How to Use Social Media to Find Work (and Business Partners)

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Everyone is on social media. Private individuals, companies, everyone. Some just want to socialize with friends. Others use it to promote their business. If you're looking to get hired, social media could actually become your most powerful tool.


For example, you're hanging out on Facebook, but you're also networking. Connecting with friends, colleagues, potential business partners. All that networking can lead you to new opportunities that can turbocharge your career.


But, you won't find new job opportunities without effort. Expect to spend a lot of time on establishing your social media presence. Let's look at some of the most basic - and very effective - methods of getting hired via social media.


Create a job-seeking social media strategy

Plan everything out. Don't regret the amount of time spent on planning. Posting without thinking might seem spontaneous, but it most likely won't lead you to a new job.


To begin with, decide what kind of work that you want to do. What type of job do you want? Who would be your ideal boss or business partner? Set your goals. If you want to work from home, focus on such assignments. If you want to be a part of a team, look for an office that suits you.


Okay, now that you know what your goals are, think about what you need to post on social media to get closer to those goals. If you love making videos, make videos. If you have excellent writing skills, show them off with written posts. You don't even have to produce your own material, sharing relevant content can do the trick as well.


Set up a posting calendar. To get noticed, you always need to have content ready for sharing across social media. It's best if you know in advance what you'll be sharing for the next couple of days, at least.


Let people know you're looking for work

Creating a strategy is your base, and letting people you're looking for work is your first step. For fear that you might seem desperate, you might not want to ask for work directly. Still, no one will know that they can hire you unless you announce that you need a job.


State that you're available for hire and looking for new opportunities. That means you're looking for work, but won't accept any kind of offer.


One great tool that you can use to make it known you're in search of work is to have a landing page. You don't even have to buy a domain, there are plenty free landing page services out there for you to choose from. You're advertising yourself, and some marketing and promotional tasks are definitely all up to you.


Think of your landing page as your online calling card. Your active CV. With that, a simple tagline that says 'available for hire' is all you need. Okay, that, and social media buttons that will lead visitors to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social network pages. Have all your information available, so people can contact you with no more than a single click.


Get the most out of Facebook

Facebook attracts billions of users every month, and it's not going away any time soon. Search for groups dedicated to your industry. Join them. That's where you can connect with peers and potential employers. Even recruiters use groups to find the best candidates!


What if you have a couple of companies you'd love to work for? Well, find their fan pages and follow them. Find out who is working for these companies, and connect with them. Small steps, but they will get you closer to the kind of job you want.


Of course, you need to think about privacy issues. Decide who do you want following you on Facebook. You also have the option of setting up a personal fan page, so that you can showcase yourself as a professional.


Use Twitter to let your voice be heard

Twitter is perhaps the best online platform for publicly expressing your opinion. Short, with just 140 characters in a post, and straight to the point. It's a great place to share photos and videos as well.


How to use it to find work? Search for people in your industry. Search for visionaries, influencers, role models, companies you admire. Follow them. Send them feedback via Tweets. That can be the first step to making a business connection that leads to new work.


As is the case with Facebook, Twitter has a direct messaging feature that allows you to privately contact people. Use this feature whenever you discuss private details. Publicly, weet about your career goals, show off your accomplishments. 


Be professional on LinkedIn

Facebook is for friends, LinkedIn is for business associates. This may seem like a generalization, but it's true. While you're informal on Facebook, you're all business on LinkdIn.


This is where you show who you are, as a professional. Your profile page has to look like a powerful live feed into your ever-evolving CV. Reach out, make connections. More connections will make you seem sought after.


Build solid relationships and share your experiences. Join industry-specific groups where you can introduce yourself and interact with colleges. Write useful posts, offering advice. Help your peers by sharing industry news and work opportunities.


Don't think that building a strong profile or writing blog posts on LinkedIn won't get you anywhere. Being active on LinkedIn will make you more visible in searches. That's how recruiters and potential employers can track you down.


Be yourself on Instagram

Instagram is all about visuals. That's why it's especially useful for creative professionals. For the most part, it works like most other social networks. But, this is where you can promote your lifestyle. Show the best version of yourself.


Like other social networks, Instagram lets you discover those that can get you closer to your dream job. Private individuals, brands - it doesn't matter. What matters is that you make engaging posts and that you interact with others.


Instagram most likely won't be your main social platform. But, you should never underestimate Instagram's ability to expose your work to the right people.


Don't forget niche social networks (and forums)

We've gone through the biggest, most popular social networks. What about those that are more specialized? You definitely shouldn't ignore them. They can be your ticket to a new job.


If you're a designer, a portfolio service such as Behance can be extremely helpful. Not only will it let you interact with colleagues, Behance also offers job listings. And your portfolio is your marketing tool.


What about forums? Sure, they were more popular before the rise of social networks, but that doesn't mean they have no value. Joining a forum dedicated to your line of work is not a bad idea at all.


There are also big, public forums that can be used as job markets. Look no further than Reddit. Millions of people use it every day. It features a wide variety of sub-forums a.k.a sub-Reddits that help people find work in their designated industries.


Know who your connections are

Pay attention to the people that follow you on each site. Before you contact them, get to know them by reading their posts and observing their habits. That way, you can communicate on their level and make connections.


By knowing who your online followers are, you could also learn a lot about yourself. You might recognize skills you didn't even know you had and find yourself on a new career path.

When is a good time to start? Right now! Whether you're currently employed and looking for something better or in need of a steady job, social media can help you out.

About the Author:
Eric Gordon is an independent business development and marketing specialist for SMEs. He loves sharing his insights and experience to assist business owners in growing their revenues. You can find Eric on Twitter @ericdavidgordon

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