Importance of Social Networks in Finding a Job
Social networks have grown at a staggering pace over the past few years and are a critical factor in helping you get a job in Canada. Most companies will now research the profiles of potential candidates on various social networks like Linked In and Facebook. They are checking to make sure that the candidate is good and there is nothing he/she has done or said in the past that would harm the company. It is sort of like an informal reference check.
Recruiters are also scouring the social networks looking for potential candidates they can approach for job opportunities. So it is very important for you to be on these social networks, and more importantly make a good impression of yourself with your profile.
The first thing you need to do is to set up an account on Linked In, if you have not already. Since it is a social network focused on making professional connections, it is important to be there if you are actively searching for a job. If you already have a profile, review it carefully to make sure it is up to date. You should have all the information and achievement statements that you have in your resume put up on your profile on Linked In. And make sure you upload a formal photograph that clearly shows your face. The age of anonymity on the internet is gone. You need to show who you really are to come across as genuine.
As part of building your profile, connect with all your past colleagues and ask them for a recommendation of your work. These positive recommendations appear as part of your profile and help project a positive image of you. When you ask for recommendations, you need to send it to people who have worked closely with you so that they can write with substance. Don’t ask for recommendations from people that you have worked with very briefly or too long ago. They will either ignore your request or will not know what to say. Also, people don’t have time to think of all your contributions. So when asking for recommendation, you may want to make a draft of what you would like the person to say and send it to them. This makes their job easier as they can edit it as they see fit and then post the recommendation for you.
You need to start building your connections on Linked In very actively. The more people you are connected with, the closer you will be to the hiring manager that will give you a job. A good way to connect with people who you don’t know is to join industry specific groups. This way you will be able to send invitations to group members. You can also look for people that work for the companies you are targeting and sending them invitations to connect.
Make sure you purge everything on your profile on all your social networks that portray you negatively, e.g. a photo of you drunk at a bar or any suggestive photos. Clean out posts that are about politics, religion or any other controversial topic. These are red flags and companies are shy away from candidates that publicly talk about such things.
The last thing on social networks is that they can be a great source to look for jobs. I have seen may jobs posted on Linked In that say they are exclusively advertised on Linked In only. Therefore, these jobs are not posted on job portals at all. So you will need to start making it a routine to also check social networks like Linked In for jobs that you can apply to.