Sarah Thomas

Social media can be used for more than sharing photos of your kids, pets, and dinner. The Muse states that 92% of companies use LinkedIn when hiring. Companies look beyond your LinkedIn profile as well. Over three quarters of hiring managers check social media profiles of a candidate prior to interviewing. Learn how to leverage your social media profiles to get a job and improve your career prospects.

Have a Verifiable Social Media Presence

Not having a social media presence online can be detrimental to your job hunt. Careerbuilder found that almost half of employers wouldn’t interview someone if they couldn’t research their social media online first. While you may want to have a private online persona, you need a professional online presence using your real name. Make it easy for an employer to find you, especially if you have a common name. Include your LinkedIn profile on your application, cover letter, or resume to give a potential employer an easy way to research your social media profile.

Clean House

Go through all of your social media profiles and ensure that there isn’t anything public you don’t want an employer to see. Flexjobs recommends deleting and removing old posts that don’t reflect your professional life and even creating separate profiles for personal and professional use. On your professional profile, use the same headshot across each platform so that it is easy to tell that the profiles are all the same person. Post regularly to these profiles and keep your posts relevant to your industry while allowing your personality to shine through.

What Not to Do

So what needs to stay off of your professional social media? Use your common sense – if you wouldn’t talk about it in the office, don’t talk about it on your professional social media. US News lists multiple topics that can lead employers to turn down your application.

These include:

  • Generally unprofessional posts

  • Posts slandering their current or former employer

  • Posts with poor grammar

  • Discriminatory posts

  • Posts that are criminal or inappropriate in nature

  • Posts that violate NDA or confidentiality agreements

Stay Organized

Consistency is key when it comes to social media. Keep your accounts organized by using the same photo, or similar photos, which show your face. Use your real name on your social media whenever possible to give legitimacy to your accounts. Link your profiles to each other so that employers or potential contacts can easily find you via your social media accounts. Add links to your personal website, portfolio, or links to where you’ve been mentioned on the internet. If you’re struggling to keep up with posting to several accounts, utilize a scheduling tool like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Later to manage your social media and personal brand.

A Few Words on Blogs

If you’re a strong writer, highlight your skills in a personal blog. Write on topics related to your industry and mention companies that you’d ideally like to collaborate with or work for in the future. Monster lists this technique as an excellent way to make yourself stand out from other job seekers, especially if your industry is in the creative realm.

Who to Follow

While it may be tempting to follow popular accounts that fill your feed with memes, keep your professional social media follows selective. Follow industry experts that will keep you up-to-date on trends and news happening within your industry. Select companies to follow that may post openings for positions that you could apply for before they hit the job boards. Connect with colleagues that can broaden your network and improve your chances of finding the next step up in your career.

Joining Groups

Groups on social media are a wealth of information. You can join groups specifically for career advice, job connections and learn more about a specific industry. Career coach Dennett Edwards has created a professional development group called “Corona Daze Professional Development Group,” which can be found on Facebook. This group offers free training and mentorship to users in response to the record unemployment seen with the COVID-19 pandemic. Edwards says,

“Jobseekers: Your career development is your own responsibility, not your employer or your school. Your network equals your net worth – build relationships and maintain them throughout your career. It is not enough to just go to work and do your best. Seek professional development opportunities that are in alignment with where you want your career to go.

Recruiters and Hiring Managers: Older seasoned professionals have great value to offer your client or organization. Please stop counting them out. They are still in the game, and many of them are all-stars, well worth your consideration.”

Utilize groups like CDPD, and others, to gain valuable resources during your job search.

Don’t Be Afraid of New Platforms

Don’t shy away from trying new platforms during your job search. Platforms like Clubhouse can be utilized to connect with other professionals that you may not otherwise meet. Be sure to fill out your bio fully so that you can stay connected outside of Clubhouse as well.

Beyond Social Media

To find the job of your dreams, you’ll have to go beyond social media. Take our quick and easy assessment and read through your PIC report. You’ll discover your performance style, interpersonal style, and challenges so that you can determine which role is best suited to your strengths.

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