Did you know that 92% of companies now use social media for recruitment? That’s a staggeringly high percentage and one that no job seeker should ignore. In this first blog of a new four-part series on job hunting in the social era, we take a look at how social media can be used to help you find new job opportunities, fast.

Your first step to becoming a savvy social media job seeker is to start following the companies you would most like to work for. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and set up alerts to make sure you don’t miss a potential update about a new job vacancy.

The next step is to start thinking like a spider. Not the kind that spins webs and sends arachnophobes into a screaming panic – but the kind that search engines like Google and Bing use to trawl the internet and filter it into an easy to use index of information.

Spiders work by searching for and saving keywords and phrases and matching them to the searches people type into search engines every day. Make a list of keywords and phrases related to the job you are looking for and use this list as a jumping off point in your daily social media trawls.

For example, if you are interested in a job in the catering industry, potential keywords and phrases that you could look for might be: Catering, catering jobs, catering assistant, catering jobs cumbria, chef, chef jobs, commis chef, hospitality, hospitality jobs, kitchen jobs.

Twitter

Now that you have your list of keywords you can start experimenting with them using Twitter’s search engine – try a few different keyword combinations and see which ones deliver the most interesting and relevant tweets to you.

Make sure you follow the people/accounts that pop up with the best results and make a note of (and click on) the hashtags they are using to find similar opportunities.

Facebook

Not traditionally associated with job hunting but thanks to Facebook’s recent search improvements, it’s now a powerful weapon that should be added to your job hunting arsenal. Like Twitter, you can use the Facebook search engine to rifle through billions of public posts and posts made by your friends.

For example, type ‘Jobs Cumbria’ into the search bar and Facebook will give you a rundown of related posts made by your friends and Facebook groups, followed by the top public posts connected to your search.

You can then filter these results by location and date or switch tabs from ‘Top’ to ‘Latest’ to see the most recent posts. You can also use this as a way to find new job vacancy boards in your area by selecting the ‘Groups’ tab and joining any local groups that interest you.

Our final tip is to utilise your Facebook friends. Don’t be afraid to post about the fact that you are looking for work. Your Facebook friends are your greatest allies and once they know you are on the job market,can keep an eye out for and let you know about suitable opportunities – even connecting you with useful people on their own contacts list.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the best social media channel to connect with past and present colleagues, create a professional networks and discover job opportunities. If you’re not signed up – do so. Connect with friends, colleagues and recruitment consultants, follow companies you are interested in working for, and utilise the Jobs Board to find jobs in your area. Check your LinkedIn feed daily as your connections will often post updates about job vacancies, too.

If you need help putting together the perfect job application, our Careers Advisers can help. Call us on 0345 658 8647 to make an appointment at your local Inspira centre for advice on how to write a CV, fill out application forms or write a covering letter.