Us students usually associate social media with procrastinating rather than improving employment opportunities. However, it’s important not to underestimate the power of your social media profile in landing a job.
Recruiting platform Jobvite recently released its Social Recruiting Survey, and the results might make your re-think that tweet about how many drugs you took at last night’s Warehouse Project. The data displays that 93% of hiring managers will review a candidate’s social profile before deciding on recruitment. And they don’t just browse profiles for fun, 55% have reconsidered an applicant based on what they find, with “most (61%) of those double-takes being negative.”
According David Lahey, VP International at Jobvite, “At first, many recruiters used these platforms just to check up on people, now full-blown campaigns can be run and candidates sourced. On top of this, recruiters are also starting to realise how much of an impact social media recruiting has on their employer brand. It can enhance and differentiate your business in the eyes of candidates.”
Here are some tips:
Employer proof your profiles
Although removing a few photos may not help you land that dream job at J.P Morgan, it’ll definitely improve your chances of appearing professional. Of all the forms of social media, Facebook remains the most popular platform for candidate selection. To start with, change your profile picture to something inoffensive and keep your profile fairly private.
With the information you do have on show, think about the kind of image you want to project. For instance, if you want to appear strictly professional, it may be an idea to have a simple head shot as your profile picture and a simple cover photo. On the other hand, if you’re looking to land a creative job you may want to have images of you traveling etc. on your profile. Remove all photos of you smoking and drinking for obvious reasons.
However, it’s not just photos that need censoring, words can come back to haunt you just as much. Search your Twitter and Facebook feeds for any kind of comments that could hinder your job prospects. Have in mind “would I want this to be quoted back to me during an interview?” There are websites and apps that can be useful for censoring your profiles for things like swear words, see for instance Clear.
Make a LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is an ever expanding employment and networking tool and is high recommended for most fields of work. For example, 79% of respondents in the Social Recruiting Survey say they have hired through LinkedIn. As with Facebook, make sure your photo is professional and your bio is clear and formal. Remember, you are aiming to project professionalism.
As a rule of thumb, try not to use cliché buzz words like motivated, creative, enthusiastic, passionate, leadership and driven. Equally, proof reading can go along way. JobVite’s Social Recruiting Survey claimed that 66% of hiring managers said they would hold poor spelling and grammar against candidates.
Make sure to only put relevant work experience on your profile and keep it up to date. Likewise, it is crucial to be consistent so put the same work experience and qualifications on your CV as your LinkedIn profile as employers are likely to cross-check. It may be a good idea to ask former employers to provide you with references to include on your profile. You can be creative with your profile, for instance you could add in previous work, videos or presentations that demonstrate particular skills.
However, LinkedIn isn’t just useful for showcasing your own work, it’s a tool to look into employers and individuals in interesting lines of work. Follow people in jobs you aspire to go into so you can see the types of work they get involved in. Don’t be afraid to follow your dream companies: it will mean you get regular and notified when that company posts jobs.
LinkedIn offers its own advice through 7 tips here.
Expand your twitter
Twitter is extremely useful for people looking to go into journalism, media or political related posts. Follow people with similar interests to you, use hashtags to expand your network and post about popular and current things. You could share articles that you have written or videos that you find thought-provoking. You never know, someone of interest may come across your twitter if you share their posts enough!
Write a blog
Blogs can be relevant for all types of industries, from economics to fashion, science research to law. A blog can be a space where you write opinion pieces, share your interests and passions or critique current topics. No matter how big or small, blogs spark conversation and place you in a wider interconnected environment. Blogs are also a kind of portfolio: you can demonstrate your personal experiences, writing-skills and creative expertise. At the end of the day, it is another thing that could help you stand out as it shows commitment and enthusiasm to particular cause.
Instagram doesn’t just have to be for sharing pictures of you and your friends posing at parties. For those looking to work in health, beauty, fashion, photography and art especially, it can be an incredible tool. Like with a blog, it is a way to “brand yourself.” As they say, a picture can tell a thousand words.
For instance, your pictures could show that you’re immersed in the fashion world and completely up to date with runways. Or your healthy recipes and pictures of morning yoga routine could help you land a personal training job. Instagram posts could also be a method to expand a business idea. For example, you could post pictures of the products that you sell on Etsy. Hashtags are gold dust when it comes to Instagram as it makes you more searchable and will therefore boost your results. You can expand your network by following people that follow similar accounts to your own. We are the “Instagram famous” generation after all.
So, overall, be vigilant with your social media profiles. Have in the back of your mind at all times the angel on your shoulder asking “Would I mind a potential employer seeing this post?” What’s more, use social media to your advantage by exploring LinkedIn, Twitter, Instragram and even blogging. Your dream job could be a click away.