Following the smartphone revolution, it’s unsurprising that app use, combined with social networking sites, has stretched beyond fun and that the savvy amongst us are turning towards them to get a head start.
Sending letters and visiting the Job Centre has been replaced by emailed CVs, online applications and the comfort of your own home – here are some of the best sites that could land you your perfect career.
( See – It's a good thing, apparently, that you're always on Facebook…)
The rise of Twitter has not been slow, with a whopping 500 million users since 2006. And Jack Dorsey’s creation isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Aside from it being a way for us to connect with the rich and famous, it offers a lot professionally.
Profiles are not crammed with pictures, groups and ‘likes’ that saturate Facebook timelines, instead only displaying a small profile picture and a custom background. The lack of personalisation allows you to remain businesslike and professional. Whatever your field of choice, there are companies, businesspeople and all number of groups for you to follow that post jobs, tips and news. Asking questions and getting advice (possibly even experience) is straightforward and far more direct than via an email.
Hashtags can improve the chances of your tweets being seen by the right people, and can even point you in the direction of jobs. Tweeting ‘#jobs’ or ‘#recruitment’ will be very general, so narrow it down to something like ‘#salesjobs’ or ‘#mediajobs’.
That said, be careful exactly what you do post. You are what you tweet, so make sure you don’t dent your online persona with angry rants. Make sure you remain professional!
Particularly for those in media or photography, WordPress is invaluable. We live in the age of blogging where everyone has their own slice of online space, but for those who are drawing a blank, WordPress is a free blogging site. Users can sign up with their own site name and blank canvas to express their personality and demonstrate their talent.
Journalists are urged to write blogs; not only are they good writing practice, but they let potential employers view your writing style and see regular topics you discuss. Although blogs are rarely overnight successes, have some patience, keep writing and build up a readership; experts suggest that one or two blog posts a week is perfect, not bombarding readers but staying current.
Uploading article links, photos and examples of recent work uses WordPress as a current, modern online portfolio. Using the link in applications or CVs will encourage employers to click and have a browse.
Although still up and coming, LinkedIn is the biggest job finder on the web. Signing up can be a little overwhelming, so make sure you utilise your online black book it to its full potential.
Your online CV needs to be up to date and jam-packed. Experience, employment and skills should be current and bursting with anything relevant. Get some references, or ‘recommendations’, from those you’ve worked with or for – potential employers will require references and a list of glowing reports from co-workers and former employers will set you apart. Providing a ‘website section, LinkedIn is the perfect opportunity to promote your blog or portfolio. Get it up to date and online – it’s almost certain it’ll be looked at.
Now, get connected! Don’t just stop at people you know, be brave and ‘connect’ with figures prominent in your industry and people to help you on your way. Utilise the thousands of Groups and get involved; join in on discussions, ask and answer questions and make sure you’re memorable.
When student Mark Zuckerburg designed Facebook in 2004 as a website to rate people’s attractiveness, he had no idea what he had created. Eight years and 901 million users later, it seems absurd if someone doesn’t have a profile.
18,400,000 Americans claim that Facebook helped achieve their current job, with LinkedIn behind at 10,000,000 and Twitter at 8,000,000, so exploring its potential is a necessity.
As with LinkedIn, have a full profile. Present employers with a taste of you through experience, employment and ‘About Me’ sections. Companies including Jobvite have designed applications tailored for Facebook job-hunting, which match your profile information to jobs available in their networks – think of it as a job search engine through your profile!
‘Like’ companies you want to work with. Visit their pages, click the ‘like’ button and you will be signed up to email updates about new jobs and information. Buttons such as ‘work with us’ are often found somewhere, and link you to any job opportunities. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Some of your ‘friends’ will have networks ranging from 100 to 800+, so don’t be shy. Whether you want to post publically or message privately, steer clear of desperation and stay professional.
That being said, Facebook is renowned for getting people in trouble with employers and it’s very easy to blur the boundaries between a personal and professional profile. Embarrassing tagged photos or a public Facebook argument won’t be appealing to employers and will damage your chances. Separate profiles for your personal and professional lives is sensible.
Unfortunately, the media aren’t lying about the job market and opportunities. Things are bleak for job-seekers, particularly graduates trying to get their foot in the door. Getting ahead of the crowd through technology is a must. All of the sites mentioned above have apps for iPhones, Samsungs or Blackberrys, so you won’t miss a tweet, status or email.