7 Great Ways To Approach Employers On Social Media

Posted February 27, 2013

Social media is a great tool for your job search and career--after all, relationships are often the key to a new job opportunity. But with all of the advice about making these connections, you might be wondering, ‘How exactly do I approach potential employers on sites like Twitter and LinkedIn?’

Here’s what  several experts have to say about forging professional relationships online:

Pick The Right Target On Social Media: For any organization, there may be several active voices on social media. Focus your energy on building a single relationship with a single person. Look for a voice who is active and engaged with their audience. These are blog authors or tweeters who reply to comments. With this person, share regular feedback and relevant resources (without stalking them). Be patient. Real relationships take time. -- Alan Carniol, Interview Success Formula

First, Be a Good Follower: Before approaching a potential employer on social media, follow them for a while to understand their approach and what they like to write about. Retweet their posts or mention them over a sustained period of time, weeks or months. Then, when you want to reach out, they’ll be more receptive to hearing from someone who has already expended capital promoting them.  -- Dorie Clark, Author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future

Find Commonalities So You Can Say, ‘Oh You Went There Too?’: It's all about the connections, finding the one thing you have in common with someone. Using LinkedIn as an example, find someone that works at the company you're interested in that you have a connection with, could be someone you worked with, fellow alumni, or member of professional association. Use this connection to reach out and ask for help reaching the right person to talk with about opportunities.  -- Paul Kostek, Air Direct Solutions

Don't Be Shy: Engaging potential employers using social media is very popular. The easiest way is to message them asking what the best way to submit a resume with the company is. It always helps to state a few brief reasons on why you would like to be employed with said company. It will show that you have done the homework that hiring managers like to see. -- Ben Yeargin, Corporate Recruiter for Craig Technologies

Job Seekers Should Use Social Media to Show Their Value: Social media is a great tool for job seekers to use when connecting with employers. The best way for job seekers to approach employers is to use social channels to show off their knowledge and value. Share an interesting article, start a thought-provoking discussion, or take part in an industry chat. Once initial contact has been made, job seekers can share their video resume or work portfolio to show employers what they can do. -- Josh Tolan, Spark Hire

Strike Up a Conversation First: Don't approach employers online by first saying, "Hey, can you get me a job at XYZ place?" Establish a rapport first, whether that means tweeting back and forth a conversation together or Instagramming a photo of one of their products and a clever way that you used it. -- Heather Taylor, social media manager, MyCorporation.com

Use LinkedIn To Follow Target Companies And Find Warm Intros: Start by following your target companies on LinkedIn. Once you identify a position or a group that you are interested in, look for warm intros through your network. See if you have a connection who can introduce you to the recruiter or hiring manager. If not, seek an intro to someone on the team. Social tools enable (not replace!) personal interaction. -- Michelle Proehl, Slate Advisers


Heather R. Huhman is the founder and president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. You can connect with Heather and Come Recommended on Twitter and Facebook.

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