Social media: does it help or hinder your job search?

With so many potential candidates active on social media, it’s vital to consider the impact your online presence can have on your chances of landing your dream job role.

We’ve looked into the dos and don’ts of social media to help you turn your social media accounts into a boon for your job search.

Why does social media matter when I’m looking for a job?

In a world of constant communication and social media prominence, employers are increasingly turning to social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn as an added strand of research.

If we post publicly about our lives outside of work, potential employers have every right to screen their potential interviewees to find out more about them. That’s why it’s crucial to think carefully about how we portray ourselves online and what kind of content we’re posting, even out of hours.

The biggest social media mistakes to make when job hunting

Contrary to what you might think, making all your social media platforms private may give out the wrong impression. It could look like you’ve got something to hide and may cause your CV to be placed at the bottom of the pile.

The best thing to do is make sure all your public-facing accounts look organised and professional. That way, if you lock down your personal Facebook account, there will be something positive online for potential employers to see when they screen you for interview.

Using fake followers to make your accounts look popular will be a big turn off for employers. Instead, interact with influencers, follow industry-relevant publications and post about relevant, creative things – you’ll have more of an impact that way than appearing to attract thousands of people who aren’t interested in your content.

Signing up to all the social media platforms for appearance, then leaving them lying dormant will also harm your chances of securing an interview. This is arguably more damaging than either not having them at all or locking them all down as private.

Sign up to the relevant platforms and ensure you post regularly and relevantly. Remaining professional, create funny, interesting and helpful posts on a regular basis to show your potential employers that there’s more to you than simply a two-dimensional CV.

The best ways to use social media to get a job

On the flip side, there are so many steps you can take, involving your social media channels, to help strengthen your job prospects and even land your dream role.

Tell your audiences that you’re looking for new opportunities. Share your CV and experience and ask to be introduced to anyone in the relevant industry who might be looking to recruit. You’ll increase your chances of being seen by recruiters and employers in the wider world, rather than simply sending your CV out in response to advertised jobs.

Ask your colleagues and contacts for written testimonials to post on your LinkedIn profile then share them on Facebook too. Receiving recommendations from third parties is always more impressive and persuasive than shouting about your own strengths.

Change your online profiles to state that you’re actively seeking new employment and ask your friends and contacts to spread the word too. With so much connection and networking happening all the time online, you never know who on your contact list might know the very person you need to speak to about your next role.

Make sure you’re following the companies you’d like to work for on social media – you’ll be one of the first to know about any jobs on offer and any news being released from the companies. It will also be an indication of your commitment to research and finding a job when your potential employers research you online.

Finally, try to draw a line between personal and professional on social media. Set up and maintain a professional, public-facing persona and keep your private life and content separate if you can.

 

For more advice and information about social media and your job search, contact the team at Zenith People – we’d love to help you secure your dream job.