In a world with few job openings, many have resorted to new ways of finding work, such as using social networking sites (SNS).，
According to the latest job-hunting survey conducted by Renren.com, over 80 percent of 94,739 college graduates prefer to use the Internet for recruitment information. About a fourth of the post-90s respondents consider SNS an important tool for online job-hunting.
“Clearly, social media has revolutionized the way that companies seek potential employees,” said Shi Xiaobai, HR director at L’Oréal (China) Co, Ltd in Shanghai.
“It provides a great way for job seekers, particularly those fresh out of university, to network with professionals and get a foot in the door.”
For employers, SNS provide new platforms on which to publish information about their vacancies. Traditionally, they advertised on job-hunting websites, so that visitors could access the information easily.
But now, employers can target students directly by using their companies’ Sina or Tencent micro blog or Renren.com accounts. This also allows information to be spread by users, meaning that vacancies reach job seekers more efficiently.
As for the students themselves, many get in touch with HRs or alumni professionals through SNS, such as by sending messages to their inbox.
“But it’s impolite to directly send HR managers a message asking for a position. You need the right skills to catch their attention,” reminded Shi.
Usually, job seekers need to create a personal account, which includes not only uploading a resume, but also posting daily updates.
“I suggest candidates make their accounts strictly professional,” said Tian Huang, 25, who found his job as marketing manager at Kingdee International Software Group in Shenzhen by micro-blogging.
On his micro blog, Tian had a neat photo of himself and regularly posted updates about news in the marketing industry. “When you contact HRs and headhunters, they often look at your page,” he said. “You want them to see an active, engaging individual that is full of passion for their professional field.”
Joining groups on SNS can also be helpful. Chen Qianzhu, 22, a senior Chinese literature major at Peking University, found a job in a Beijing publishing company on Douban.com.
She joined a recruitment discussion group to talk with other members looking for jobs. “Often someone would reply to a job-seeking post by saying that their company has a vacancy,” said Chen. “Then I could immediately send a private message asking for the details. That’s how I got my job.”
HRs say that SNS are not a mainstream channel for job-hunting. You still need to check the recruitment websites and visit job fairs.
“In the digital age, patience is rare. HRs might not have time to respond to your messages,” said Li Ling, HR manager at Walmart (China) Investment Co, Ltd in Shenzhen. What’s great about SNS, Li says, is that you can gain a better understanding of a company’s corporate culture by reading its official posts. “With a little luck and perseverance, networking through SNS can be a worthwhile pursuit,” he said.