You may spend half your waking hours on Instagram, Snapchat, or your social network of choice, but have you thought about how your social media presence can help you with your job search? It’s becoming more and more common for companies—especially in the creative industries—to turn to social media to advertise openings and recruit promising candidates. Here are a few tips for using social media in your job search.
Before we dive in, let’s just start with a little warning. It has become increasingly common for employers to look up the social media profiles of potential hires.
You need to be fully aware that this WILL happen and make sure that:
1) You don’t have anything online you wouldn’t mind sharing with your future boss. (Goodbye spring break photos!)
2) Your security settings are strict enough that you’re comfortable with the information that’s displayed to complete strangers. (From now on, you and your settings are BFFs. Taking time to go through them can be tedious, but it’ll totally be worth it in the long run.)
3) You’ve changed your name to a nickname, abbreviation, or something else that makes you difficult to find if you don’t want your profile to be viewed at all by a potential employer.
By now you probably already know that LinkedIn is a good place to network, promote yourself, and maybe even apply for a job or two. Just make sure you’re not making one of these “8 LinkedIn Mistakes You Should Never Make” from The Daily Muse. Adam Grant also writes about the power of tapping into your weak ties in “Finding the Hidden Value in Your Network” and LinkedIn is the perfect place to do just that!
Sure, you’ve used it for letting your friends know what you had for breakfast and which bar to meet you at next, but did you know that Twitter is actually an ideal forum for reaching out to hiring managers and companies you’re interested in working for? Check out our guide: “How to Use Twitter to Rock Your Job Search + 2 Twitter Traps”
At first glance, Facebook wouldn’t seem to be a worthwhile place to find a job. But, as long as your profile is in good condition (see the warning above), there are actually a few ways Facebook can work to your advantage in a job search. Check out The Undercover Recruiter’s list of “5 Ways to Use Facebook for Your Job Search.” And if you like the idea of running a Facebook ad to target specific companies, check out One Day One Job’s excellent article “Use Facebook Ads to Make Employers Hunt You Down.”
Homework time! Spend some time getting your social media profiles ready for the job search. Check your security settings and make sure you’re comfortable with what’s visible to strangers. Choose a few companies you think you’d be interested in working at, and start to follow them on your favorite social networks. You’ll learn a ton about their company culture, new products and services, and whether or not you could actually see yourself working there.