Social Media for Job Search
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As a recent graduate, I have seen first-hand the struggles that go into finding a job in today’s economy. It’s easy to feel as though you’re a small fish in a pool of overqualified candidates, which makes it hard to have hope.

On the flip side, employers can feel overwhelmed with candidates applying for a job with nothing but a little piece of paper. At first glance, these resumes all look the same, so it’s tough to sort through them all without leaving out a few good candidates here and there.

Although large job boards such as Monster or even Craigslist are worth a try, many would prefer something a little bit smaller and a little bit more personal.

Fortunately, social media has helped make the hiring process and the job seeking process more manageable. You usually get more information about an employer and a candidate, and instead of dealing with thousands of other people you’re only dealing with a few (depending on the job listing of course).

These avenues also help narrow down employers and candidates to niches much more specific than if someone were to simply post a job opening on a generic job board.

How to Use Social Networks to Help Connect a Candidate and Employer

Most people actually find that this alternative method is not only more effective, but more enjoyable. People feel comfortable using social media and developing a profile online, so it takes away the stress of feeling like you’re applying for jobs or looking through candidates blindly and with no direction. Consider below a few of these “new-age” social media avenues:

  • LinkedIn Groups – LinkedIn is of course the network for professionals, but it doesn’t make sense to blindly search for a job or search for a candidate. If you want to actually find something here, you must join different LinkedIn groups. There are very specific and very general groups that you can join and job seekers are constantly looking for candidates in these smaller groups. For example, I joined a group with the Alumni from my school. Alumni are constantly posting jobs because they want to work with and help out other Alumni. The best part is that you get a daily email (unless you opt out) that lists all of the jobs posted onto that group. Below is a screenshot of one of the emails I receive from my Alumni group:

Job Searching on LinkedInI chose this example because this group never posts very many jobs, but I belong to some groups such as “Content Writer Jobs” that post nearly 50 jobs every day.

Although you do get the occasional “fake” job being posted, the majority of jobs are real and group members usually warn you of a fake posting right away.

  • Branchout – The latest professional network comes from Facebook. Facebook’s BranchOut takes advantage of the information and connections already made on Facebook to create a professional network. The app keeps private matters of Facebook completely separate, so more and more people are beginning to take advantage of the new service. Once again, this service is more than just a profile with professional information. You can actually search for jobs and then determine who you know that is somehow connected with a job opening. Below is an example of the interface:

Branch Out for Job Search As you can see on the left hand side, you can even search for jobs through filters such as the area, industry, whether or not you’re looking for full-time or part-time, and even a specific company.

BranchOut vs. LinkedIn: 

Someone looking for a job should try and take every avenue possible to get that job. An employer should also utilize all methods if LinkedIn and/or BranchOut do not provide a suitable candidate.

BranchOut and LinkedIn will help give a candidate and an employer hope because they are social networking sites and work with a smaller group of people, but it’s never a good idea to use just one. If I had to choose one over the other I would choose LinkedIn, but fortunately that is not the way the job hunt works! I’m on both social networking sites and am excited about the potential that both have.

Have you ever found a job or a candidate using a social network? Let us know in the comments!

This guest post was contributed by Amanda DiSilvestro. Amanda is a graduate of Illinois State University. Although she graduated with an English Education degree, she found herself working as a full-time blogger at HigherVisibility, nationally recognized as one of the top seo firms in the country. Connect with HigherVisibility on Twitter to learn more!