When I got my first job in the cosmetic science field, I did it the old fashioned way. I saw a help wanted ad in the newspaper and I sent them my resume. That lead to a job interview which ultimately lead to my formulating job at Alberto Culver. Nowadays it doesn’t happen like that too often. Newspapers just don’t publish the same number of job openings as they used to. Today, jobs are much more frequently found online. And if you use social media the right way, you’ll have a greater chance of finding a job in the cosmetic industry.
Here are some tips on how you can use social media to find a job.
Create a profile
As of now there are three social media outlets that are best suited for connecting and finding jobs. These include Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You should create a profile on all of these. In Facebook you can fill in all the information on your about page. In LinkedIn you can put all your employment history. And on Twitter you can put a short description that can work as a 160 character job pitch. Also, include a professional looking picture. Creating a good profile is critical!
Establish yourself as an expert
Once you have a profile you’ll want to do what you can to establish yourself as an expert in cosmetic science or at least in some aspect of cosmetic science. If you are not yet an expert, pick one area where you can become an expert and start researching. For people seeking formulator jobs learn everything you can about an area such as hair care products or skin care products. Go even more in-depth in one area such as shampoos. You might have to begin by calling yourself an expert then learning everything you can to actually become an expert. Remember, you don’t have to know everything about a subject to be an expert.
You are an expert in an area as long as you know more than the people who are looking to you for advice.
There are some things you can do on social networking sites that can further boost your expert status. In twitter you can create a background that can help establish yourself as an expert. Be sure to have an online version of your resume or CV and link to it whenever you have the opportunity. You can use a service like Dropbox to host your file.
One way to become an expert is to participate in discussions on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. On Twitter, search for mentions of cosmetic chemistry or cosmetic science and reply to the people who have posted the comment (if appropriate). Share links to articles that you think people in the cosmetic industry would be interested and follow other cosmetic chemists. A great place to start is to follow all of the people listed in our cosmetic chemists on twitter article.
Another thing you can do to demonstrate your expertise in a subject is to start a blog. This could be the basis of a whole other blog post so I won’t expound on it further. But you can start off with one of the free blog services like Blogger.com or WordPress.com.
Connect with people
These days finding a job is mostly about who you know. Social media allows you to connect with people you would have never had the opportunity to meet previously. Approach people by offering to do something for them. This will be much more effective than immediately telling people what you want from them. Eventually, you have to ask (if you are seeking their help) but wait until you have established a relationship before you start asking them for things. You can use LinkedIn to figure out what you might be able to do for someone else.
There are some more direct things you can do with social networking to find jobs. First, post your request on Facebook. It might be likely that one of your friends knows of a job opportunity in your field. This is one good reason for having lots of friends on facebook.
On Twitter, there are a number of services that tweet about job postings. One that I find most commonly posts about cosmetic and formulating jobs is @Getchemistjobs. Be sure to follow them. Also, you can search Twitter using the #job hashtag. This will give you a listing of all the jobs being put on twitter. It might take some time to get through but you can refine your search using the term ‘formulator’ or ‘chemist’.
Finally, join appropriate groups on LinkedIn. One feature of groups is that there are often job opportunities posted.
Social networking produces results
Incidentally, my wife got her current job through LinkedIn. I received a message from someone who liked my profile and told me about the job. I forwarded it to my wife and she eventually got the job. She didn’t send out a single resume. People do land jobs using social media.
During the month of March we are going to focus on a cosmetic science career. If you are interested in more about having a career as a cosmetic chemist, be sure to see our page on cosmetic science career.