For jobseekers everywhere: a candid look at what you can do with social media to further your job search.
Have you ever seen a job advert asking for candidates who have:
- A Klout score of 70+?
- A Twitter following of 20,000+?
- More than 10,000 LinkedIn connections?
Of course you haven’t! Outside of jobs in social media, the truth is that no recruiter gives a Klout about your followers, friends, connections or Klout scores (if you missed it, Klout – the barometer of social media influence – revised its influence algorithm in the last days, cue hysteria in certain social media circles*…)
This is not to say that Klout scores, follower counts and the like are completely irrelevant. But it’s the relationships you’ve built up on social media that will help you in your job search (and indeed in other aspects of your career development), not the “scores” you can pin on your profile.
For those entering the jobs market, there can be real dangers in pursuing these social media achievements. No-one wants to date the guy who comes across as desperate. Similarly, no-one wants to hire the candidate with a whiff of desperation around them either. And yet many social media behaviours give off just such a stench. Let’s take as our examples:
- Twitter: the candidate who desperately follows recruiters in the hope that if enough are followed, some will surely show an interest and follow back / interact. Most seasoned twitter users I know would view as desperate any users whose following count is many many times higher than their follower count. Yet that’s exactly how many candidates’ profiles look after they’ve launched themselves headlong into a Twitter job search.
- LinkedIn: the candidate who asks for written recommendations from those they’ve barely worked with. Or who massively ramps up their connections to help their job search but then bizarrely has no recommendations on their profile. Or who connects with tons of recruiters – without realising that everyone who is connected to either party then sees a flurry of activity of that candidate connecting to loads of recruiters…
- Klout: the candidate who alienates their network by actively approaching them and asking for Klout points to be awarded (Note: compliments should be given and not fished for, the rules of everyday life apply in social media too you see).
I could go on and on with examples. But the harsh truth is that most worthy achievements in social media take time. Relationships take time to cultivate. Trust takes months of interactions to build up. Recommendations and compliments have to be earnt. There are ways some candidates can be more effective than others to be sure, but the bottom line is that there are no massive shortcuts to success. Stop looking for these shortcuts and instead start doing the things that mean you come across as professional in your social media interactions:
- Forge a smaller number of high quality recruiter connections on your social media profiles.
- Connect with those who have no direct role in recruitment at all. They will enrich your network and provide valuable insights into your target company / industry.
- Before every action, think to yourself “could this make me come across as a desperate candidate?”
- Become a master of just a couple of social media channels rather than fumbling your way on far more.
For ideas on how to do this effectively, see:
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You may also wish to register for our candidate newsletter below and reference the Klout article if you are a longstanding user of social media and want to know more about the Klout changes.
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