Find out how social media can benefit your job search
When searching for a job, social media can be your worst enemy—we have all heard stories of people who have lost their jobs as a result of a rude or tasteless social media post. But did you know that social media can also be your friend? Using social media strategically can help your job prospects and show potential employers that you are interested and engaged in your job field.
Try these suggestions to make the most of social media as you begin your job search. You’ll be surprised at the difference it can make!
1. Get active on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the career person’s answer to Facebook. It is a professional networking site that allows you to not only post professional information about yourself but also to connect with others in your field, search for job postings, and build a name for yourself. If you don’t have LinkedIn profile yet, get started with these tips.
- Make sure your photo looks professional.
- Fill out all the fields as you develop your profile.
- Aim for at least 50 connections.
- Follow companies in your job field.
- Endorse or recommend others, and ask them to do the same for you.
- Join professional groups and participate in thoughtful discussions.
- Post relevant articles to your feed.
2. Check your filters and privacy settings on all social media accounts
When you are searching for a job, you probably don’t want potential employers to have access to your personal information. To help guard against this, double-check your privacy settings on your social media accounts. Be sure that your personal information is private. It’s okay to leave some information public, because you want your employer to know that you have a social media presence, but be sure to keep your public profiles respectable.
3. The big cleanup
If you’ve been on social media for many years, you may not remember some of the material that’s been posted in the past. It’s a good idea to use this time to go through your histories of every account you have. (Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, personal blogs, you name it!)
- Remove inappropriate pictures and videos
- Remind your friends that you are job-hunting, and ask them not to tag you in anything inappropriate.
- Remove posts where you may have written something offensive, controversial, immature, or insensitive.
- Unfollow or unfriend people who post inappropriate things.
- Use names and handles that are respectable and inoffensive.
After cleaning up your accounts, try Googling your name and see what appears. If it’s anything embarrassing, try to have the material removed.
4. Use social media to show you are involved
Employers usually like to know that you have some involvement with social media, which can show that you are involved with your community and your career. When done strategically, social media can help you market yourself. There are a few ways to use it to your advantage:
- When possible, keep separate accounts for career-related posts and personal posts.
- Don’t use social media for blatant self-promotion—instead, post career-related information and news to promote the sharing of knowledge.
- Contribute thoughtfully to group conversations, but try to avoid controversy.
- Try not to share too much of your personal life in career-related social media.
- Keep it positive: don’t put others down and don’t badmouth past employers.
- Use manners, just like in real life.
We hope these tips will help you get a handle on your social media presence and use it to your advantage during your job search. For more information on social media and job searching, try Are You Getting Enough Out of LinkedIn? And most importantly, good luck!