By Debbie Holden 07 Feb 2017 6 min read

Can social media help me find a job?


Social media has become a valuable tool in most career sectors, used by both job-seekers to track down opportunities, and recruiters to find great candidates. Recruitment experts in the automotive sector say that having a professional profile online – which includes details about you which potential employers will like the look of – is just as important today as attending job fairs, face-to-face networking, and sending out CVs to prospective companies.

Helen Westhead, marketing manager at automotive recruitment specialist Holt Recruitment says:

“We have a Facebook presence and a Twitter feed and it’s clear that candidates for automotive jobs want to sign up to these. They understand that it’s a very efficient way to keep in touch with the market and hear about jobs as soon as they crop up.”


Using social media for your job search

Recruitment agencies are using social media to speed up communications but these social networking tools can also be used for networking – making connections and getting known to employers so that you’re front-of-queue when jobs become available. Many car manufacturers, auto engineering companies, dealerships, and automotive service companies are starting to realise that they need a presence in the world of social media as a means of attracting talent. Jaguar Land Rover and Ford are taking a long-term view. They are active on Twitter and LinkedIn and have both built lively Facebook career pages. They both have thousands of ‘likes’ on these Facebook sites and provide detailed information about job prospects, the company culture and the kinds of skills they’re looking for. These are great places to start showing your interest in a particular brand or organization.

“Networking has always been important but with the explosion of social media, its importance has dramatically increased,” says Nicola Deas, practice leader of career management at Right Management, a talent and career management consultancy which recently researched the subject.


Employers using social media to screen applicants

It’s important to remember that employers don’t just use social media to advertise their companies and vacancies, they are increasingly using social media for recruitment. It is more than likely that they will use social media screening as a standard part of their recruitment process. A survey conducted last year found that 70% of employers are using social media to screen job applicants before hiring them. This figure is up from 60% in 2016 and 11% in 2006.

You could try a screening tool to check your social media for any pictures or comments that might not be appropriate for an employer to see, however, the best thing to do is to go through each of your profiles and get them in good shape before you start any applications.

It’s also useful to note that employers will also use search engines to research applicants so it’s worth searching your name to see what comes up.


Social media tips for job seekers

If you join the right industry discussion forum on LinkedIn, get to know key people in that digital arena, and hear about job vacancies first, you’re in pole position to land that top car sales role or senior technician job. Here are five areas of social media you should be considering:


1. Tidy up your Facebook page

These days HR departments like to find out as much about you as they can by searching online. So will your Facebook profile impress recruiters or put them off? It is certainly worth searching for yourself on Google and seeing what comes up. Naturally, everything on Facebook will be a reflection of you as an individual and future employee, so make sure you remove the dodgy party photos and delete any comments that might show you in a negative light. Curate your online Facebook profile very carefully and that means connecting with the right people and making constructive comments too.

If you have particular interests that would look good to an automotive employer – for instance repairing a classic car in your spare time – make sure you publicise this on your Facebook page. Experts advise checking your credit score and cleaning up those records too, as some employers do run a credit score check. Make sure you are ‘following’ the right companies and showing an interest in their Facebook posts.


2. Get busy on Twitter

Twitter is a fantastic way to connect directly with recruiters and get yourself noticed. Employers and job sites tweet job openings and job seekers use the micro-blogging service to publicise their job search and talk about their skills. You need to start by signing up to the social network and building your Twitter profile. That means writing a bio about yourself, choosing a professional profile picture, and including a link to another social media site that will give more information and contact details for yourself – for instance, your LinkedIn profile page.

Then you need to carry out extensive Twitter searches and begin following recruiters on your account and using the @ sign to communicate with them when you have something impressive to say. You’ll gradually learn about the person – hopefully, the HR director or team leader at the automotive company you’re targeting, and will also learn a great deal about the company and the wider car manufacturing, sales or maintenance industry.

It’s also worth using a tool like Tweetdeck that has built-in live search capabilities so you search for opportunities and identify potential employers or useful professionals easily. Then you can start to build a decent following – you want plenty of people to be receiving your Tweets and getting to know you are there and looking for a new job.


3. Make LinkedIn work for you

Whether you’re interested in working for Nissan, Kwik Fit, BMW or the AA, there are connections to be made via this fast-growing professional networking site. Recruiters in the automotive industry are already using LinkedIn to source suitable candidates. They enjoy the cost benefits of this – it’s effectively free to search for automotive sales or engineering professionals, for example – and there are vast numbers of people signed up.

LinkedIn also lists jobs through the site. With this in mind, it’s really worth bolstering your brand image on LinkedIn. Make sure your profile is the same as you have posted elsewhere on the web, and ensure that your entire profile is filled in on LinkedIn, giving as much useful information as possible about your automotive skills and qualifications.

It will be worth including personal recommendations from people you have previously worked with, and of course, make sure you are using all the relevant keywords that will make you stand out in the automotive jobs sector.

Next, import all your contacts so that you are as widely connected as possible. However, you might need to be wary of showing your current employer your latest efforts at attracting attention in the job market. For some people it pays to spend some money on your LinkedIn account, making it a premium account, as this could enable you to contact more recruiters and be provided with relevant job alerts.

Once you are set up fully on LinkedIn you’re in a great position to be able to search for jobs, employers and individuals who might be able to invite you to interview or at least recommend you to others looking to fill automotive industry roles. Joining industry LinkedIn groups is a fantastic way to ‘meet’ influential people in your sector.


4. Get blogging

Start blogging about yourself and your personal areas of interest as this could be a great way to prove you’re an ideal candidate for automotive jobs. If you are experienced and hoping to take a step up into a car sales management or fleet management type role, a blog could be just the sounding board you need.

Having a regularly updated blog site will bolster your online presence and get you on the radar of automotive employers. It might also be useful to mention your blog in interviews or assessment days – generally, setting up and sticking to a blog is a sign that someone has energy, commitment and tenacity, and is really interested in their career choice. These are all good personality traits in the eyes of recruiters.


5. Become a video star

Video interviews are starting to be used by large companies who want to ‘meet’ individuals without the costs involved in a first interview – particularly for sales, marketing and middle management roles. Preparing your own showcase video could help get you through the door of your target automotive company. It might be useful to make a video demonstrating a process or your particular skill set? You could stream a video resume by posting it on YouTube or incorporate some short video clips of yourself into your blog.



Which is the most useful social media site for jobs?

A recent survey of recruiters and HR managers by Right Management found that the most useful social networking site was LinkedIn (used by 61% of recruiters questioned) but surprisingly Facebook was cited by over half (52 %) as the second most useful site. This shows that social media networks and data sources are increasingly being used for direct recruiting.

“It’s critical, particularly in this difficult job market, that job seekers develop the right skills and have access to the right opportunities to find employment,” says Deas. “It’s never been more important to learn how to effectively network with peers – online and offline – as well as being able to create a great online profile with compelling messages that will get noticed by employers and recruiters. It’s not enough to have just to have a good CV today.”

Increasingly people in the automotive industry are browsing on their smartphones for car sales jobs, mechanic jobs, fleet management jobs, or body shop jobs – and this is likely to affect how the social media tools become used in the future. “Job tweets and SMS alerts once you have signed up to the right job sites and social networks will help you stay ever-more connected,” says Westhead at Holt Recruitment. “More and more people are using their smartphones for job alerts and browsing. It’s very quick and convenient, so we expect mobile and social to work together more and more in the future.”



Social media certainly won’t replace some of the tried and tested ways of being selected for a job, so don’t rule out face-to-face networking, sending out your CV, attending open days, signing up to job boards, and talking to recruitment agencies. But Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and many other digital networking tools are worth considering. They help you stand out in a crowded job market, demonstrate you have embraced the latest technology, and show you are really interested in the automotive industry and the people you’re connecting with.



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