How Social Media Can Help (or hurt) Your FM Job Search
Although the economy is improving, there are still a large majority of people actively searching for long-term placement. Especially with the young Millennial generation, it still seems there are often more candidates than there are slots to fill. Luckily the FM industry is thriving, giving you the optimum opportunity to begin your career. Here are a few ways you can separate yourself from a sea of applications by utilizing social media properly.
1) Follow Companies and Thought Leaders in FM
Staying in the loop with the industry you want to be a part of is the first step to landing your dream job. To get you started, here are a few LinkedIn FM Groups we recommend:
- International Facilities Management Association
- Facilities Management Professionals International
- Integrated Facility Management
By being active in these groups you're showing your committment and knowledge with industry leaders, some of whom may influence hiring decisions at companies you may want to apply to in the future.
Also, here are a few Twitter profiles that would be good to follow as they often post openings in facilities management related fields:
2) Be on LinkedIn, Google + and Facebook
First, if you're not already on LinkedIn stop reading, and go create a profile. The professional site is the most obvious choice when it comes to looking for a job, but your virtual presence is important on the more social sites as well. If you don't feel like making all of your profiles public, that's okay! Be sure to be easily searchable and allow people you're not connected with to see a little about yourself, so it doesn't appear you have anything to hide. Share as much information as you feel comfortable, and remember to be honest. Companies often look for people who will "fit in with their company culture", it's better for everyone involved if you are honest about your interests and work habits upfront.
3) Don't Post (or get tagged in) Anything You Wouldn't Want a Future Employer to See
This one is mostly common sense, when commenting or posting on any of your social profiles keep in mind that this is an extension of your personal brand. It is absolutely fine to have opinions or to share information about yourself, but be sure you would be comfortable showing it to anyone, because it is very easy for people to gain access to it.
4) Google Yourself
Clear your browser history and access your internet through a "private" browser setting, so you will see what others see. You might be surprised to find what information appears at the top. It is always good to know what others learn about you first.
Having lots of connections and following companies and FM organizations is useless if you don't engage with them! Ask questions, or post answers to others' questions. Share your opinions on group postings or link to additional relevant articles. It's a good idea to post something from your own profile about once per week, and comment on others a few times per week in addition to that. It must be said that this is just an estimate, and each individual's optimum engagement level will vary. But around once per week will get your profile on the screen of hiring professionals in your industry, and who doesn't want that?
6) Have a Professional Email Account Just for Submissions
It is amazing how many young job seekers are still using their email@example.com mail addresses to send cover letters and resumes! Invest in a simple email firstname.lastname or firstinitial.lastname from gmail or another reputable email system. It appears much more professional and makes you seem committed to your career search.
7) Tweek Your LinkedIn Profile
As a professional network, LinkedIn does everything they can to provide you with applications to show your best self. Take advantage of their "Skills & Endorsements" section. Even if you are fresh out of school, your classes hopefully helped you to perfect skills that would be beneficial in FM! Endorse other students or co-workers you've actually had experience with and hopefully they will do the same in return. In the "Publications" section of your profile, feel free to share blogs you've written or even relevant course papers. Writing is a skill many employers value, and this is the perfect place to show what you can do. If you are an experience FM, this is where you can subtly brag on your contributions to your building, or post information about successful ideas you helped start.
8) Evaluate Potential Company's Social Profiles
Now you know they are looking at your public domains, and you are free to do the same! An organization's social media page should be an extension of who they are as a brand, what they believe in, and their goals for the future. Before interviewing or accepting an offer, carefully consider their social presence. Is this somewhere you would be proud to work? Do their ideals align with yours? This is your job search, and ultimately your career, take time to ensure the best fit for you.
9) Upfront but Polite When Asking for References or Job Inquires
People can often change their social behaviors online, they're much more vocal and often more abrupt when speaking to other people. Its important to remember how you come across when asking for recommendations or about available opportunities. Always ask as if it's a favor (because it is) and remember to thank people for the time they dedicated to helping you. You reputation online is a difficult one to turn around, start off on the right foot by typing how you would direct someone in person.