LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, with more than 433 million members including 25 million in Switzerland and its neighbouring countries (France, Germany, Austria, Italy). Most recruiters look through it to find interesting profiles and many companies use it to publish vacancies.

Share, like, follow… An overview of using social networks for job hunting

First steps on social networks

The first thing to do is to create a profile or clean up an already existing profile. Take good care of it: it is your virtual showcase. Social networks allow you to view other peoples' profiles to learn more about them – and they can learn about you too. Therefore, before taking the plunge, make sure to put the odds in your favor. Follow our advice and perfect the image you are projecting to others. As the saying goes, first impressions matter. This is also true in the virtual world.

Setting up your profile

When you are creating your profile, register with your real name rather than a pseudonym. Fill in as many useful fields as you can (city, birth date, email address, etc.) in order to avoid being mistaken with your namesakes.

LinkedIn and Xing allow you to add a CV to your profile. Use the same expressions as you would on a traditional CV and keep it up to date. Although Facebook is perceived as a friendship oriented network, it holds a “Work and education” field where you can describe your professional background.

Our tip: Choosing your profile picture on social networks is important – particularly for business oriented networks. Your profile picture is your brand image. Choose a portrait or bust format where you appear your professional best. Don't hesitate to use the same picture on different social networks. This will make your profile easier to find and will allow a contact to recognize you if you are invited to an in-person interview.

How to add value to your profile

Position yourself as a reference person, someone who shares their knowledge and know-how, someone who is often solicited for advice. Take part in discussions, selflessly offer your help or provide support to those who need it.

Carefully monitor any kind of communication about your current and past employers. This can be revealing about the way you might talk about a future employer.

Our tip: Joining an interest group or a fan-page also reveals your personality, be careful in selecting them. Do not hesitate to join Manpower Switzerland's pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Xing and Twitter.

Choose the right references

Having your former colleagues – particularly your managers – in your network is generally a good sign. Even better, if a recruiter sees acquaintances among your contacts, he or she can easily inquire about you to have a confirmation of your qualifications. Therefore, it is better to only keep contacts you are in good standing with!

LinkedIn offers the possibility to be formally recommended if you ask for it. Preferably try to approach a former manager, professor or trainer. Why not read our article on references?

Improve your profile

  • Every detail of your profile can give away information about your personality: your relationships, the information you publish, your affiliation to an interest group, possibly a blog address, etc.

  • Favor quality relationships over a multitude of contacts who you might not even have physically met.

  • Always think that any one of your contacts may be recruiting you one day.

  • On non-professional networks like Facebook, we advise you to restrict the access to your personal data to approved contacts, i.e. people you personally know.

Applying via social networks

Some networks, like LinkedIn, allow employers to publish job ads. Sometimes you can apply with “just one click”

Having a completed, up-do-date and well-structured profile is thus essential to maximize your chances. Make sure that the email address and telephone number that you have indicated are still valid.

Increasingly powerful algorithms

In 2016, IT tools perform a variety of functions to help make your life and recruiters’ lives easier.

For example, when you create your profile on our MyManpower profile, you can export your info directly from your Facebook, LinkedIn or Xing account. Our platform uses the information from your public profile: your first name, last name, email and photo. Then it’s up to you to adapt this info for your application.

Recruiters’ work is made easier by tools that allow them to scan and analyse your CV to see if your skills, education and knowledge are a match for the job profile. This process is called parsing. The choice of words is therefore particularly important.