While social media has become a vital part of our daily lives, it can also be an effective recruiting tool. Having a strongly curated online presence may help you get your next job.
For current job seekers, social media platforms may be a very efficient medium for locating employment opportunities. Indeed, there are several ways to utilise social media while hunting for jobs - from networking to researching possible employers and sectors.
In today's employment market, the ability to take advantage of social media has become key for career advancement.
To begin with, you will realise that today's job hunt is quite different from what your parents did while looking for work. If you want to compete in today's job market, you will need to grasp and master the social media intricacies.
To understand how today's generation gets jobs through using social media, The Business Standard reached out to a few young people who recently got job offers on social media. They revealed the ins and outs of proper utilisation of social platforms.
Ishtiaque Hossain completed his masters from the University of Dhaka, majoring in Development Studies. Currently, he is working for an international development agency - Good Neighbours Bangladesh.
Ishtiaque has a strong presence on social media - primarily on LinkedIn and Facebook. In fact, he landed his current job via LinkedIn - this platform needs no introduction here. If you are reading this piece, the chances are close to 100% that you have an account on this platform.
However, according to Ishtiaque, "To get the most out of this powerful professional platform, you will need to have more than just a passive profile."
Nowadays, everyone has a LinkedIn account. But can one really stand out?
Ishtiaque has been carefully curating his account and activities on the platform since his first year of university.
"As a social science student, I have always wanted to work with international development partners. So, I sent out invitations to people I thought could be helpful. I kept finding relevant organisations and followed them. I scouted professional groups and joined their communities," he said.
Ishtiaque has always shared his achievements on his LinkedIn profile - "the organisations I have joined, volunteer work I have done, and the causes I champion. These make a good impression. When recruiters go through your profile, they understand that you are serious," he said.
He also believes researching the kind of jobs you want and networking with the right people is crucial. It is important because LinkedIn will recommend you the jobs based on who or what you search for, like and follow.
"In addition, providing a concise explanation of your personal brand grabs the reader's attention. Consistency is critical since hiring managers compare the information on your resume and LinkedIn profile to decide whether or not to hire you," said Ishtiaque.
Fahim Bappi, an HR professional at Backspace, a digital marketing company, said, "Building a 'personal brand' is essential in today's job market. Employers will definitely look at applicants' social profiles. Whether it is LinkedIn or Facebook or any other media, you must represent yourself positively."
He added, "Flexing, to some extent, is perfectly fine; you should never shy away from posting your achievements. At the same time, your opinion, passion, and hobbies can also impact the recruiters' minds. That is to say, having an active lifestyle on social media says a lot about one's self."
While LinkedIn's importance cannot be overstated, other social media sites like Facebook are no less important than the world's largest professional networking platform, especially in Bangladesh's context.
There are many groups on Facebook dedicated to job hunting; employers regularly post circulars in these groups. Moreover, such virtual communities are segmented according to categories - there are groups, which solely cater to internships, government jobs, corporated jobs, or NGO jobs providers and seekers.
'Job Circular – Niyog Biggopti', 'Chakrir Khobor', and 'Vacancy Announcement in BD' are some of the biggest employment-centric Facebook groups in Bangladesh. These groups consist of 20, 14, and 4 lakh members respectively. You will find on an average five job posts in each of the above mentioned groups every day.
Ahmed Mugdho, a final year undergrad student, just completed his three-months long internship at Brac. He came across the internship circular in 'Internship Bangladesh' - a Facebook group dedicated to internship seekers and providers. The group has a little over one lakh members.
Prior to seeking an internship, Mugho joined a few internship related groups on Facebook. He came across two to three internship posts in these groups, on an average, everyday.
"These groups have been my information hubs - one stop solutions for finding internships. I know people follow jobs mainly on LinkedIn and bdjobs.com in Bangladesh.
However, Facebook groups have greatly added to the job hunting experience," informed Mugdho.
Now that his internship is over, Mugdho is preparing for BCS and other government jobs. He has already found some groups on Facebook, which regularly post circulars, exams dates, results, interview dates, and other relevant information.
"The most notable Facebook group is 'Govt. Jobs Circular BD'. The upside of being in such a group is that you do not have to worry about missing out on anything. You will surely get all the information you need in such communities. It saves up a lot of time," he added.
Apart from LinkedIn and Facebook, social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat also work in different ways when it comes to job hunting.
Though these networking mediums are informal, actively networking and building firm interpersonal relationships can turn to your good in terms of job hunting.
Neamat Ullah , Dhaka Post's sports reporter, has been an avid Bangladeshi cricket team fan. He actively tweets his commentary and thoughts related to cricket and is connected to other sports reporters through Twitter.
"As Bangladesh's twitter-verse is small, I formed a bond and network with sports journalists. In fact, I got the job at Dhaka Post from someone on Twitter," said Neamat.
Jobseekers are increasingly using social networking sites in addition to the more conventional job search engines such as bdjobs.com and other recruiting sites or even newspaper circulars.
This, however, does not mean that the aforementioned are outdated and you should not care about that. Rather, using both social networking and job-hunting websites strategically may help you discover chances which were previously unimaginable.