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How to Leverage Social Media in Your Remote Job Search

How to Leverage Social Media in Your Remote Job Search

Social media has become a part of our day-to-day lives. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, social media has become a way to stay in touch with our friends, family, and colleagues. Additionally, social media is also an invaluable job search tool with 79% of job applicants using social media and 1 in 10 actually finding their job through social media. On the other side of the coin, recruiters and hiring managers increasingly rely on social media with 70% saying they’ve successfully hired and 71% reporting they saved both time and money using social media for recruitment. If you’re searching for a remote job, leverage social media in your remote job search to get results. Here’s how.

Benefits of Social Media as a Remote Job Search Strategy

Social media and remote work

The strategic and appropriate use of social media can help your job search in a variety of ways:

Increase Your Visibility to Recruiters and Potential Employers

Active social media accounts will come up first for most people when they are Googled. Therefore, you should check what search results come up when you enter your name. Chances are it’s your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook page, or all three. This is your opportunity to wow your future employers.

For some, the idea that hiring managers are evaluating you based on your social media presence is unsettling. However, it’s a fact of our modern life and not having a social media presence isn’t the solution either according to a 2018 nation-wide survey conducted by CareerBuilder. This survey of over 1,000 hiring managers and human resources professionals found that 47% of employers are less likely to contact a candidate if they have no online presence.

Provide Hiring Managers and Recruiters the Opportunity to Learn More About You

By adding genuine and thoughtful content to your social media profiles and posts, you have an opportunity to make a positive impression with potential employers. The CareerBuilder study cited above also asked employers what they are looking for when reviewing a candidate’s social media. The reasons they cited include:

  • Information that supports their qualifications for the job: 58%
  • If the candidate has a professional online persona: 50%
  • What other people are posting about the candidate: 34%

Research Company Information

Almost all companies have some type of web presence and over 90% use social media to market products and services. This means that almost all the information you want to know about a company is available online. Find out how the company treats customers, the causes they promote and invest in, strategic goals, and so on. You can also search to see if they have been mentioned in recent news.

In addition to the information companies want you to find, an opportunity exists to find information that they might not want you to see. When researching companies, make sure to keep your eyes open for protest pages and negative reviews. There are a lot of trolls and fakes out there, but sometimes this information can alert you to potential problems with the company.

Stay Up to Date on Target Companies and New Job Postings

As mentioned above, over 70% of companies use social media to hire new personnel. The usage of social media can include access to company recruitment information and posting job ads. Some may also host online job fairs and promote networking events. Following the companies you are interested in will keep you up to date on hiring activities and new job postings.

Further research into business social media profiles can help you identify, follow, and reach out to individuals that you may encounter in the hiring process. This may include company executives, department managers, human resources personnel, and possible colleagues. In much the same way that recruiters evaluate a job searchers profile, job seekers can evaluate potential companies.

How Social Media Can Harm Your Remote Job Search

Social media can harm job search

Unfortunately, while social media can help, hiring managers can also use it as a tool to find reasons not to hire you. Moreover, the CareerBuilder study found this was the case with 22% of hiring managers. In addition, 57% said that social media content was the reason they chose not to hire a candidate. Some of those reasons are common sense including:

  • Provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos, or information: 40%
  • Information about drinking or drug use: 36%
  • Discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc.: 31%
  • Links to criminal behavior: 30%
  • Lying about qualifications: 27%
  • Bad-mouthing previous company or fellow employee: 25%
  • Sharing confidential information from previous employers: 20%
  • Lying about an absence: 16%

However, some reasons for disqualifying candidates based on their social media profiles were not so obvious, including:

  • Unprofessional screen name: 22%
  • Poor communication skills: 27%
  • Posting too frequently: 12%

How to Use Social Media for Your Remote Job Search

In light of the information above, below are some practical tips to leverage social media in your remote job search:

  1. Clean up your current profiles. Go through your current accounts with a fine-toothed comb and make sure to check photos where you’re tagged as well. Google yourself. Delete, unfollow, or change anything that’s indecent or provocative, especially those that meet the criteria listed above.
  2. Cultivate a professional image. In the social media accounts you use for job searching, ensure your biography information, photos, and posts are professional and grammatically correct. Identify the social media channels where you conduct your job search and make the others private.
  3. Let people know you’re looking. Whether your social media channel is private or public, let everyone know that you are looking and what you are looking for. Employee referral programs are increasing in popularity to reduce costs and turnover.
  4. Post, share, and comment. To fully harness the power of social media, use it regularly. To this effect, make a point to post meaningful content. Write and self-publish articles to demonstrate your skills, experience, and interests. Share relevant content and add a thoughtful comment or questions.
  5. Use hashtags to search, find, and join. Most social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, use hashtags to aid with searches. Research and incorporate one or two carefully chosen hashtags in your posts and use them to help in job searches and networking.

Best Social Media Sites for Remote Job Searching

A large and growing number of social media applications are vying for your attention. The top four to use to leverage social media in your remote job search are:

LinkedIn

With 690 million members, 50 million companies listed, and 20 million open jobs, LinkedIn is the ultimate job search and professional networking tool. With a full range of tools specialized for both job seekers and recruiters, LinkedIn reports that there are 55 job applications submitted every second, and 7 seconds between every LinkedIn hire. In addition, statistics indicate that jobs found on LinkedIn tend to pay more and employees are less likely to change jobs.

To effectively leverage social media in your remote job search and optimize your efforts on LinkedIn, here are a few tips:

  • Make sure to fill out your profile completely and thoroughly. Statistics show that if a jobseeker includes a link to a complete profile, the callback rate is 13.5%, 71% higher than the 7.9% rate of applicants with no LinkedIn profile.
  • Use keywords to optimize your LinkedIn profile. Identify keywords relevant to the industry and position you are seeking and ensure they are represented on your profile. Tweak as necessary based on the jobs that LinkedIn identifies for you and how well you are matching.
  • LinkedIn makes it very easy to self-publish content either through writing an article or uploading a slideshow or video, there are multiple options where you can show off your skills and experience. Use these to gain visibility and credibility with recruiters.

Facebook

Leveraging social media in your remote job search via Facebook can also lead to success. With 60 million active business pages and Facebook actively promoting its use as a recruitment tool, it’s a good place to search for jobs, research companies, and network with professionals. Below are a few tips to maximize its potential:

  • Cross-post your Facebook posts to Instagram. Between the two platforms, there are multiple ways to develop and distribute written, graphic, and video content.
  • To separate your personal and professional posts, use Facebook Lists. Develop a list of your professional contacts. In this way, you can adjust the privacy setting of each post individually.
  • Write articles and post them in much the same way as on LinkedIn by using the “Notes” feature. This is located on your Facebook profile page under the “More” tab.
  • Publish live video or upload and post already created video content. As an added bonus, Facebook has a library of music and sounds that can be used without cost.

Twitter

Although not specifically a job search platform, Twitter is another handy resource in your remote job search. Check out the following tips to increase your visibility and build your personal brand.

  • Identify and follow individuals, brands, and companies that are relevant to your job search. Research and use hashtags to find relevant conversations and join in to make yourself known.
  • Fill out your profile area completely and include information about your job search. If a recruiter or hiring manager comes across one of your Tweets, you want to make sure they have easy access to all your information.
  • Twitter is best at keeping up to date on breaking issues. Keep up to date on trending hashtags in your industry or occupational field and check for live job postings.

YouTube

As the third-most trafficked website in the world, YouTube is an excellent way to leverage social media in your remote job search. In addition, they are 53% more likely than text pages to show up on the first page of search results.

  • Many companies produce recruitment videos and they post them on YouTube. Search for the companies that you are interested in and check out their content. You may be surprised at how many positions you find.
  • Post your own content. If you enjoy creating video content, consider developing a video resume or producing short videos in an area of interest. Then, cross-post these videos to your other social media accounts.

In summary, social media shows no signs of slowing down in popularity anytime soon. Although new platforms pop up on a regular basis, the top four remain relatively constant, and all are growing in relevance as a method of recruiting on the side of employers, and job search on the side of employees. The choice today, is not whether you choose to leverage social media in your remote job search, but which platforms you decide to use.

Have you leveraged social media in your remote job search? Were you successful in finding a job? Connect with Virtual Vocations on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn to share your advice. We’d love to hear from you! 

iStock Image: andresr. Chinnapong, Melpomenem

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