Don’t abandon the use of social media once you have had an interview. Keep in mind that 94 percent of recruiters (employers) use social media. Make their job easier by staying in touch.

Professional Connections

Connect with people currently in the type of job you want. In other words, don’t just connect with the person doing the hiring.

Seek Information

Ask these professionals about the work they do. This is important research and shows your interest in that job market.

Be Accessible

Make yourself easy to search. Set up your LinkedIn and Twitter profiles so your training, experience, and interest are clear.

Use Keywords

Strong job-related keywords in your profile draw attention to you and your interest in targeted industries.

Know the Culture

Once you investigate the culture of companies in which you are interested, align yourself through your social media profiles.

In addition, Social Media Examiner pointed out the importance of not just searching for people. LinkedIn’s Company Search feature provides a targeted method for zeroing in on a specific industry or market space.

Things to remember when using Company Search include:

  • Narrow your search by location, industry, and size.
  • Expand the network with “view all x people” and “shared connections.” Connect to these people.
  • Search for blogs and other postings by your connections as a way of learning more.
  • Read profiles and look for common interests, hobbies, and other connections.
  • Engage with your network by promoting, referring, and endorsing.
  • Send news and information to your connections – not just about you but also about the industry in which you both have an interest.
  • Update your LinkedIn status frequently – even daily. This puts your name in front of people on a regular basis.

While LinkedIn is considered a professional networking tool, Twitter sometimes is neglected. All Twitter offered several ways in which this popular social network could also help you locate and secure a new position.

Related: The Government Shutdown Could Derail Twitter IPO

Identify

Find the right people to follow on Twitter by using the “Who to Follow” tool. Ask those you already follow for their suggestions. Other tools such as “Follow Friday and “Just Tweet It” are also helpful.

Update Your Profile

Make sure those who follow you can easily find out who you are by keeping your bio, profile, and picture up to date, relevant, and complete.

Avoid Rookie Mistakes

Pictures should be professional looking. Don’t neglect to post a bio – surprisingly, many people do. Avoid self-serving or sarcastic tweets. Do not tweet too frequently. Contant, hourly tweets can be annoying – unless you have something important to share.

Think Like a Follower

Read your own tweets. Are they pushy, sales-oriented, or sarcastic? If so, dial it back. Consider the point of view of your readers. If a conversation needs to be extended, suggest it be done via IM or email.

Retweet

Forward the words of others with  a comment from you. They will be flattered and you are effectively showing that you are a team player.

Ask Questions

A tweet doesn’t have to be a statement. Asking a general question invokes responses from others. People love to be part of a conversation. While you are at it, retweet answers to your questions.

Make Introductions

As part of the process of networking with others, introduce people in your network to each other. It will be helpful to them and might lead to a conversation that helps you.

The process of finding a job has always had a social element to it. The rise of social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn has simply added an online face to this age-old process. Make use of it and you will multiply your chances of a successful job search many times over.

At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco had no position in any mentioned securities.

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