While interviewing association leaders for the book, “I Want a Job in an Association – Now What??: A Guide to Getting a Job in a Professional Association, Membership Organization, or Society, ” I always ask how they source for talent. There are a variety of ways, of course, depending on the individual, organization, and geographic location. However, I was surprised to find out how much social media was cited as a method for finding candidates.
There’s been a bit of social media backlash lately, with people realizing it’s not as easy as many of us were led to believe. While you can reach millions of people, job hunters are often discouraged when they don’t receive much of a response. After talking with hiring managers in several associations, I found that viewing social media differently will better help you get in front of these decision makers:
1) Think of it as networking: Make an effort to meet new people in your industry, and establish relationships. This can take time, but can also benefit you for the rest of your career. On Twitter, you can start by following people who are at associations and engaging them in conversation. On LinkedIn, join industry-related groups, and reach out to people you’d like to get to know better.
2) Think of it as a resume/pre-interview: You’ll be halfway to an offer if potential employers know you’re a subject-matter expert BEFORE you even interview! Establish this reputation by offering relevant articles and tips, conversing with colleagues, becoming a member of industry groups, and having a targeted, keyword-rich bio.
3) Think of it as a job board: Many associations post jobs on Twitter and LinkedIn. Especially for smaller organizations, it offers an economical way to advertise open positions. On Twitter, go to “Find People” and add in an industry or company + jobs, and see what comes up (for example “Association Jobs”). You may find listings that aren’t posted on typical job boards. On LinkedIn, there’s a “Jobs” tab at the top, where you can search using various criteria, including job function, location, and industry.