Over 3.2 billion people use social media in 2019. With that in mind, it stands to reason that you’re potential future employers are also using the platform. First impressions count, you’ve applied for a job with a pristine CV, your skills match the job description perfectly and the recruiter/employer tasked with filling the role loves everything about you on paper. What do they decide to do next? Often an employer will look FOR you on social media; a 2018 survey found that 70% of employers will use social media to research potential candidates during the hiring process. As a result, it makes sense that you think twice before posting that “hilarious” photo from your latest night out.
Make no mistake social media has impacted every aspect of our lives, and the same is true for how we search for jobs. According to a recent survey, 48% of jobseekers now use social to find jobs and 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates.
Although some social networks are more relevant than others, they can all be utilised to either directly search and apply for jobs, or just represent yourself in a positive light to potential employers.
How can you take advantage of such a powerful job searching tool? Well a few simple tips and changes you can make straight away include:
- Use an industry appropriate profile picture. (An accountant may want to appear more traditionally professional than a photographer who will want to show of the creativity)
- Make sure your education and work experience is accurate and up to date. This includes being truthful about your duties in the specific roles, it might seem like a good idea to tell the a little white lie here and there but you will eventually get caught out further down the line.
- Find relevant recruiters and hiring managers on LinkedIn and send a personal introduction. (It’s easy to spot a message that has been reused a thousand times and looks very lazy.)
- Follow companies you are interested in working for. Plenty of companies, ourselves included, post jobs directly onto their feed, so who knows when the perfect job will show up.
- Engage with people and topics relevant to your industry. Anyone can see your activity and by showing an interest and expertise you will increase your network and make more people, potentially a future employer, aware of you. Remember to keep it professional though.
- Ask people in your network to endorse your skills. The more endorsements the better. If you can get an endorsement of another expert with the same skills then this further reinforces your talents and sets you apart.
- Get involved in LinkedIn professional groups. Identify appropriate professional groups in your area of expertise and start conversations. Engaging in topics around your field and providing useful bits of information is a great, more direct way of showcasing you skills.
These are just a few tips that you can utilise on LinkedIn to enhance your job search. But these are not gospel. Find what works for you but always be aware that anyone can see what you post and draw whatever conclusions they want about you.
Facebook is the largest social network on the planet, 2.4 billion users if you want to put a number on it. But, whilst around a third of the world population use it, we don’t often think of it as a job searching tool. The platform is by no means optimised for job hunting, however, there are still features that can help you. For example:
- Many recruiters and companies have a tab on their page for jobs. NES Global Talent do. You can find the latest vacancies using this tab, making it a great place to find jobs.
- Follow companies you are interested in. If you have an interview lined up, follow the company and take a look at what they post. Different companies use their feed for different reasons, but by checking out what they post you could maybe unearth a piece of information that could prove useful during an interview.
- No one expects you to use Facebook as a professional network. Generally it is used for personal use but this doesn’t mean you should post whatever you want. Future employers can still find you on the platform and see what you post. Making your information private can help but it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to posting inappropriate content. People have lost their jobs for off the cuff comments and posts in the past so bare that in mind.
Twitter is neither as big as Facebook nor as professional as LinkedIn. This doesn’t mean it isn’t worth considering when hunting for jobs. Twitter is an incredible place for engaging in conversations across a range of topics but if used incorrectly, it can also prove disastrous for you career. In 2018, a woman in the U.S. lost an Internship at NASA after swearing on twitter. A few things to think about when using Twitter whilst job hunting:
- Follow the recruiters’ or companies’ pages that you are interested in (for example NES Global Talent’s Twitter page)
- You can also follow the relevant people if they have professional individual profiles.
- Use hashtags on twitter to search for jobs. For example #jobs and then location or profession (‘#jobs engineer Aberdeen’)
- Think twice before going on a profanity fuelled rant. You never know who is going to see it.
- If you want to maintain a barrier between your personal and professional life then potentially think about making your account private so only friends and family can see your content. You can even consider using an anonymous profile is you do want to post content that may not be considered very professional.
Social media is here to stay
Social media is embedded in most of our everyday lives. As Generation Z enters the workforce, social media is only going to become more important in both a our professional and personal lives so making sure you optimise your use of the platforms could prove vital, especially when hunting for a job.
Have you seen any of our other career advice blogs? Read our top ten CV tips to perfect your CV for that dream job.
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