THE BLOG

Looking for a New Job In 2015 - Flock to Twitter

04/12/2014 11:17 GMT | Updated 02/02/2015 10:59 GMT

Twitter is often written off as a haunt for teenagers, celebrities and media darlings, but it also provides opportunities for experienced professionals to advance their careers.

Equally, as an employer with very specific needs - experienced medical negligence solicitors aren't ten a penny at our local coffee shop - it helps us to identify potential recruits.

A 45-year old senior solicitor in a law firm might not fit the typical stereotypical image of a Twitter user, but that was the case with one of our recent recruits, Nick O'Neil, who we recruited largely through the social networking site.

Nick had been following us (and me) on Twitter and that was how he first heard that we were hiring.

He later told me that he'd become interested in the position as we didn't just talk about the normal company news, but gave a true flavour of what we're like - with examples of our social events, work we find interesting and photos of what we're getting up to.

Not everyone is right for every company, but Nick said that he got the feeling that his personality would be a good fit - something that is really hard to judge from the outside, but is crucial to making a good career move.

For jobseekers, a good way to get attention is by retweeting key people's messages or engaging with companies they want to work with on social media. And as an employer you can get an idea of people's interests and the character behind the CV, as well as quickly get a feel for what someone is really like behind their professional image on social media (potentially for good and for bad).

Gaining an accurate picture of the person behind the CV is crucial to finding the best candidate for a job and, equally, understanding what it really feels like to work for a company can be the difference between taking a step up the career ladder, or falling into the job from hell.

Based on our experiences of social media recruitment, I'd offer the following words of advice for employees and employers heading into the January job market.

1. LinkedIn is the leading social channel for finding a job. Create a profile and start connecting. This is your opportunity to show your skillset and your personality.

2. Use Twitter and LinkedIn to build your online network - start following and engaging with companies you want to work for. It's likely they will post vacancies online so it's a great way to hear about jobs first.

3. Make your social media profiles employer-friendly or restrict what others can see. Data from a recent recruitment survey revealed 93 per cent of employers will view applicant's social profiles before making a decision.

4. Have a voice in your online community. Post and share things of interest to the industry you want to work in and join in conversations.

5. Try using a social media management tool such as TweetDeck. With this tool you can set up custom lists such as 'Companies I want to work for' with all of the Twitter handles of your potential employers, as well as specific hashtags such as #jobs which will pull all of the relevant posts into one list. It's a simple way of sorting through all of the Twitter noise.

6. Employers too are getting savvier at recruiting through digital media - creating dedicated recruitment websites, and using social media to give potential recruits a feel for the true character of the company rather than bombarding people with company news or trying to sell products or services.