3 Ways Military Can Use Social Media to Find a Civilian Job
Today’s job market is incredibly competitive and most people find it difficut to know where to begin their job search. Looking for a job can be overwhelming with all of the options: newspaper classifieds, online job boards, employment agencies, referrals from friends or family, and on and on.
But there is an often over-looked avenue that is becoming more effective: social media.
With the advancement of social media, job hunting is evolving. In the early stages of your job hunt, you can use social media:
- As part of your web persona
- To network with others
- To find unique job listings
Most job seekers are aware of, and possibly using, online job boards such as Monster, CareerBuilder and Indeed. But many employers have moved towards using social media to find and recruit employees.
89% of companies in the US planned to use social media for recruiting in 2011, according to Jobvite. The Jobvite Index found that 73% of social media hires came from LinkedIn, 20% from Facebook, and 7% from Twitter in the last six months. The biggest social media newcomer is Pinterest, and time will tell if it can also successfully be used by job recruiters and job seekers.
For now, let’s see how you can use each of the big three social media sites in your job search…
As of March 31st, LinkIn has 161 members in more than 200 countries and territories, making it the world’s largest professional network. Job hunters should consider how much value there is in joining such a large network. LinkedIn reports that more than 2 million companies have a LinkedIn company page and that executives from all 2011 Fortune 500 companies are members. Anyone can follow a company, so job seekers can follow and then network with the people in the position of hiring.
The now publicly-owned Facebook reportedly has 901 million monthly active users, 300 photos uploaded each day and 125 billion friendships. With such a large user base, it makes perfect sense for businesses to post jobs on their company pages and screen candidates based on their profiles. There are some controversial practices, such as some employers asking for an individual’s Facebook password to check their private connections and activities, but for the most part, employers consider Facebook to be an invaluable tool in their recruitment process by getting information out to the most people possible.
Most people have heard about Twitter, even if they still don’t understand it or how it can be a useful social medium. One simple way to make it work for you is to follow companies in which you have an interest. Although tweets are short, maxed at 140 characters, employers will tweet links to job postings with a description, requirements and an actual web application form. Another useful tool on Twitter that few people know about is TwitJobSearch. It searches for and collects all jobs posted on Twitter so you can get directly to the information you really want. There is even a 22-minute webinar that shows how one job huter “hustled a job interview” in real-time using Twitter.
One word of warning when using social media to find a job is that you need to have a professional profile on each site and take down or hide information and images you wouldn’t want on open display to a potential employer. Regardless of which traditional methods you use to find a job, adding social media to your arsenal will increase your chances of landing an interview.