Take a moment to picture your dream job. Imagine what your life would be like if you had this job. Now ask yourself, why don’t you have that job now?
What if we told you that all of the reasons you aren’t waking up in the morning excited to head to your dream job can be overcome with social media? Your lack of connections, bad luck or competition with other candidates are no match for the power of social media. Don’t believe us? Look how social media helped Nina Mufleh land her dream job at Airbnb.
With no direct connections to Airbnb, Nina was able to attract the attention of the CEO and CMO at Airbnb. Not bad, huh? Inspired by stories like Nina’s, we decided to create a guide to landing your dream job with social media. If you are ready to take a big step towards your dreams, keep reading.
Social Media Recruiting Statistics
94% of recruiters are active on LinkedIn, but only 36% of candidates are. (Jobvite)
55% of hiring managers have reconsidered a candidate based on what they found on their social media accounts. (Social Talent)
73% of 18-34 year olds found their last job through a social network. (Aberdeen Group)
21% of candidates say they found their favorite or best job through a social network. (Jobvite)
Step 1: Evaluate Your Social Presence
The first thing you will want to do is analyze your current social media presence. Does it represent you well or poorly? Social media is one of the first places a prospective employer will go to learn more about you. A few tips to improve your presence are:
– Remove any updates that are unprofessional: It is time to remove the epic frat party picture from college. It might have got a lot of likes then, but it won’t win over many potential employers.
– Analyze who you are following/the pages you like: Facebook has been around for over 11 years now. Other popular social networks aren’t far behind. You might be surprised to see that some of the pages you liked when you were younger are still liked today. Even if you never visit these pages or engage with the posts, they might look bad to a potential employer. Don’t let your early 2000s self ruin your ability to land your dream job now.
Step 2: Identify Dream Job Opportunities
This step is where you identify actual job opportunities that would fall into the “dream job” category. Websites like Monster and Indeed make it easy to find thousands of jobs, so finding potential jobs should be easy.
It is important to identify actual jobs instead of simply saying: my dream job is to be a social media manager at a startup. This is way too broad and will make optimizing your presence and leveraging the power of social media difficult. We recommend you find at least 10 job listings that fit your “dream job” criteria. Once you have this list put together you will be ready for step 3.
Step 3: Research The Industry
With your list of job positions in hand it is time to take advantage of the massive amount of information available on social media. We always recommend that you start by analyzing the job listings themselves. Figure out what the common skills are that each job requires and write them down.
Next, hop on social media and do a keyword search for those skills. Immediately you will find people currently working in those types of jobs, article shared about those skills and companies within that field (more potential employers, so keep an eye out).
If you fear that you do not have the expertise required for your dream job, you might remain on step 3 for a while. Don’t get discouraged. This will be time well spent. Spend it consuming information shared by experts, connecting with them and seeking potential mentorship opportunities. Remember, one of the fastest ways to learn is with the help of someone who has already done it. Swallow your pride and ask a few people if they would be willing to help you. It will surprise you how many people will be more than happy to share knowledge about a topic they are truly passionate about (for free).
Once you have done your research, have made some connections and are confident that you know what employers will be looking for, it is time to put the finishing touches on your social presence.
Step 4: Update Your LinkedIn With Specific Keywords
In step 1 you cleaned up your social presence to get rid of old, non-professional content. During step 3 you began engaging with knowledgeable individuals, while reading and sharing relevant content. Without even realizing it you have begun to build a personal brand that reflects yourself as a thought leader in your professional space. All of which is impressive to potential employers.
You may think that you are ready to start applying for jobs, but you would be skipping a few important steps. The next of which is to include important keywords in your LinkedIn profile. The good news is you already know these keywords from step 3 (the common skills each job listing mentioned). These words and skills are what employers are looking for, so imagine how good your LinkedIn profile will look if all of them are included in your job experience. You start looking like the perfect job candidate.
Step 5: Research The Key Decision Makers At Each Company
This step is crucial and often skipped by job seekers. If you are lucky enough to get an interview for a “dream position”, it is very important that you make the most of it. In preparation for your interview you should use social media to research the key decision makers at the companies you plan to apply to.
Who are these people? It could be the CEO or co-founders, it could be the people who will likely interview you or maybe even your future superior, based on the type of job you are applying for. As you can see from the quote above, caring about someone else is the best way to get them interested in you. Social media is a perfect (and free) way to learn more about people before you even meet them. Use this information to your advantage when the time comes to rock your interview.
Step 6: Connect With Key Decision Makers On Social Media
So you have begun researching the key decision makers at each company. Make sure you connect with them as well! Imagine if your resume ends up on their desk along with several other final candidates. If they recognize your name you will be at a major advantage compared to other candidates who have not made the prior connection.
Step 7: Create A Stellar Paper Resume
The paper resume may be dying, but as of now it is still widely used. With this in mind, it is time to create a great paper resume. Be sure to include the URL information for your social networks, LinkedIn especially, so it is easy for them to find your optimized profiles. For more information on how to write a stellar resume, check out this brief video put together by Harvard:
Step 8: Rock Your Interview(s) and Land The Job
The big day is finally here! That’s right, it is time to rock your interview and land your dream job. Take a look back at all the hard work that got you to this point. You started with a dream, cleaned up your social presence, identified real job opportunities, did your research and now you are more than ready.
Social media is a powerful way to interact and connect with others, but you should never underestimate the power of the free information available. Equipped with a computer, an internet connection and a little patience, you learn a lot about people, businesses, jobs or industries as a whole.
If you found this post useful, please share it with a current job seeker. Who knows, you might help them make a dream come true.
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