Aug. 13, 2020

Strategic use of social media to help in a job search, or grow one’s professional network, has taken on even greater importance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With many job seekers, recruiters and human resources executives working from home, social media is filling in the gaps created by the loss of in-person networking opportunities and employment intelligence normally gleaned at impromptu meetings near the company watercooler or at job fairs, workshops or conferences.

Employment experts agree that LinkedIn is the go-to platform for job seekers and recruiters, as well as employed individuals wanting to expand their professional footprint.

“LinkedIn is an excellent tool and every job seeker should be on it,” said Jenny Showalter, client services manager at Aviation Personnel International. Many companies have their own LinkedIn profiles, which also can be helpful to those looking for a new position, she added.

Ann Marie Beebout, lead social media coach at ProResource, noted that 93% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find qualified job candidates. As a result, job seekers want their name to be recognizable.

“You want to show up in their news feed, comment on articles that influencers are posting and actively follow industry leaders,” she advised.

For those wanting to expand their network, Beebout advised using introductions, and to not be shy about asking to connect. “Make your intentions clear, and even if you are employed, stay active by posting a couple of times a week,” said Beebout.

She advised caution when it comes to posting personal information, which is more often found on social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. Even Facebook should be approached judiciously if being used for professional advancement. “Remember what you post will be seen forever,” she noted.

Facebook does have a number of useful aviation groups which can be very helpful for job seekers, according to Showalter. Facebook is also useful for growing your connections, and letting people know you are looking for work – especially with the aviation groups – can be a good idea.

“Just make sure you are aligned with professional groups, watch your language and your political postings,” she advised. “Make certain not to post anything controversial.”

James Stone, who was recently hired as the director of aviation operations for a health insurance company based in the Southeast, said in his experience recruiters are primarily mining LinkedIn for qualified candidates.

“I’ve received many solicitations over the years based on keywords in my profile, including my [Certified Aviation Manger] title,” said Stone, who also recommended getting the Premium membership on LinkedIn for additional messaging and information useful for job seekers.

For more resources on helping business aviation professionals find employment as well for employers seeking to fill positions, learn more about NBAA’s BizAv Back to Work initiative.