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The workplace: exploiting social media

Social media can help your job search, says Karen Young

July 2015

Using social media is a very common way to search for a new role and get noticed by recruiters. If you do not already have a professional online profile, there is no time like the present to get online and start to build your presence.
You don’t want to perturb a perspective employer or recruiter with the first impression you make online, so review your existing online profile to ensure searches don’t show anything you wouldn’t want them to see, and ensure your profile is professional and relevant to your accountancy career. Make sure you put appropriate privacy settings on any sections you don’t want made public.
Once your profile is complete – with your employment history, current position and qualifications – you can begin to extend your online network to raise your profile and initiate your search for new role. Online communities are a great way to find out about the latest jobs as well as what is happening in your area of business or study.
Start by following companies of interest to you and those that are market leaders in accountancy and join LinkedIn groups as a way to build your online professional profile. Sharing, commenting and ‘liking’ news and information shared by the industry organisations can increase your influence on LinkedIn and increase your wider network. Join in discussions started by recruiters, employers and industry experts and speak up online in forums with your peers and industry experts. The Hays LinkedIn groups and others run by the professional institutes offer platforms for you to share your views with your industry peers, network with recruiters and hear about new opportunities.
Don’t discount other social channels, such as Twitter and Facebook, as long as your profile on these is professional. Our Hays Accountancy and Finance UK Facebook page is up-to-date with the latest opportunities for PQs, tips and advice for upcoming interviews and might introduce you to opportunities you had not considered. Online networks and sites such as this also allow you to join in our discussions with other PQ accountants and to find out more about building your career in finance.
If you have secured an interview for a job and passed the initial online screening by an employer or recruiter, social media can also act as an excellent resource for research and background information on a prospective employer. Usually a company’s social media account will broadcast their latest news and give you an insight into their company culture so you can brush up on what’s happening within the organisation. Researching an employer on social media may also prompt some lines of questioning for your interview. Not only will this show dedication as you have taken time to research the company, but also that you are aware of the importance of social media and a digital presence in business.
Find us on Facebook – www.facebook.com/ HaysAccountancyFinanceUK – or at www.hays.co.uk/accountancy
• Karen Young, Director, Hays Accountancy & Finance

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