19 Tips to Network Your Way to a New Job Using Social Media

There is a lot of information on the internet. Social media offers you a chance to focus on your interests and find what is relevant to you, including ways to reach your career goals.

If you are looking for a new job, social media is an extraordinary tool for building your network. It’s becoming more common to use social media to find jobs, so it makes sense to use it as part of your job search strategy.

Networking is an often overlooked part of job searching, something you assume you can only do at formal networking events like conferences and career fairs. But connecting with others online makes communication easier and faster. With just a click of a button, you can get in touch with anyone at any time.

You may even find you prefer networking on social media over networking in person. It gives you much more flexibility as to when and where you choose to network, as well as more time to think about what you want to say or how you want to respond.

But once you have made a new connection, how do you nurture and maintain these relationships? How can you utilize your network to get career advice or find a job you’ll love?

These tips will show you how to find and connect with the right people and make the most of these social media connections.

1. Take Your Time

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Getting people to notice you on social media will take time and strategic planning. You won’t be successful if you just spam everyone and make it all about you.

So don’t immediately send messages to the people you follow. They don’t know who you are yet. Start off by liking their posts and leaving constructive comments to get on their radars.

Get to know how the various platforms work, too, as each has its own pros and cons, and some are more visual than others. Use the search feature to find current job postings and the right people and companies to follow.

2. Connect with the Right People

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Social media focuses on connecting people with more people. It gives you a chance to meet others from all over the world.

Take time to build your social network, and don’t just add people randomly. The goal is to curate a list of meaningful contacts and not just add more distractions to your day.

Establishing your goals will help you determine the kind of help you need and, therefore, who you should be connecting with. For example, if your goal is to advance your career, you might want to connect with mentors and colleagues in your industry who can offer valuable insights or opportunities for growth. If you are looking for a job that you can start tomorrow, focus on recruiters and staffing agencies.

3. Make a List

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Writing an extensive list of people that you should or want to reach out to can go a long way in helping you connect with them. Having a starting point helps to reduce the pressure and anxiety of reaching out.

Start by writing down the names of everyone you wish to connect with, even those who seem impossible. Many famous celebrities have responded to fans over social media, so you never know what connections you can make if you don’t try!

4. Be Respectful

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Be respectful when making these connections, and avoid coming off as too strong or desperate to strangers. Create a genuine connection using mutual friends or other things you have in common, such as mentioning that you both know John Smith from XYZ Inc. or were at the same event.

Understand that you might not get a response. People are busy and bombarded with emails and messages across all available platforms. Your message might not be seen, or it might not be something they can prioritize at the time. Don’t take it personally, and do not follow up excessively.

“Whether you’re at conferences, industry events, or heck, meeting the parents of the other kids at your school, you don’t network for a job— you network for relationships. It just so happens that some relationships lead to jobs.” – Ian Siegel, ZipRecruiter CEO

5. Keep It Short

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When you send your first message, keep it brief and straightforward, as people do not have the patience to read long messages. Be concise and use no more than one paragraph that is easy to read on a phone screen.

What you say in the message depends on how you know the person and what you hope to achieve.

If you met them at a conference, mention that, along with a snippet of what you two talked about, to remind them who you are. However, if this is someone you found on LinkedIn and have not met, briefly introduce yourself and express your interest in connecting with them. You can also find common ground by referencing a common interest, a mutual friend, or a shared alma mater. This will help to boost the acceptance rate of your messages.

6. Build Awareness and Promote Yourself

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While getting to know other people is an important part of networking, the real goal is to get people to know you. Use your social media platforms to share what you know and what you want to be known for. You can grow and become a thought leader in your space by consistently posting quality content that gets shared for more people to see. This will help you to attract people instead of always being the one to reach out first.

Posting about your professional achievements, experience, and results can increase your chances of connecting with like-minded people. Sharing content in your area of expertise will also help you to build credibility.

Nowadays, employers will check candidates’ social media profiles during the hiring process, so you want to show them that you have the background, skills, and experience you claim to have. This will build trust, validate your expertise, and enhance your relationships to make them more valuable and authentic.

7. Add Value

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Everyone has a unique value that they can contribute to other people. What you bring to the table in terms of your skills, experiences, and perspectives is a significant factor when building relationships.

If all you’re going to do is take, why would anyone want to associate with you?

You can establish value by finding what you and the other person have in common or doing them a favor, such as retweeting their post, leaving a comment on their YouTube video, or linking to their website in your own content. It may seem small, but these gestures can show your genuine interest in supporting their work.

8. Give Back

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One of the best ways to build a relationship is to pay it forward. Helping someone and expecting to get nothing in return allows you to feel good and grow your sense of generosity.

When you offer yourself as a resource, you can help give back, especially to those early in their careers. You are contributing to a positive environment, ultimately enriching the whole community.

9. Don’t Be Shy

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You can connect with almost anyone when networking on social media. So, no matter what stage of your career you are at, get out of your comfort zone and meet new people. Your network won’t grow otherwise.

Sending a message to someone online isn’t scary. They’ll either respond in a positive way, politely decline, or simply not answer. It’s all part of the hiring process.

10. Find Leaders and Influencers

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Online, you can easily get the latest content, updates, and event details from leaders, influencers, or your favorite industry people. These are the ones who know what’s happening in your field and can keep you informed.

You can grow your network even further by looking at who these leaders follow and follow them, too.

11. Follow What’s Happening in Your Industry

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These platforms are designed for finding and sharing content, so you can leverage this to stay current and show your skills and interests.

As a job seeker, you can use social media to learn about new opportunities, such as a company’s expansion plans or latest projects, and you can easily keep tabs on any job vacancies they post.

You can also easily learn about relevant events happening around you or all over the world, so you can participate in things like online conferences, free training courses, or webinars, regardless of where you live.

12. Show That You’re a Human

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When you share information online and want professionals and companies to notice you, don’t make it all about business. You are a real person who has interests, relationships, and thoughts outside of your career.

So, use your social media to post about business-related topics and any other content that you enjoy watching or reading. This can include heartwarming videos, funny memes, or informative blog posts.

13. Be Engaging

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In addition to sharing your own content online, social media also allows you to engage with other people or organizations and their content. You can tag businesses or people in your posts, respond to their updates, or share their content.

Engagement is really what social media is about.

Interacting and following people on social media will help you to build relationships and recognition. Your name will be out there for people to see, and they will start to remember you the more you participate in conversations or show up on their timeline or newsfeed.

As a job seeker, employers do notice this sort of thing! Something as simple as following them on X, liking their Facebook page, or subscribing to their email newsletter can help you stand out amongst the other candidates.

14. Seek Advice

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Your network is built of talented, diverse people, making it a perfect outlet to get advice.

If you are in a transitional period and are changing careers, moving from one company to another, or starting your own business, reach out to your connections and seek their wisdom. Not only will you get valuable advice, but your contacts will feel like you value their insights and opinions.

When asking for advice, be direct and keep it as simple as possible. Consider keeping it public so that anyone can chime in versus messaging people directly. You will get a variety of perspectives this way.

15. Don’t Focus Too Much on Seniority

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Many people focus on networking with executives and senior managers only, but you can also concentrate on building relationships with people who are early in their careers or your peers. This will help you grow in seniority with them.

You have a better chance of getting a positive response and building a professional relationship with your peers than you are a senior manager. People earlier in their careers have higher message acceptance and reply rates than C-level professionals and VPs, who are less likely to reply to people they don’t know.

16. Attend Networking Events

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Clearly, attending a networking event, whether it’s in person or virtually, is a way to grow your network. It’s an ideal place to connect with as many people as possible who have something in common, such as industry expertise or shared interests.

During the event, ask the right questions, take notes about who you meet, and get copies of business cards or contact information. Soon after, add these contacts to your social media to keep the relationship going.

17. Use Multiple Social Media Sites

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It is crucial to have multiple communication avenues to increase your social media presence. Numerous social media platforms exist, including Instagram, X, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Reddit, Quora, and many more. Being on a few different ones will give companies and key figures several ways to reach you.

The audience and content on each platform are also slightly different. For example, on LinkedIn, you should focus on your achievements and communicate professionally, whereas on Instagram, you can be more casual.

But once you have connected with someone through social media, reach out to them through the same platform. They may not realize that “Sarah Wilson” on Facebook is also “Sarah Jane” on TikTok, not to mention the added confusion of trying to find the conversation.

18. Set High Standards for Your Content

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Your content is the backbone of your social media profiles. Companies and colleagues need to see something valuable from the posts you share if you want them to connect with you.

In general, your content should match the message you want to convey. It’s okay to show your personality and interests in your updates. In fact, it’s a good idea to show that you are a well-rounded person who knows how to use technology and can communicate online.

If you are using your social media profiles to look for a job, keep your timeline professional. Avoid posting negative updates, such as complaining, swearing, or arguing, especially about your current job.

19. Don’t Push It

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You are not going to hear back from every person you reach out to on social media, even if you have already made some sort of connection with them. Messages get lost or forgotten about, or the person can be too busy to respond to your request.

Follow up with them once or twice. If you don’t hear back from them, keep engaging with them on social media as you have previously, but don’t send them unsolicited direct messages. You gave it a shot, so now let them reach out to you.

Using Social Media to Find a Job

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There is a lot of competition out there. When you network on social media, your personal connections can give you an advantage over other professionals and job seekers. Take some time to build these relationships and use them to your benefit!

What Exactly Is Networking, Anyway?

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Put simply, networking means meeting new people and exchanging ideas with them. Networking can happen at certain industry-wide events, in your office, or even in a diner. Of course, you can also employ a more formal route and network over email, LinkedIn, or some other established method.

If the thought of meeting with strangers and putting yourself out there makes you sick to the stomach, you’re not alone. Here are a few networking tips you can use to help increase the chances of networking successfully.

Nurturing Your Network

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“Who you know is more important than what you know” in business—a lot more important. Building a strong relationship is simple but not always easy. So here are some practical, actionable tips for building long-lasting business relationships.

Amanda Kay, the founder of My Life, I Guess, provides valuable career advice and support for anyone striving to make a living and, more importantly, make a life. Whether it's navigating job searches, learning new skills, overcoming unemployment, or dealing with debt, My Life, I Guess has been a go-to resource for career guidance and financial stability since 2013. Amanda's expertise and relatable approach have been featured in trusted publications such as MSN, Credit.com, Yahoo! Finance, the Ladders and Fairygodboss.

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