The May 2011 Social Media Surgery Manchester event took place last night, the topic for the evening was ‘Social media for recruitment: Getting a job through Twitter or Linkedin or Facebook’. Social media surgery events are free to attend and supported by the Manchester Digital Development agency (@MDDA on Twitter). The event was transcribed by Holleh Nowrouz (@Orchard_holleh) from Manchester-based digital recruitment agency Orchard. You can find details of the panel, attendees and the discussions that took place on the live blog page.
Following last night’s discussion here is my social media for recruitment takeaway, designed for job seekers as opposed to tactics for using social media to recruit:
Don’t neglect the Old Skool. We are in the midst of a cultural shift and, whilst a professional social media presence will offer many advantages in a job search, they will be immediately undone if your CV is not up to scratch. A strong CV and cover letter remain an essential element of a successful job search. My employer Prospects.ac.uk has a great CV and cover letter section. Once you have a strong CV, then move on to setting up a professional social media presence (your personal brand), and if appropriate take it even further with a Facebook CV, about.me page or video CV (ok, maybe not like this one, but you get the picture).
The social media shop window. Don’t just look at social media as a channel for searching for opportunities, use the various channels as an opportunity to showcase yourself, i.e. help a recruiter to use social media to search for more information about you. Don’t be under the illusion that if you create a fantastic set of social media profiles a recruiter will come knocking on your door. You still have to put the same amount of effort into finding a job, but you can use your CV to direct potential employers to your social media profiles which will then give them more of an idea about what you’re about and the skills you possess.
Linkedin groups. Join Linkedin groups that your target employers are members of, not just the ones that they set up – for example the Association of Graduate Recruiters group. Don’t just be a spectator, contribute to discussions and share your experience, and more importantly try to add recruiters as connections after engaging in discussion with them – give them a reason to connect with you. Read my 9 simple steps to getting the most out of Linkedin post for more advice.
Social media amplifies your efforts. Every piece of work you do, every event you attend and every conversation you have requires effort. Make the most out of these interactions and activities by tweeting, blogging and connecting. To use #mansms as an example, I blog prior to and after the event. I tweet before, during and afterwards as well as following all attendees and panel members. I direct people to my Linkedin profile and try to connect with as many attendees as possible. I also take a picture for blog posts and my Flickr account. So from a 2 hour session, which is very useful even in isolation, I’m amplifying the benefits by using it to create content for my social media profiles.
Be social. Remember that social media, regardless of the tool used, is about facilitating relationships. If you meet someone face to face, add them on Linkedin and Twitter so that you can build on that relationship. Also, if you have an online connection that you regularly communicate with, arrange to meet them in person to consolidate that relationship. Whether they are potential employers, potential job referrers or just an interesting person, good connections always lead to opportunities.
Here are the attendees from last night’s surgery. Whether or not you attended last night, feel free to add your name, a bit about yourself and your social network profiles as comments to share/connect with other readers of this post.