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How to network your way into a job with social media

It’s estimated that between 70% and 80% of jobs are never advertised. Instead, people use their networks to spread the word around people who may be interested in the vacancy. In the past, this made it very difficult to break into the world of work and people would say gloomily, “It's not what you know, it's who you know”.

These days, that's never been more true, but luckily there's now a much more even playing field. You can put the word out that you're looking for a job, raise your profile, tell people what interests you and what your skills are - all for free on social networks.

The important thing is to choose the appropriate social network for the level and type of job you want. A high level facilities management job is unlikely to be doing the rounds on Instagram. It's much more likely to be on LinkedIn. There's no harm putting your CV on Instagram because it's a no-cost option, but we all have a limited amount of time, so it's a good idea to focus your efforts where they are most likely to yield results.

Facebook is increasingly servicing an older population segment. Younger people are drawn towards networks such as Snapchat, where parents are less likely to be monitoring what they're doing. However, the comparatively older user base of Facebook can work in your favour if you're job hunting, because people in senior positions are often a bit older.

Facebook is also a great way to get onto someone's radar by liking any pages they've put up or posting pictures relevant to any interests you know they have. If you're aiming for a particular position or department, there's no harm in discovering that the person who heads up that department is an American football fan and using your page to express a keen interest in the same sport. Though obviously, you need to make sure you don't get caught out at interview!

It's also fine to tell the world that you're looking for a new post, what kind of job you're interested in and where you'd like to work. You may think that your Facebook network is primarily social, but remember that all of those people work and have their own family and social connections. And those connections have connections. The ripple effect from your post about looking for a job can be really far-reaching. Just make sure there are no pics on your Facebook pages that are going to put a potential employer off.

LinkedIn is, of course, the main professional network that people use to make contact with others in their line of business and build a professional profile. So this should be a focus for you if you're looking for a more senior job - for example, Head of Facilities Management. But again, be savvy about how you use LinkedIn. Recruiters and businesses that have jobs available are going to search on keywords. So put yourself in their shoes and decide what keywords you’d be searching on, then make sure that those keywords are in your career history, posts and an attached CV.

Spread your net as widely as possible and make it is really easy for people to find you, and you should be pleasantly surprised at the results.

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How to use social media to your advantage when job hunting

How to use social media to your advantage when job hunting

While a public social media profiles can cause more harm than good to your chances of landing a particular job in facilities management, there are ways to fine tune your profiles to make them work to your advantage. The main thing is to ensure that you are perceived in the way you want to be by your prospective employers. Here is how you can achieve this.

Choose your presence wisely

If used correctly, social media accounts can be quite effective when it comes to your job hunting journey, especially those designed for the professional industry like LinkedIn. By completing relevant information like your work history, training and qualifications, you are putting all of your achievements on show for recruiters to see, which can allow them to know more about your professional background before they invite you in for an interview.

Although sites like Facebook and Instagram are primarily centred around your social lifestyle, there are still ways that your profile can catch an employer's eye, in a good way.

If a particular facilities management role requires you to be a strong team player, then seeing glimpses of your participation in group activities can help to showcase relevant skills.

If you are passionate about a subject, then having a blog which you update regularly can also be a fantastic way of letting employers know how good you are at communicating. It can also highlight many more strengths to your personality and work ethics that you might not be able to display during interviews.

Consider how you come across to others

You should be aware that recruiters can see every picture and comment on your Facebook page unless you take the time and care to set your profile as private. However, you can choose to allow people to see restricted information relating to your account, including your profile picture, featured images, tagline, work history and much more. Use this to your advantage and think about setting a professional photographic image and making your work and volunteering experiences stand out.

When it comes to taglines, email addresses and personal links, try to maintain professionalism and consistency. For instance, don't display an email address that might attract the wrong kind of attention (like 'crazykelly@' or 'ilovemarmite@') and it may be wise not to use a tagline that isn't in line with how you wish to portray yourself. Also, think about bringing all of your social media profiles together and using the same profile name and URL link for all.

Looking for roles using social media

While news of job openings can be spread via all sorts of social media platforms, Twitter is particularly good for reaching out to potential recruiters. Individuals can advertise their availability and skills by using the hashtag and make it known that they are looking for work. Furthermore, if you want to go directly to a hub for the facilities management industry, then consider joining discussion boards or forums on related subjects where you can network and identify roles that might interest you.