“The Advent of social media is having a big impact on the job search today. It is critical that job seekers of all ages learn to use social media tools!” – Katie McGinty
Employers investigate candidates’ social media accounts. They view these platforms to gauge a candidate’s character and activities. Our lives are increasingly public. We all market our personal brand via social media, so present the best version of yourself. Your online presence is even more important when you are looking for a new role, as employers will hold a magnifying glass to your digital footprint. Here are four tips for leveraging your social media accounts to gain an advantage in your job search:
1. Know your platforms
Maintain an active account on at least one of the most-used social media platforms. As of right now, these include LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Obviously, for professional purposes, LinkedIn is best. Secondly, Facebook is used for both personal accounts and professional pages. Setting up a professional page is particularly important if you do a lot of contract work, freelance work, or if you are in a creative field. Twitter and Instagram are similar in that you can choose to post personal content, professional content, or a combination of both. Consider setting up both a personal and professional account on some platforms.
2. Know what not to post
Use common sense. Obviously, do not post inappropriate or offensive material on any social media platform. If you do, it will be found. Furthermore, avoid posting controversial, polarizing, or argumentative content. Similarly, do not discuss past employers or work situations on any social media account. Keep your content at a PG rating. Additionally, keep it positive.
3. Know what you should post
All of your online activity merges to present a concept of you. Therefore, present your best self to hiring managers. Keep your personal social media content clean and positive. Show enthusiasm for your profession and other pursuits. On LinkedIn, organize your professional information and update it regularly. Include your skills and outside interests. Additionally, ask for contacts to endorse you. For more information, see our post about optimizing your LinkedIn profile. For Facebook and other platforms, post regularly. This is especially important if you post professional content. Long periods of online inactivity concern hiring managers. Above all, stay active and current.
4. Engage with others in your field
On social media, “follow” or “friend” other people at your organization. Engage with their content by “liking” and commenting. Also, find people in your field whose work or leadership you admire. Then interact with their content. Consider making direct contact by reaching out to them in a professional way. This is a kind of networking and can open doors for you. Engaging with others on social media is an important part of building a personal brand that appeals to hiring managers.
Some believe that social media does more harm than good when searching for a new job. Others believe social media can be helpful, but they don’t have the tools to leverage it during their job search. These four tips will help you use social media to your advantage when searching for your next role.
If you are serious about your job search and looking to increase your chances of getting the interview, see our posts about building and leveraging your LinkedIn network and building your personal brand. Also, check out our posts about building an attention-getting resume and job-winning interview preparation. More career development information can be found in our knowledge center.