While job boards are still one of the most common ways of looking for work, social media is now becoming a key player for job search and hiring. In order to help you optimize your job search, here are the answers to five of the most commonly asked questions about using social media for a job search.
1. How can I use social media in my job search?
The best way to use social media in your job search is to create a plan of action. Since social media can be both time consuming and distracting, we suggest a goal-orientated course of action. Start by setting a goal to determine what you wish to accomplish as a job seeker on social media. With a goal in mind, decide which platforms will be best suited for your professional purposes. Doing some research to see which platforms are being used in the industry you are interested in can help you in the decision-making process. For example, if you are looking for an opportunity in the food service, Instagram might be your best bet. Many well-known brands and independent establishments choose this platform for engaging with their community. If you aren’t regularly active online, then focusing on one or two platforms would be more manageable. On the other hand, if you are social media savvy and have several accounts, gearing one or two towards employers will help you control the type of information they’ll see. After this, it’s about becoming the tailor of your own professional story. Creating a personal brand will help you stand out to potential employers and can be used in conjunction with using other job search tools.
2.How important is social media to a job search?
Using social networking sites is becoming increasingly important for a job search—as more and more employers use them for their hiring process. Employers understand that social media can increase the effectiveness and efficiency and decrease the costs of the hiring process. Not only are employers using social media to post their opportunities, but many also use it to learn about candidates. So, in the same way you would research people and companies you would like to work for, employers are using social media as a way of getting to know potential candidates before hiring. Your social media accounts can give them an indication of the type of person you are, how well you communicate, your knowledge of the industry, and how you spend your time outside of work. Basically, it will tell them whether you have the personality or attitude to fit in with the company. Knowing how your online presence reflects you is important for your hireability.
3.How can I use social media to stay current in my job search?
There is one sure way of staying current using social media for job searches and that is investing your time into your social platform(s) of choice. Assuming that you have already established your professional accounts and equipped them to reflect the industry you are interested in, then all that is left is being active. According to a Forbes article “being active on social media” doesn’t mean that you need to have an account on all the different platforms out there, rather it is about being efficient with how you use those platforms and keeping them up-to-date. Keeping your social media accounts active doesn’t have to be complicated. Take LinkedIn for example, ensuring your profile has current information and then simply sharing an article of interest once a week, and liking or commenting on posts in your field of interest could be enough to have a potential employer take notice. Two more great ways to stay active are to follow industry leaders who could help keep you in the know about latest trends, news and tips; you can also join groups of interest related to your field, see what they’re talking about and contribute to the conversation.
4.What are some social media dos and don’ts?
You can find plenty of online tips for the dos and don’ts related to social media and finding employment. But trying to decipher which to prioritize can be overwhelming. So, start with the basics: Do keep your accounts up-to-date and active. Sharing posts, commenting, sharing your expertise, joining groups, reconnecting with old acquaintances or following industry leaders is a great way to increase your visibility and keep connected to what is happening in the industry. This will also help you in the long run because it will show employers that you have a keen interest in what you do.
When thinking about the social media don’ts, it’s best to keep in mind that anything that could negatively affect a potential employer’s impression of you would best be kept off your channels. It’s possible a hiring manager might never check your channels, but it’s not worth the risk. A good way to ensure your profiles are in good shape is to do a “pre-mortem” check of your social media accounts—a review of all of your channels and removal of anything that could be deemed inappropriate, such as the use of profanity, discriminatory comments or insults about others or your workplace or inappropriate photos.
5.Can social media hurt your job search?
Social media can most definitely have an impact on your job search to the point that you can lose job opportunities. Since employees represent the company, employers want to hire people who won’t have a negative impact on the brand and fit the brand’s image. So, what you post, share and get tagged are now becoming a part of your resume’s first impression. According to a survey by Career Builder, 70% of employers are using social media as part of the vetting process. Their main reasons for doing this is to have a better understanding of a potential recruit’s personality, attitudes, skills and fit with the company. The information gleamed from their profile search will have an influence on their decision to hire you or move on to a more suitable candidate. In the same survey, 54% of employers reported that they decided not to hire a candidate based on their social media profiles. This is why keeping your social media clean of anything that could risk you potential to get the job is very important.Whether you’re using social media in your job search or just looking for help figuring out your next steps, we can help. Contact us today to find out about our free services and resources for job seekers.