The landscape for finding a job in PR — or in any field, really — has changed dramatically over the past several years. It used to be a straightforward path: you sent your resume or application through a job board or connected with a recruiter in person. Now social media has uprooted that process, and today, a shocking 93% of organizations use social media to hire.
What that means for you is: you need to step up your presence on social sites. Here are a few more tips to help you position yourself as the ideal PR employee.
1. Boost Your Contacts (But Make Sure They’re the Right Contacts)
The larger your social network, the greater the chance you’ll find a job through it. Also, increasing the number of people you’re connected to provides social proof that you’re an active and engaged member of a given social community.
But that doesn’t mean you should start following everyone. Pay close attention to the bios or profiles of the people who follow you (an easy place to start) and see if a) they’re in your industry, b) they’re recruiters or c) they work at a company you’re interested in. Anyone who falls outside of these three probably aren’t going to provide the value you’re looking for.
As you begin following targeted people, sites like LinkedIn and Twitter will make recommendations about other people you may want to follow, based on algorithms.
2. Start Talking Shop
Social media is ideal for showing off your industry expertise, but you’ve got to know how to do it. The people I love to follow share relevant and useful content with their followers, engage in industry conversations, and answer questions. You may not feel like an expert in PR yet, but sometimes it just takes digging in and sharing what you know.
Subscribe to public relations blogs so you’re armed with plenty of PR news and trends to talk about and share. Also search for hashtags like #PR or #PublicRelations to keep up with what people are chatting about on social media.
3. Participate in Twitter Chats
Twitter chats are essentially virtual events at a set time on a given topic. Topics might include career advice, personal branding, or even just a meetup of PR folks. They’re a great way to network as well as learn.
4. Sharpen Up Your Profiles
If you’re new to using your social accounts for professional use, you might want to clean up your bio, focusing on your PR experience, not your love of sushi. Use a professional headshot to portray yourself as someone hiring managers or recruiters would be comfortable interviewing. Keep your username as your actual name, and not some cutesy nickname.
Remember, whether you like it or not, hiring managers are scrutinizing your profile to assess whether you’d be a good fit for the company.
5. Get Laser Focused with Your Efforts
If you’ve applied for a PR job at a company, now’s the time to get aggressive with your social connection to the brand. If you know the hiring manager’s name, connect with him on as many platforms as possible. Without being a suckup, share his content and reply to his updates. Stick to interacting a few times a week: just enough to get on his radar.
Follow other people at the company, and keep your ears open. You might discover information that you can mention in an interview to show how on top of this company you are.
Your chance of getting hired through social media is greater now than it’s ever been, so maximize your chances.