The social media guide to looking for a job
Your social media presence could be the clincher or your collapse when it comes to looking for a job. Here’s how to present your online self in its best light.
Our social media profiles are the virtual face that we present to the world. Some people carefully curate that online image, while others splurge the good, the bad and the ugly of their lives onto the screen. While your friends might love that photo of you with a traffic cone on your head from a wild night out, potential employers might not.
If you’re looking for a job and you think that recruiters aren’t looking for how you present yourself online, you’re could be in for a shock.
Graham Hawthorn, Managing Director, CHASE, said: “If you are job hunting you are going to be doing research on the job and company you are applying for. However, remember that the people on the other side are also doing that, but to research you!”
“70% of companies use platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook to get an idea of what a candidate is like”
Hannah Light, Digital Marketing Manager at Star, explained that a very high proportion of recruiters look at the social media profiles of their prospective employees as a matter of course: “These days people are more likely to connect with people over social media than any other form of communication, at least initially,” she said. “This also extends to employers. 70% of companies use platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook to get an idea of what a candidate is like, and if they’d be a good company fit. Or not!”
Graham says that candidates need to be vigilant about what they post: “Utilising social media channels is now an established part of the job search process. But there is another side to this; people not thinking about what they have said online and it coming back to haunt them,” he cautioned. “Today there is one golden rule about publishing online; always assume your current or future employer is reading what you write or post.”
Hannah advised taking a second to think about what’s on your various social profiles, and whether you should be worried: “Look yourself up online; what do you find? Think about your digital footprint. Are there any photos you probably shouldn’t be tagged in? Could your profiles do without those two or three 1am statuses?” she said. “Recruiters want to know that you are someone they would be happy to put forward to their client for interview or an assessment centre. Do your results suggest that?”
Make sure you use social media as a force for good. “When it comes to looking for a new role, social media can absolutely be your friend, and LinkedIn is the place to be. Use it to show off!” Hannah added. “Share articles that you find interesting, comment on things that you have an opinion on, build up your profile with useful contacts and join groups that focus on your dream job sectors. Use social media to demonstrate to potential employers that you are someone worth investing in!”