The social scene has changed. And the work world has evolved with it. In the not too distant past, organizations operating on both sides of the border had the upper hand when hiring. Yet, times have changed. With more open jobs than there are people to fill them, candidates now have the advantage of choosing how and where they want to work – forcing recruiters and hiring managers to get creative (and more social) in their searches.
So, if you’re online, they’re going to find you-- even if you aren’t looking. Eighty-four per cent of organizations are using social media to source candidates, 9 per cent are planning on using it, and 82 per cent successfully use social to recruit passive candidates.
Unsurprisingly, LinkedIn is still the most-used channel in social sourcing. With more than 20 million companies listed on the site and 14 million open jobs, 90 per cent of recruiters regularly use the platform to find what they’re looking for.
And if you’re strategic in your job search, you can too. Here’s how:
Career experts at LinkedIn agree that the most successful way to find a job on their platform is through a referral from one of your connections who already works at the organization you want to work at. In fact, once you've asked for a referral and applied for the job, you're 4X more likely to hear back from a recruiter at that company. LinkedIn recently launched an Ask for a Referral tool directly on the platform to help you make it happen.
If you can’t find a common connection for a referral, you can still find ways to build clout and connect with employers by joining groups. Once you've joined one or some, share and comment on content with insights that add value to the conversation -- demonstrating the knowledge and experience you have on the topics that matter to the people you want to connect with. You can also search for specific members or browse groups related to your fields of interest.
Following organizations of interest
Following organizations you’re interested in allows you to not only receive job alerts when they’re hiring, it also gives you access to their content where you can keep up to date with company news and announcements, and where you can also engage with their content.
Career interests section
Within your LinkedIn dashboard, you can also use the “career interests” section to let recruiters know you’re open to new opportunities. This also makes your profile more searchable. Your career interests will help determine what jobs you’re recommended for, so be strategic in your choices.
Job search tool
LinkedIn’s search and advanced search functions make it easy to find people and apply to job openings. However, before you hit the one-click submit button, ensure your previous and current work experience sections are updated to reflect your current resume. Otherwise, it may raise experience red flags.
Optimize your profile with a hard hitting headline that describes who you are and what you do—then elevate the rest of the content with keywords related to the job field you’re interested in. This is also how recruiters and hiring managers will find your profile.
Job alert options
LinkedIn has recently made some changes to its job alert tool by adding more filtering options. Now, you can also target specific organizations. Once you’ve signed up for job alerts, you will receive tailored opportunities once a day or once a week.
Reaching out directly
You can also request to connect directly with recruiters and hiring managers at organizations you're interested in; however, be mindful of how you approach them! Although LinkedIn will sometimes generate a greeting for you, never use these templates in your job search! Instead, include a short, personalized note that includes why you’re looking to connect. To really stand out from the crowd, look through their LinkedIn profile for a personal detail or shared connection that you can reference.
It’s important to note that while social media can help your job search, it can also hinder it. While you’re networking and connecting on LinkedIn, make sure you’re also doing a social sweep of your other platforms to remove any content that may be deemed inappropriate by the three out of four recruiters who are checking them out!