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July 19th, 2019 | Meredith Van Eeuwen, Vice President, People and Culture

10 Ways Social Media Can Help Your Job Search

Diverse people updating their social media profiles

There are many places online where you can go to look for a new job, but if social media is not one of the places you’re going, you may be missing out on good leads and opportunities to connect with potential employers. Companies are not just using their own platforms to connect with customers. They often turn to social media to look for job candidates and post information on why they’re a great place to work. However, to impress these prospective employers on social media, you must put your best foot forward.

The following ten tips can help you show your best self:

1. Screen Everything About You That’s Out There

The first thing you should do when creating a social media strategy for your job hunt is to find out what employers may see about you. Run a search on yourself and think from an employer’s perspective about what you find:

  • Do you have unflattering pictures out there?
  • Posts with offensive language?
  • Conversations that may turn off hiring managers?

Figure out what’s out there that puts you in a bad light and get rid of it. Next, to change your online image, replace the negative posts with more appropriate content. The more positive information you put out there, the less likely it will be that people will find your past negative posts. Be proactive, with many employers routinely requesting their background screening company to run social media searches, you need to project your best online persona.

2. Separate Personal from Professional

People go on social media to have a good time, but it’s best to keep your personal life separate from your job search. Make one page to communicate with your friends and family, and a separate page related to your professional activities and achievements. However, keep in mind that even with a separate page, companies can still see what you’re posting, so be sure to tighten up your privacy settings so that your personal activities are not public. Also, be careful of who you allow to get a glimpse into your personal life online. Privacy settings don’t count if you accept every friend request you receive.

3. Be Careful with Names

Clever nicknames are fine for your personal social media pages, but when it comes to your job-hunting activities, it’s best to keep it professional. Any social media page that’s dedicated to your work life should have your real name, rather than a nickname. In addition, any email address you use for your job search should also be your name. Hiring managers can and do notice if your email address is less than professional, and it can raise a red flag on your application.

4. Create a Complete LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn gives users a lot of real estate to describe what makes them a great job candidate. Be sure to use all of it. Leaving areas blank is only wasting opportunities for you to impress employers—and for them to find your profile in the first place. You can also “follow” the companies where you are applying to learn about their latest activities and company focus. If you are called for an interview, your knowledge of the company’s activities on social media and ideas you present will help you score brownie points.

Woman updating her info on social media

5. Keep Information Up to Date

Have you earned a certification? Learned a new skill? Attended an industry event that deepened your knowledge? Be sure to keep your social media pages up to date with what you are doing. This further solidifies you as a right fit and provides more opportunities for hiring managers to find you when they search industry keywords.

6. Demonstrate Your Expertise

You have special knowledge about your profession? Then be sure to share it on your social media pages. Writing blogs that showcase your expertise, sharing industry news, and giving people advice where relevant, goes a long way toward establishing yourself as a good candidate for a job. Read industry updates and news, pepper your posts with relevant and updated information that will grab the attention of hiring manager. Read about the latest updates in laws and regulation such as our up-to-date compliance section to gain the latest industry-relevant information.

7. Follow Job Search Hashtags

There are several hashtags that job seekers should follow to find job posts from companies easily, these include: #employment, #careers, #JobSearch, #NowHiring, and more. In addition, it’s a good idea to follow hashtags that are relevant to your industry. There are several groups online that are relevant to your industry, engage in conversations to connect with others in your field. You never know who is following a discussion, and an insightful post in an industry-related hashtag can get the attention of someone who may be able to hire or even recommend you.

8. Avoid Hot-Button Topics

Everyone has their own beliefs about hot-button issues like religion, sex and politics; but your professional social media account is not the appropriate place for you to talk about them. Since you can run the risk of offending someone in a position to hire you, even if you are expressing your thoughts in a respectful manner, it’s best to keep those types of conversations on your private page. If you would like to, share sensitive posts in a sensitive, respectful and non-judgmental tone.

Man Holding up a great selfie on his phone

9. Choose Photographs Wisely

The popular adage, a picture is worth a thousand words, holds true for your photographs too, and you want to ensure those thousand words are telling a story that organizations want to hear. Although it’s okay to share some personal photos—like pictures of you engaging in your hobbies or spending time with your pets—you should make sure they convey a positive message about you.

10. Show Your Personality

Just because you don’t want to air all your dirty laundry on your professional platforms doesn’t mean you can’t show your personality at all. It’s good to talk about the things you enjoy from time to time in order to show who you really are as a person. Providing this well-rounded information is a good way to further connect with hiring managers online—and that’s what social media is all about.

Sterling’s mission is to provide a foundation of trust and safety our clients need to create great environments for their most essential resource, people. We believe everyone has the right to feel safe. Click here to learn more about us. Do you have questions on background checks? Click on the link to read our recent blog that busts the top 10 myths of background checks.

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This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.