It’s that time of year again – cold mornings, dark evenings and wet days means that we tend to spend more time indoors and, for many of us, that also means more time online.
Research shows that people are spending almost an hour online every day scrolling through Facebook updates, liking Instagram posts and chatting on Messenger but could that time be better spent?
With many businesses using social media as a way to engage with the public, there has never been a better time to catch the attention of possible future employers whilst still using the platforms you’re familiar with. However, this also means that everything you share online yourself can can also be seen by the same people you’re trying to impress.
I spoke to Alex McCann, founder of Altrincham HQ, to ask him for some tips about how to use online time in a more productive way and ensure you’re sending out the right messages….
“I always tell this tale whenever I’m doing a Business Talk – about how 1999 changed my life….
A normal kid from a normal background who, while at college, decided to set up a music website from his bedroom … and 6 months later got quite a well-paid freelance journalism job from a stranger in London.
I haven’t looked back since and even now, when I’m helping small businesses with Social Media Marketing, I trace back my current success to believing in the power of the internet back in 1999
Opportunities have never been greater for people who are prepared to use the internet as much for work as they are for keeping in touch with friends.
BEFORE YOU APPLY FOR A JOB – DO A SOCIAL MEDIA AUDIT
If you haven’t heard of a young girl called Paris Brown do a quick search on google after reading this article.
In short – she was a 17 year old girl who got the £15,000 job of the Youth Crime Commissioner. Offensive posts on Twitter from years previous came back to haunt her and she lost the job just days after it was announced.
Now she was in a very public position in the public eye, but regardless of what some HR people say – it’s likely that if you apply for a job they’ll search your name on Facebook to get a picture of who you are outside of your CV
Four Things To Do Now…
- Check your Facebook profile photo and cover photo portrays you in the best light from an employer’s perspective – it can still be you and personal and friendly
- Check your Facebook privacy settings are set to friends only – so that anything you do post by accident isn’t in the public domain
- Check which Facebook pages / groups you have joined over the years – and check there is nothing to raise eyebrows
- Use Twitter Advanced Search – https://twitter.com/search-advanced – for any swear words, abuse or anything that portrays you in a bad light – and delete those tweets
Now all that’s done – you can get on with the applying for jobs
USE TWITTER / FACEBOOK TO SEARCH FOR VACANCIES
Businesses quite often will try and fill a role from their own customer base / fans before going to more traditional methods of recruitment
Every single day I see local businesses advertise for jobs – both part time roles and full times roles
To make sure you don’t miss out – do the following
- Like all local business pages on Facebook from businesses you’d like to work for / businesses that regularly take on staff
- Join a specific Facebook job group like ” https://www.facebook.com/groups/salejobs/ ” – there’s always new local jobs advertised
- Join local Sale, Altrincham groups and use the Facebook Search option top right of the group to search the word job
- Set up a saved search on Twitter for jobs in the local town – simply type job altrincham / job #saletown / job urmston etc in the search bar and click save search so it appears in the drop down menu
Word of warning – these are few and far between on these platforms – but be wary of adverts offering “work from home” / “work around your busy family life” – they are often not salaried roles and require you to buy in to an opportunity
RESEARCH THE COMPANY TO WRITE THE NUMBER 1 COVERING LETTER / EXCEL AT INTERVIEW STAGE
So you’ve made sure you’re Social Media looks squeaky clean. You’ve searched social media and found the perfect job – the next stage is getting through the covering letter stage and excelling at interview stage
And a little note for you here – 90% of covering letters suck!!!
Bland clichés that have been written before the day I was born – “I work well on my own and as part of a team” / “Hard Working And Dedicated” / “This Is Exactly the Kind of Role I’m Looking For” – well done for stating the obvious
Use Social Media to rise above the blandness and show you have some real interest in the company you want to work for.
Every single day on Social Media, the company that you’re applying for a job with, will be pushing the latest news about what the company are up to so reference that in your covering letter. Show them you’re taking note. Show them you care.
And then once you get the interview do the research again
Very few others will do this – you’ll stand out as way above average and it puts you in a good position to get hired
There’s a saying in business called Givers Gain – help others and you help yourself.
Think about how you can adapt that idea in your own job search…
If whilst doing all of the above activity for your own job search – you’re thinking of friends and family members who are looking for work and keep letting them know about job opportunities – the help will come back at you like a boomerang
Givers Gain – look out for jobs for other people on Social Media and they’ll look out for jobs for you. It’s like having an army of 10 people helping you out
EVERY LITTLE HELPS AND NOT JUST AT TESCO
Everything I’ve talked about above us reactive – meaning you’re waiting for someone else to put the job out, to tell you about their latest news, for a friend to look out for a job for you.
What I want to talk about in this last point is the proactive stuff you can do long-term to draw people to you, rather than you look for it and all of it you can do with a smart phone or a computer … and an internet connection.
We’ve all read in the media about people who set up a blog or a youtube channel and suddenly made a career out of it.The ones you know about are on the national stage – but these sort of things happen all the time on a smaller level, where you get passionate about your niche and suddenly someone offers you a job
If people are aware of you. People can offer you stuff.
So whilst looking for the day to day job – why not aim big – follow your passion and set up a blog / youtube channel that you work on at least once a week.
Tell us what this brings you if you stick at it for a year…
You can find Alex on Twitter @altrinchamhq or Facebook – Altrincham HQ
*This article was originally written for SaleWestVoice Magazine – an online source of news n views 🙂