Finding a job takes time and effort – and that applies just as much in farming as it does in other professions.
But whether you are just starting out in agriculture or looking for your next move it’s important to think about how social media could help you get a job?
People may be used to using them for social purposes, but platforms such asTwitter and LinkedIn be used to help you find contacts or get that role as a farm manager or as a junior grain trader.
Consultant Simon Hayley, who will lead a session titled Social media: What it means for your business and another called How to stay professional on social media as part of the seminar programme at the Livestock Event on 2-3 July, shares his thought on five ways to use social media to get an agricultural job:
1. Social media profiles can show off the skills and experience you have
- You can get great results by getting your profiles set up correctly from the start.
- On Twitter, consider creating a new account purely for job seeking in your own name. Include a professional photograph. Give a brief summary of your key skills and experience plus some relevant hashtags such as #farming or #FactsQualified to attract recruiters searching for their next employee.
- On LinkedIn you have a chance to really show off your CV and recommendations from colleagues. You could be contacted by an agency or employer direct before a job is advertised, purely on the strength of your profile.
2. People are having conversations on social media about where they work and new opportunities
- Whether you met them at work or at an industry event, connect with people you know from the agriculture sector. There’s a good chance that some of them are talking on social media about emerging trends or news from rural businesses.
- Join these conversations by replying with your perspective, or with questions. Ask people for their opinions. Remember that this is your professional account so if you wouldn’t say it in an interview, don’t say it on social media.
3. You can meet experts and recruitment specialists on social media
- Social media has the edge over job boards and speculative CVs in that you can search for and begin to talk to influential people in the fields of agronomy, estate management or whatever direction you’d like to take your career.
- From recruiters for your dream employer to gurus who can give you up to date careers advice, it will be a real eye opener Typing “agriculture” or “farming jobs’ in the search box can yield lots of relevant results on Twitter and LinkedIn. An extra quick way to track down some useful contacts is to see who your colleagues are connected to.
4. You can promote yourself on social media
- Although social media is still relatively new, the principle of blowing your own trumpet has always been key to getting noticed. It’s an art rather than a science and you can overdo it, but think about how you can tactfully demonstrate you are developing your skills and that you keep up to date with the latest news from your sector.
- If you’ve taken a course, comment about the things that struck you most. Share links to news stories. Celebrating an achievement? Let your Twitter audience know.
5. You can manage your personal brand on social media
- First things first, take care with who you follow, what you post and how you might look to someone who is thinking about hiring you. Check your spelling and avoid text speak or slang. All of these things can make the difference between being overlooked by an employer and getting an invite to an informal interview.
- Keep your profiles up to date. Consider creating a blog about a particular element of your skill set. You can share these on your social media accounts. Help others to learn a new skill and demonstrate your own talents all at once.
Simon Haley is a partner at SocialB, a social media and online marketing business that provides training and consultancy in helping businesses to use these tools effectively. He also sits on the Council of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists.