Most likely, in some way or another, you are dabbing into a form of social technology for your personal enjoyment such as chatting to friends on Facebook, watching a video on Youtube, following some news on Twitter or looking at photos on Instagram. You may even have a LinkedIn account for professional networking. However, with social collaboration and social technologies changing the world in which we live, there are opportunities to develop your career like never before.
Embracing technology and taking advantage of online social tools can allow you to leverage off potential career opportunities that previously didn’t exist. For most people, when looking for their next career opportunity this means scrolling through various mainstream job boards in search of new roles. This approach to job searching is very limited to the positions being advertised on those sites at the time you are looking at them. In reality, you are only scratching the surface of using the web for your job search.
Job searching today is more than job alerts, searching company websites or browsing job boards for opportunities. It is about being proactive by reaching out to your professional network and with potential employers to seek opportunities that match the skills and experiences you have developed throughout your career.
So, how do you do this?
Let’s review the main sites to assist you in your job search.
The first place to start is to start using LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking site, however, LinkedIn is more than simply identifying, connecting and growing your network. Use LinkedIn to explore job roles, research individual’s career history, identify and research company and organisation pages, search for job opportunities and join industry group and discussion boards.
LinkedIn is perfect for being proactive and targeting future employers and hiring managers in your industry and area of expertise.
The world’s largest personal social networking site is also the dominant form of social media presence for businesses as well. Companies are realising the value of Facebook and promoting opportunities and company updates through their company pages. Like and follow your dream companies for potential opportunities.
You don’t have to be tweeting to gain value from Twitter. Companies and employees are using Twitter to share information about their business including job opportunities. Use Twitter to follow key industry partners for news and stay up-to-date with industry developments.
YouTube is the second largest search engine on the web (2nd to Google). Companies are increasingly using YouTube to reach out to potential employees though their company channels to share videos on company culture and benefits, key projects and success stories, employee testimonials and recruitment opportunities.
These are the main social networks for you to consider in your next job search. It is important to take your time in browsing through the sites that are relevant for you. It is not possible to be active on every social site so choose which ones are most appropriate for you and your career.
A good starting point is to search for the people, positions or companies that relate to your passions, interests and experiences. From your wider search you can begin to target employers and hiring managers directly and be proactive to find your next job opportunity.
Remember, social networks are exactly that, social. Interact, engage and don’t be afraid to reach out to people who will be able to help you in your search. You will be pleasantly surprised with what the web can offer in terms of developing your career.
David Scoppa is a Redeployment & Career Development Adviser at the University of Sydney where he supports a diverse range of academic and professional staff members. He has a passion for social networks, collaboration and proactive career development/transition programs. His personal career transition journey has taken him from teaching snowboarding to career coaching and he has completed studies in HR and Career Education.
Contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @davidscoppa.