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Using Professional Networks As Part Of Your Job Search

Published: Thursday 30th April 2015

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Social media and professional networking sites can be used in a variety of ways during your job search. Sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter can be used for career advice and company research, job seeking – especially when finding those not advertised on job boards – and as a channel to market yourself as a candidate to future employers. 

As so many employers use social media to screen candidates, having a well-crafted profile sets you up as a professional candidate to be considered for the role. But with so many social and professional networking sites out there, which should you spend time creating a profile on?

Zoek’s Top Four Professional Social Networks When Job Hunting

1. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the leading business orientated, professional social networking site with over 347 million active users across the globe. It provides a platform where job seekers and professionals can network online, build professional networks and develop professional relationships. 

Within LinkedIn there are groups and forums for different industries, professions and career levels as well as interests and memberships of professional or educational bodies. You can network with university, college or school alumni.  Participating in these groups will help boost your professional credibility as you become an industry leader.

LinkedIn can also be used to search for job opportunities, which may not listed elsewhere else or to connect with companies which you wish to work with in the future. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and looks professional. See these top tips on building a winning profile on LinkedIn.

2. Twitter

As many recruiters and employers will use Twitter as a way of screening and researching candidates, when applying for a job or researching a company you are interested in, follow them on Twitter and become an active participant in their online conversations. 

You can follow leading companies, brands, issues of interest and figures in your profession. There are also communities you can join. Within Twitter you can build an extensive network in a relatively short period and with minimal effort. Simply follow and participate in conversations and you will begin to accrue followers yourself. 

Within your bio include your key skills and interests and links to relevant professional or personal sites, such as your more detailed LinkedIn profile. Hashtags are also a great way to find relevant Twitter conversations to take part in.

3. Google +

‘We want Google to be the third half of your brain’, said Google founder Sergey Brin. Google + might have a lower user base than some of its rivals, but is heavily promoted by Google in search results. If a potential employer is searching for you online, having a professional profile on Google + will feature prominently in their search results. 

As with other social networks you can follow companies and industry professionals. With Google + you can also group those you follow into ‘circles’. Comments and posts you make to one circle won’t be see by others, allowing you to keep interactions with current and future employers separate.

4. Facebook 

As with so many social aspects, you cannot ignore Facebook. Many companies use it as a marketing channel to promote their brands and interact with customers. It is also used as a way to allow potential candidates and those working for the company to interact and build a dialogue. Networking with current employees of organisations you are interested in can help you to get information on how the company really works and allows you to make a more informed choice. 

For more job search tips visit our Zoek blog. Also, why not try our faster, smarter recruitment app to help you find your next job role, available to download for free on iPhone and Android.


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