How to Stand Out in a Saturated Social Network

By Tom Wilde

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As a job seeker, it can be difficult to stand out from the millions of other candidates who are competing for the same jobs in your industry. However, social networking evens the playing field in many ways when you understand how to leverage this resource.

It’s easy to make the assumption that everyone else is active on social networks, therefore it must be “saturated” by other candidates. After all, there are many who use social networking to highlight their skills and connect with recruiting companies. While there are a lot of people using social networks, many go about this the wrong way. Because you are reading this article, you have the upper hand!

What the Competition Looks Like with Social Job Searches

Recent surveys on social media behaviors indicate that people spend upwards of 37 minutes a day every day checking in with their social networks. Around 60 percent of this social media use happens via mobile devices, while people are engaged in other activities. That’s a lot of time invested and this is stepped up exponentially when a job search is in process.

Ways to Stand Out on Social Networks as a Job Seeker 

The good news is that there are some ways to stand out, even in a saturated social network. Here’s a few simple steps.

#1 – Update your social profiles at least once a week.

That’s right. If you want to take advantage of the automatic alerts that most social networking accounts feature, then you want to keep it fresh. Update your social profile with professional images, career posts and comments, new connections and groups joined, and descriptive words that highlight your skills. Continually share what’s new and how you are working towards your career advancement, whether it’ through group participation or education.

#2 – Connect with the right networks of influencers online.

In the social media scene, it pays to be connected—to the right people and networks. Instead of simply accepting connections from random sources, be more focused about it and connect with members who are considered to be thought leaders of their industries. This makes it easier for the right hiring companies to see you before other candidates, and it shows that you are dedicated to your career success.

#3 – Share valuable content and insight with your groups.

Instead of merely setting up a social network account and commenting on the content of others, why not start sharing your own? If you’ve been in the industry for a few years you have valuable knowledge that can educate and inspire others. Take the time to develop an industry focused blog and start sharing your ideas and experiences. Build an online portfolio of your best work. You can stand out as a leader in your own right.

#4 – Reach out directly to the top hiring companies in your field.

Why sit around waiting for a recruiter to contact you? If you want to stand out as a top candidate then it’s up to you to get out there and use social networks to your advantage. One way to do this is to research the companies in your industry and then find out who the recruitment leaders are. Send a professional request for connection and include a copy of your resume and a nice introduction. Ask for an opportunity to speak with them directly about upcoming career opportunities.

Standing out as a candidate doesn’t require a complex strategy, even when the social networks are flooded with others looking for work. Use common sense and be smart about this for the best results. We hope you find the above tips useful and encourage you to continue exploring social job searching as a powerful resource for career success. 

Image Credit: Flickr Common Use License (located via Google Images)

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