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How to Use Social Media to Connect With Companies

Tips for Using Social Media to Find a Job


How to Use Social Media to Connect With Companies
Image Copyright Getty Images Geri Lavrov
Back before almost every company had a LinkedIn company page, a Facebook page and a Twitter account, your options were limited for connecting with hiring managers and recruiters at companies. Job seekers found and applied for jobs online or directly on the company website and waited to hear back.

Social Recruiting Strategies

You still may wait to hear back, but you'll have a better chance of connecting with companies if you tap into where they are recruiting. Today, more companies than ever are using social recruiting strategies to advertise job openings and find applicants for open positions. The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) reports that 28% of organizations have a social media strategy in place and 55% of companies plan to increase social media outreach.

Many companies use a multi-faceted social approach. You'll find links to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter on company career pages. You'll also find links to the company's career page, where you will find job listings, employment information and information on how to apply, from the employer's social media accounts.

The companies are seeking job applicants from as many sources as possible and they are candidate-hunting on the sites where they know they will find candidates. The numbers of candidates who are employers. A Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) article Find Social Media's Value reports that UPS had a "200% improvement in the conversion-to-hire ratio of those applying through social media outlets vs. traditional channels," thereby reducing the time staff needed to spend reviewing applications and interviewing.

How Connect With Companies on Social Media

The shift in companies' recruiting efforts means that job seekers need to switch up their job search strategy. When you connect and interact with a company you are showing extra interest in the organization which boosts your chances of getting noticed by a recruiter. Job seekers who connect via social media may see new job listings before they are advertised elsewhere, have a better chance of getting an interview, and have a better chance of getting the job.

In fact, social job searching is becoming a standard job search practice, especially for professional-level positions in some industries. The expectation on the part of the employer is that you will have a social presence and that you will be using it when you're job searching.

However, companies are recruiting via social media for all types of jobs - not just professional positions. All level of job seekers from students seeking part-time jobs and internships to hourly employees to experienced top-level professionals can find jobs using social media.

Taking the time to find companies you would like to work for is worth it. Once you have created a list of companies, like their Facebook Page, follow their LinkedIn Company Page and follow them on Twitter. To find them, either check the company's Career website or Google the company name and the name of the site you want to find.

For example, if I was interested in working at Marriott, I'd search for "marriott careers facebook" and the search results would include Marriott's Facebook page. Searching for "marriott careers twitter" will get me right to Marriott's Twitter.

Taking Your Job Search Social

Where should a job seeker have social profiles? At the least, on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, with your privacy settings set carefully on Facebook so you can keep personal and professional as separate as possible. If you only have time, to start, for one, it should be LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the leading site for professional networking and it's important to use it when job searching.

Taking it a step further, Google+ and Pinterest can be used to your advantage.

It can also be helpful to set up a personal website to promote your candidacy to employers you connect with on your social networks.

Here are top sites for social job searching and how to get started taking your job search social:

Keep it Confidential and Professional

Do keep it professional when you are using your social media accounts for career purposes. Be aware that everything you post publicly can be read by the person who might be your next boss.

Keep it confidential, as well. You don't want your current boss to see how interested you are in working for a new company or you might be out of a job.

That's why privacy settings are so important - when you say something inappropriate it can cost you a job offer or even your job.

If you don't want your LinkedIn activity to show in your stream, you can turn it off, at least temporarily. That way your current contacts won't see that you are following a new company. Click on your name (top right of page), click on Settings and click on Turn on/off your activity broadcasts.

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