How to Get a Job – Social Media Style

As you may know, Ignite Social Media is a close knit group who has grown rather quickly in the last year. Since I started, the agency has doubled and we’re still growing. In that time, we have chosen carefully to ensure we’re getting people that are the perfect fit for each opening and it hasn’t been easy. I know that when I get a huge batch of resumes there must be someone in the lot that could do the job at hand, but none stand out and I still struggle to pull a few decent options out of the mix. Getting a job is about marketing yourself successfully, which is more important than ever as the applicant pool begins to swell in this economy. So, with that in mind, I figured I’d share my advice for getting a job using social media.

Start with the PEOPLE you are trying to reach

  • Have you looked up the company online? – Do they have a website and have you taken the time to really immerse yourself in the information they are putting out there for you to find?
  • Do they have a blog? – If not, does their website have a voice or personality you can identify with? Do they have a mission statement or other content that can clue you in to their way of thinking?
  • Are your future co-workers online? – Where are they talking and interacting? What are they talking about?
  • “Interview” them – Back in the old days (like 2 years ago) it was customary to ask during an interview what the culture was like around the office. The initial interview was as much you interviewing the company as them interviewing you. These days, you can learn more about the personalities of your future coworkers online than you could ever get out of a 30-minute interview, so use this time to decide how you fit in the mix and whether you really want to work with these people.

Define your OBJECTIVES

Okay, your main objective is easy to identify – Get a job – but now that we’ve gotten the duh! answer out of the way you should probably take it step-by-step so you have some milestones that you can feel good about meeting. My suggestions:

  • Get noticed – It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know. You need someone on the inside who knows your name and will recognize your face when your resume comes in. Just being able to put a face with a name is enough to get you recognized above many of the other applicants.
  • Get an interview – Getting someone to want to talk to you is key. You can’t be pushy. Instead, you have to draw them into a conversation.
  • Get a call back*
  • Get the job*
  • Become invaluable*

*You’re on your own for the last three – not much social media can do to help you present yourself better in person.

Develop a STRATEGY

It shouldn’t matter whether you’re marketing yourself or some fancy new product, using social media or not, your strategies should always align with your objectives. Since this is the most difficult part of the process I’ll take you through my thoughts on developing a solid strategy for meeting the first, and most important, of the milestones outlined above: Getting noticed

  • Be where your audience is –You wouldn’t purchase an ad spot for Midol during the SuperBowl and reaching your audience through social media should be no different. You can’t expect these people to change their habits or venture out of their comfort zones to find you. You have to go to them. Are they on a particular social network? Do they have an active blog? If so, you need to be there too.
  • Be relevant – Finding common ground is key.  You need to really engage the people you want to notice you. Have you ever gotten a spam email that makes you wonder how you ever got on that list? Getting an @ message from someone you don’t know, about something you’re not talking about feels just about the same.
  • Have personality – When your future employer has received 70 emails in the last week of people who claim they are a perfect fit for the job followed by a 1 page resume showing 3-5 years of experience at a mid-sized ad agency, everyone starts to look the same. So be creative, be yourself, but don’t overdo it.

Decide which social TECHNOLGIES to use and execute


  • Twitter – Have you found that the people you want to reach regularly converse on Twitter? If so, are they talking about related topics (like work or social media marketing) in their Tweets? If not, then reaching out to them on Twitter (even though “everybody’s doing it”) will not get you noticed. Instead, they’ll wonder who you are and why you are interrupting their social life.
  • Social Networks – Are they active on LinkedIn or Facebook? Can you find a group on LinkedIn they are active in? Have you double and triple-checked your Facebook page to make sure your profile’s privacy settings are set so they don’t see your Senior Spring Break in Cancun photo album or gossip about your ex-best friend on your wall?
  • Blog – Are they writing on a blog? Could a well-thought-out comment or shared insight catch their attention?  Do you have a blog or website that you could use to get their attention?

So what does getting a job have to do with the topic of our blog – social media marketing? Everything! You’ll notice this aligns perfectly with Groundswell’s POST methodology. It was not my intention to follow this methodology when I first outlined a blog post about getting a job, but even when I don’t intend to make this point it happens anyway:

Marketing by pushing your message is being received less and less favorably these days, and does not work in the social media space. You have to focus on the questions and answer first so you can determine how to pull your audience into a converstation with you. 

  1. Who do you want to reach and what are they currently doing online?
  2. What message do you want to get across to them?
  3. Why would they want to talk to you?  How can you add value to their current conversations – rather than trying to force them to join your new conversation?
  4. How can you use social media tools to reach them?

The only way to do this is to start with the research, define your objectives, develop a thorough plan that meets your objectives, and only then determine the social media tools that make sense for your specific situation.

Ignite Social Media