In a crowded marketplace where thousands of applicants are vying for a few vacancies, you should do more than simply submit your CV in response to advertised positions. Here’s how to take advantage of social media while job hunting
With job hunting, it’s important to proactively use social media to stand out from the crowd and to catch the eyes of potential employers.
No matter what your career path, you can use social media to boost your profile in your chosen industry. By now you should know that employers look at your social media profiles, which is why these platforms are brilliant tools to profile your experience, competence, and creative thinking.
It is no longer enough to make sure that there is nothing damaging on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn feeds. It is important to reflect your professionalism on these platforms and get rid of anything that may harm your candidacy, you also need to use these platforms in a proactive way to position you favourably.
Entry-level positions are highly contested and scarce, yet almost all of them call for experience. The good news is that social media provides an opportunity for you to gain experience, showcase creativity, and initiative, and it serves as a platform for demonstrating your personality and capabilities.
If you are from the following career fields, here’s how to use social media to your advantage:
Demonstrate that you can apply what you have learned. Few students have the budget to throw a massive event simply to demonstrate that they can. Therefore, you need to find existing opportunities. For instance, a community fair, a charity ball or auction, or a local market. Approach the organisers and volunteer your services to help make the event a success. Refer back to what you learned at your college and apply these principles, carefully documenting what you are doing and why. On the day of the event, use your phone to take and edit great pics, and post them to your social media accounts with clear captions and industry-related hashtags. Include any testimonials from the organisers or guests as well.
Food Industry: Next time you have a family event where food is prepared, step in and help develop the menu so that it can showcase your skills. Have a family member or friend take awesome pics and videos, and apply filters to make the images look exciting and professional. Add detailed captions and hashtags, and create your cooking album on Facebook or Instagram. Prospective employers will then be able to see your passion and ability if they dig through your online presence.
Remember that entry-level positions are highly coveted, and candidates must bring something extra to the proverbial table. Social media provides the ideal tool to not only connect with people in your industry and be aware of vacancies or opportunities before they arise but it also demonstrates that you are a candidate worth noticing.
Tourism Management: Create a fun local itinerary for your friends or family – something that will take into account everything you’ve learned at school, such as timing, transport, and access fees. If the budget is tight, put together a day of activities that are not yet on the tourism map and for which you won’t have to pay entry fees, such as a downtown tour or public park tour. Make sure someone takes a video of you leading the tour on the day, as well as great images. Post the itinerary, video, and pics to your social media profiles.
Remember that entry-level positions are highly coveted, and candidates must bring something extra to the proverbial table. Social media provides the ideal tool to not only connect with people in your industry and be aware of vacancies or opportunities before they arise but also demonstrates that you are a candidate worth noticing.
Words: Elbie Liebenberg, principal at Oxbridge Academy, Erika Theron, academic dean at The Private Hotel School and Renee Hill, MD of Capsicum Culinary School.