[Guest Post] 5 Ways Social Media Can Help the Application Process

Today’s your lucky day, because our friends at Viralheat are back with advice on using social media to make your job hunt less daunting and more fruitful in the new year.

Happy 2014!

Finding a job in 2014 is a lot more fun than it used to be. Nowadays, there are dozens of avenues you can take to get the job of your dreams. No more traveling from place to place with a stack of resumes in hand, hoping it falls into the hands of the hiring manager. With social media, the application process is much simpler. From searching for a job to researching a potential fit, all can be done from the comfort of your computer. Below are 5 easy ways social media can help the application process.

  1. Find the Job

    Looking for the right job for you can be tough. Gone are the days opening the ‘want’ ads and circling the job listings that appeal to you. Today, employers list open positions on their website where you can also apply right away online. This can be a cumbersome task if you’re going from site to site and checking career openings. Luckily, there are dozens of sites dedicated to helping you find job openings that fit your skills. You also no longer need a hard resume as your experience can be put on the web for potential employers to see. The largest of these strategic social networking sites is LinkedIn. When you create an account and upload your resume and job history, you can begin to navigate the largest professional social network out there. Companies who are hiring often post their open positions on LinkedIn, hoping to find the perfect fit for business. Moreover, LinkedIn allows you to stay connected with peers in your industry in case they are aware of open positions or their company is hiring. But make sure you fill out your LinkedIn profile completely, as having a robust profile will make you very enticing to headhunters. If you are detailed enough, you could be receiving job offers without even looking.

    If you’re not active on LinkedIn, 1) you should be! and 2) there are other options to finding a job using social networks. Recruiters and HR personnel have other ways to list openings to ensure they are reaching a vast talent pool. Many business openings are found on social networks by using hashtags or specific key phrases. Using a social media monitoring tool like Viralheat allows job seekers to track hashtags and phrases like: #hiring, #job, ‘employment opportunity’ or other keywords and phrases relating to your specific industry.

  2. Research the Job

    After you’ve found a job that you like, it’s best to be informed about the company. That means not only knowing about the product, but also the company culture. What does the company do? How does the company interact with its employees? An inviting and lively company culture attracts more applicants than a company with no culture.

    A great way to see how a company operates is through their social networks. Find the company’s Twitter and Facebook profiles to learn more about the business, the kind of messages they send to their audiences, and what the audiences are saying about the brand. Take a look at its website and read its blog to see what issue areas the business is focused on. Does the business have an Instagram account? Take a look through the photos and videos to get a great view into company events and lifestyle.

  3. Reach Out

    Now that you found the company’s social presence, don’t be a lurker. Interact with the content the company is publishing. Like, comment, retweet, and favorite interesting posts. You will be noticed. The company’s team is watching and will take notice of a positive response on their social networks. Not only will this please people at the company, but it will also show you are interested and willing to go the extra mile for the job. Being a positive influence on the company before you even walk into the interview can help you secure the interview, and maybe even the position.

  4. Sift through the Bad Ones

    If you’re actively searching for a job, you know how many job positions are open. At times, you’ve already gone through pages of listings and submitted tons of applications. But along with the high number of resumes you’ve sent out, a handful are bound to fall into the hands of a bad business. Don’t be left uninformed about the companies you’ve applied for – a job that may look nice at first glance could, in reality, be a nightmare. This nightmare could manifest in a number of ways: bad management, terrible work hours, or mistreatment of employees.

    In your research of the company, it’s best practice to take a look at what other people are saying about the business. There are many sites out there that are dedicated (Glassdoor, for example) to providing as much information into a company as possible, including reviews. You can learn from others who have first hand accounts about company life, work ethic, and more. Take into consideration all of the feedback (positive and negative) a company has received to see if the business still appeals to you. Chances are if there is an overwhelming majority of either positive or negative reviews, your job experience with that company will follow a similar pattern.

  5. Reach Out for References and Referrals

    One of social media’s biggest benefits is the ability to stay in touch with people. Keeping in touch with former colleagues and peers is a major benefit when you’re in the job hunt. Contact your former coworkers through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and ask them to be references for you. You can also ask them if they are aware of any open positions that fit you. These are people who have worked with you directly so you know they can accurately speak to your work ethic and capabilities. If you’re on LinkedIn, ask former supervisors, managers, and colleagues to endorse your skills and write you a review so when potential employers look up your profile, they get an accurate glimpse into your abilities.

    Take these 5 tips into consideration when you’re in the job hunt. As all job seekers know, job hunting is a full-time job in itself. Using social media, however, can take some of the pain away. Your ideal job is out there so take these tips and go find it.

    This guest post was written by Jeff Anaya. Jeff is part of the marketing team with Viralheat, the social media marketing suite for business. When he’s not talking, writing, or researching about the growing world of social media marketing, you can find him quoting movies from the 90s, podcasting at a pirate radio station in San Francisco’s Mission District, or planning a road trip. You can tweet him at @jeffanaya, add him to your Google+ circle, or email him at [email protected].


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