Job Search Tip of the Week – 03/08/2016

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Part I: How to Conduct Thorough Research

Incorporating Social Media

Want to have an advantage over all of the other applicants or interviewees you’re competing against? You’ll need to know more than the company’s “About Us” page. What’s the current status of the company? How is it fairing against its competitors, and in its industry? What does the company hope to achieve in the short and long term, and what does it need to attain its goals?

Overwhelmed yet? Don’t be. Social media has made it easier than ever to find – and broadcast – extensive information. In a few weeks I’ll discuss how to leverage social media to reach potential employers, but for now, a dissection of a few of the most popular social media outlets to show you how social media can teach you more about a company than its website:

LinkedIn
You’ll want to fully explore all four tabs on the company’s page! On the landing page (“Home”), you’ll find a “Recent Updates” section, which contains meaningful content such as blog posts and company and industry news. At the bottom of this newsfeed is the company profile, often an abbreviated and concise version of the information on the company’s website. In addition, the “Products” or “Services” tab showcases what the company has to offer and what people have to say about it.

The right panel on the home page tells you what connections you have within the organization. You can also access the full list of employees, as well as available jobs through the “Careers” tab. Individual profiles tell you what experience and characteristics these employees had prior to working at the company, which indicate the kind of people the company hires. Make it a point to check out those who hold titles similar to the one you hope to attain to get a better understanding of your potential future responsibilities.

The “Insights” tab displays a company’s newly promoted employees, most highly recommended employees, and recent departures, which altogether will give you an idea of its growth, employee turnover, and career advancement opportunities.

Facebook & Twitter
Companies tend to utilize Facebook and Twitter to develop and present a more personalized image of themselves with which they can engage their customer base. Consequently, you’ll find more visual and interactive content on these platforms compared to LinkedIn.

Generally, Facebook statuses and tweets are used to broadcast company updates and events, job opportunities, and industry news, while photos and videos are meant to depict corporate culture and accomplishments.

Remember: Thoroughly investigate a company’s social media presence! The content a company produces and shares and who it interacts with are more representative than the company’s website of its culture, expertise, and niche (But that doesn’t mean you should leave it out of your research – more on that next week!).