If you do it the traditional way, applying to jobs is typically about as much fun as stabbing yourself in the eye with a fork. I’ve always tried to do as little of it as possible, for obvious reasons. Unless your last name is Walton, however, chances are you’ll need a job, so you can at least make it more pleasant by going at it from a non-traditional angle.
Finding jobs via social media is faster, more fun, and it often eliminates the painful cover letter step of the process. Hireart is already doing this with their video submissions, but a lot of companies haven’t quite figured it out yet. The amazing thing is that it actually works—using both Facebook and Twitter, I’ve landed two fantastic jobs at really cool companies.
My first job was a Y Combinator startup called Shoptiques.com. I first heard about them when they ran a Facebook giveaway where they offered a gift bag full of goodies to whoever gave the best answer to a question they posted. I responded and won, so their social media manager contacted me for my shipping address. Although I wasn’t in New York at the time, I instead arranged to go pick up the package in person at the office, and I got to meet the team, including the CEO. We really connected and not long afterward I ended up joining the team. It was a bit of a bold move, but it definitely paid off.
Last week I successfully landed my second consecutive job via social media. This time, a friend retweeted a job opening and I tweeted at the hiring manager. I heard back almost immediately and subsequently landed the job.
Here are a few easy steps to finding jobs through social media:
- Follow the company’s general account, but also follow other people who work there. Find people in departments or roles that interest you, as they will likely be spreading the words about openings. Make sure to like their Facebook page and check it regularly for posts about openings.
- If you’re interested in startups, follow VCs and Angel investors whose portfolio companies you like. They are obviously interested in helping their companies find the best possible candidates, so they often RT or publicize openings. This is how I landed my second role.
- Be strategic — you can also use social media to find a job where there isn’t even one being advertised, like I did at Shoptiques. This is especially true for startups, which are generally more flexible and can often create a position for you if you’re a good fit with the company.
- Lastly, don’t be afraid to reach out directly to companies you like via social media — you’re much more likely to get a response to a cold tweet than a cold email.
You don’t need to be a social media “guru”, “ninja” or “rockstar” to make this work for you. Just be consistent in following the companies and people who interest you, and with equal doses patience and luck, social media might just help you land your dream job.