Smart ways to use social media during your job search
We’ve all heard stories of how social media can hurt your job search—people have actually lost their jobs over inappropriate or offensive postings. But did you know that social media can also help you in your job search? If you use social media strategically, you can boost your online presence and show potential employers your professionalism. Try these tips as you are planning out your job search strategy.
1. Make your LinkedIn profile shine
Do you have a LinkedIn profile? If not, it’s time to get it in gear. LinkedIn is similar to Facebook, but it is intended for professional networking rather than social networking. In addition to networking, it offers useful services such as job postings, company profiles, and interest groups. Try these simple LinkedIn tips:
- Be sure your photo looks professional—a potential employer might see it!
- As you create your profile, fill out as many information fields as possible.
- Make connections with at least 50 people, so that your network doesn’t look too thin.
- Follow companies in your job field to keep up with happenings.
- Make recommendations for colleagues you respect (and hopefully they will make recommendations for you too!).
- Join interest groups and participate in professional discussions.
- Put a link to your LinkedIn profile on your resume and email signature.
- Post articles that are of interest in your field.
- Find job search advice on LinkedIn.
2. Clean up anything that is inappropriate
If you’re in the market for a new job, it’s important to think about how you are presenting yourself on social media. You might have old photos or posts that could be embarrassing if a potential employer saw them. Here are some tips on cleaning up your social media presence:
- Delete pictures and videos that are inappropriate.
- Ask your friends not to tag you in any inappropriate photos.
- Delete any old posts that might look bad to a potential employer. This goes for anything that is angry, offensive, insensitive, or immature.
- Stop following people who are posting inappropriate posts or photos.
After you’ve spent some time cleaning up your social media presence, try Googling yourself to see what comes up, to see if you’ve missed anything.
3. Keep personal information private
Once you begin looking for a job, you will want to keep most of your personal information private. You don’t need potential employers seeing pictures of your family reunion or your latest selfie with friends. To avoid this, check the privacy settings on all of your social media accounts. For platforms like Facebook or SnapChat, make sure only your friends can see your posts and full profile. It’s okay for potential employers to see some personal information, but on the whole, it’s better to limit it where you can.
4. Use social media for positive ends
Social media is not all about posting party photos. Social media can be a great way to get more involved in your career field and your community. Here are some ways to use social media that will impress potential employers:
- Post interesting articles that relate to your career field.
- Join professional group discussions and contribute thoughtfully on LinkedIn and Twitter.
- Keep your posts positives; don’t put others down.
- Post thought-provoking questions to others in your field to generate conversation.
- Help promote community or charity causes.
- If your job search is not confidential, use Facebook to let your friends know you’re looking. You can even link to your resume or your LinkedIn page.
5. Find out about potential employers through LinkedIn
Once you get asked to a job interview, you can use social media to learn more about the employer. Sign up for their Twitter feed, read about them on LinkedIn and Facebook, and look up the hiring manager on LinkedIn. Knowing more about the employer will help you be more informed during your interview.
We hope these five tips help you understand how online platforms and social media can benefit you in your job search. Above all, good luck, and don’t give up! The right job is out there somewhere!
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