Many of us access social media each day, posting our activities, likes, dislikes and commenting on the world at large.
In the job hunt this provides a unique conundrum; on one hand, it’s the opportunity to shout out that you may be in the market for a position, showcase your skills and utilise friends in the search. But on the other hand, employers also know the value of social media with three out of four checking the profiles of potential candidates to discover more about them.
Here’s a quick rundown on the do’s and don’ts of social media when it comes to the job hunt.
Job hunting is all about the image you portray and the skills you showcase, and the majority of employers WILL run a search to see how you shape up online.
According to statistics outlined in The Muse three out of four hiring managers and recruitment firms will check your online profiles, even if you don’t provide them.
What’s more, one out of three employers have rejected a candidate because of something they found online.
The main reasons for this include references to illicit drugs or sexually explicit content, but basically, if your Facebook feed or Instagram pictures show you’re happy to party 24/7 and don’t fare well when you do, it doesn’t bode well for your employment prospects.
Similarly, your political views or off-handed comments can hurt your employability as no company wants a liability on their books.
The rule of thumb is to consider your online presence as marketing the best version of yourself. Aka your social media profile is your “brand”, and employers are checking to see this “brand” corresponds with what you present in your résumé and at interview.
This doesn’t mean you can’t use your social media accounts to be social, it’s just how you use them and what’s available to others. Ensure your privacy settings are correctly filtered and that any publicly available profile pics present you in the best light.
You can also then use your social media as a tool to get a job. This may include showcasing your design or photography skills on your Instagram account, or creating posts on Facebook that highlight professional experience, volunteer work or your successes.
Social media as a resource
Companies are increasingly using social media to not only screen candidates but actively attract them. Ninety-two percent of companies now use social media to advertise job vacancies and about half of all top companies have links from their job pages to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
That means you can have job vacancies delivered straight to your email account, but it also provides the opportunity to hone your resume on social media like LinkedIn and be part of a network that notifies you of vacancies.
Later in a career, LinkedIn also provides a valuable tool for building contacts, creating a network and showcasing your professional achievements, opening the doors for employers to headhunt you.
The last word
While this generation of job seekers has access to social media from a young age, there comes a time when that online presence may come back to haunt or help you.
Basically, maintaining the philosophy that any information you share will be seen by potential and current employers helps you keep a lid on posts that should only be shared amongst true friends, in private.