15 Tips for Using LinkedIn and Facebook to Find a New Job

15 Tips for Using LinkedIn and Facebook to Find a New Job was originally published on Vault.

Today, recruiters and hiring managers are increasingly using social networks to find talent. This is why it's essential to have a professional social media presence if you're in the market for a new job (and important to manage the privacy settings on your social accounts you don't want recruiters and hiring managers to see). Below are some general tips for using social media to job search, along with specific job-search tips for using LinkedIn and Facebook.

General tips

1. Put your personality on display

In addition to your educational background and professional experience, hiring managers and recruiters are interested in your lifestyle, hobbies, and the media you consume—such as books and articles in your field of work or study. At best, this type of personal information can be a decisive element for recruiters when deciding between candidates. And at least, being present on a social network and showcasing your personality and what makes you unique will allow recruiters to know more about you.

2. Search for and connect with employers

Social media is a great place to discover new employers and connect with them. For example, start-ups and tech companies are usually very present on social networks. Don’t hesitate to send a short message or interact with companies that interest you via their social feeds. Maybe, someday, you'll see a job opening at one of these firms, which could lead to an interview and ultimately a great job offer.

3. Cultivate relationships

Being present on social networks allows you to connect with other people and widen your professional circle. For example, a company where one of your followers or contacts work might be looking for someone like you. So, don’t hesitate to use your networks to promote yourself. Specify in your profile and posts that you're looking for a job and interact with your contacts on the possibility of new professional opportunities.

4. Highlight your skills

Through social media posts, you can show off what makes you unique compared to other candidates. So, don't be afraid to show off your skills. For example, you might be able to highlight your writing skills, or video editing skills, or just your strong aesthetic. Whatever your skill set is, don't be afraid to highlight it on all your social feeds. Social media is a great place to demonstrate your knowledge and experience. And this can go a long way toward strengthening your applications.

5. Engage with employers' feeds

In addition to managing your own social feeds, it can be helpful for your job search to engage with employers' social accounts. A great and easy way to do this is to comment on employers' social posts. Of course, you want your comments to be supportive, not critical. And you don't want to talk about yourself in the comments. But commenting positively on employer posts from time to time (that is, don't overdo it!) will increase your visibility, getting across your interest in an employer and that you share its values.

LinkedIn tips

1. Let it be known that you're looking for a job

First of all, if you’re looking for a job, make sure to let recruiters and your network know on LinkedIn that you’re open to new career opportunities. If you indicate which job offers you're interested in and your preferred location, LinkedIn will ensure that your profile is found in search queries when recruiters are looking for suitable candidates.

2. Expand your network

Widening your networking will improve your chances of landing informational interviews and job interviews. So, make sure to connect with fellow students, colleagues, friends, clients, and partners.

3. Make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile are in sync

Since recruiters use professional social networks to verify information, make sure your LinkedIn profile doesn't contradict your resume—dates, names, and all other type of information should be similar. Also, make sure your profile is updated to show your recent jobs and education. And if you don't know where to start when it comes to creating or updating your resume, you can always enlist resume writing platforms to help.

4. Be active

Don't just sit around and wait for recruiters to reach out. Instead, share photos, articles, and social posts that you think are relevant and interesting. Or publish content yourself such as a blog on a topic in your field to highlight your expertise and improve your visibility. At the very least, make sure to link to any outside portfolio or blog that you host.

5. Add keywords to your experience and skills

Don’t forget that recruiters look for profiles with certain keyword searches. “Recruiters now use LinkedIn like Google,” says Fabi Gylgonyl from International SEO Agency. The precise title of your position, your skills, or the software that you master will improve the overall visibility of your profile.

Facebook tips

1. Tidy up your public posts

Even if you already know this, it's worth repeating since it's so important: Don't make intimate, personal photos or political tweets public on Facebook. Recruiters can, in fact, eliminate your job application if they consider that you're posting inappropriately. So, scrub your public profile until it's squeaky clean.

2. Join discussion groups and subscribe to influencer profiles

There are many Facebook communities that help its members find jobs. For example, if you want to work in the EU, the European Employment Community is a very helpful community to join. There are tons of other similar employment related pages on Facebook. Also, it's a good idea to subscribe to influencer profiles in your industry. This will help you stay informed about market trends and help you position yourself better within your industry.

3. Check out the photos on the pages of employers you're interested in

The pictures on a company's Facebook page say a lot about the company's working atmosphere and culture. They might be able to tell you whether the company has a congenial, open working atmosphere or not. And they will likely tell you how a company's office looks. In addition, the clothing style of employees in the pictures will likely tell you whether the company has a more relaxed and casual dress code, or a more strict and formal code. This will further help inform you about the culture and help you determine how to dress for job interviews with the company.

4. Check out the posts on company pages

On Facebook, companies will often highlight the projects they're currently working on. Can you imagine working on one of these projects yourself? If so, you might've found a match. If not, you'll have saved yourself a lot of time by not pursuing a job with the company. Also, companies will often post about their values and missions on Facebook. You can use this information to help you write your cover letters and prepare for interviews. If the company puts a lot of emphasis on serving its communities and on its social commitment, you could emphasize in your application that this means a lot to you, too, and impresses you. You could also speak to the role you’d like to play in the company's mission, showing that you’re aligned with the company's culture and goals.

5. Pay close attention to how a company deals with criticism

How companies deal with negative comments on Facebook says a lot about their ability to accept criticism and their culture. Is there room for open dialogue? Is criticism taken seriously? Is criticism welcome? A company's corporate culture is clearly evident in its communication with Facebook followers. Closely looking at this communication will help you weed out employers you don’t want to work for, while pointing you in the direction of what could be your dream employer.

Gabi Casin has many years of freelance writing and research experience in educational and career topics. She has a masters degree in European Studies from the Liverpool John Moores University and has worked for the European Commission on various educational projects.