Stalking someone on social media is not a nice habit to get into – but could a little bit of social media stalking actually be good for your career? Social media can offer you an amazing insight into the public persona of a business that you want to work for, but taking this further and actually using your social media to network requires some tact and skill. However, it can pay dividends in getting you noticed by a potential employer and making contacts in the company too!
The trick here is not to rush things – it may seem easy to just fire off a tweet or LinkedIn message to someone in the hope of a response, but it is much better to bide your time a little, do some research, and maximise your chances of success. The first step therefore is to find your target – even if you need a little inspiration to decide what you want to do.
Use the company’s website to glean some more information about the business you want to work for and think about why you might be a good fit for their company. You can learn quite a lot about a company and their employees from social media too. Are they a playful, creative firm, or are they very formal and traditional in their approach?
Knowing what a company does, and how, is a great advantage when it comes to applying for a job with them. On the other hand, you may even find that your dream employer isn’t all you thought it would be
Try to find out the names and social media contact details of key people at the company so that you can direct your messages directly to the person you want without having to first go through a series of others and risk your message getting lost in the shuffle.
This is all about advertising yourself in the right way, but remember there is no hurry, better to take your time and do this right. When you are ready, send a message introducing yourself, saying why you would like to work for the company, and what your career goals are.
Even if there are no vacancies available at the moment, the fact that you reached out shows that you are keen and genuinely interested in working for that particular employer. They may well remember you when an appropriate vacancy arises, and you can bet they’d rather employ someone who is interested and enthusiastic about the company over someone who simply wants a job.
You may even find that your contact takes an interest in you and becomes something of a mentor to help you through your career – although of course, this will be entirely their choice.
Following your chosen company on social media doesn’t mean that you should attempt to engage with them all the time. There is a thin line between being keen and being a nuisance. Remember that your networked contacts will be busy so may not have much time to keep responding to you. One well-placed and considered message is far better than lots of ill-conceived posts! That said it is OK to follow up on a previous message – just give the person a few days before you do, and always stay courteous.
It should also go without saying that you need to make sure your social media doesn’t contain anything that you wouldn’t want your prospective employer to see! You are trying to impress them with how professional and employable you are – not inviting them into your personal life!