You always hear “the internet is forever” and “would you want your employer seeing that?”. While valid, social media is not so bad when you use it right. In fact, social media can help you during your job search.
So, how can social media help, and how can it hurt? Let’s talk about it.
How Social Media Can Help the Job Search
Put your Best Foot Forward
When recruiters look at your profiles, they’re not just looking to dig up dirt on you. They’re also looking for things that can positively influence your candidacy.
Show off your knowledge by sharing articles, commenting on, or posting about relevant topics in your field, so employers see your expertise.
Make your personality known. You don’t want to be another cog in the machine. Show a future employer you are personable. Maybe that means posting funny photos of your dog or a photo of you finishing a marathon. Whatever it is, keep it lighthearted, and professional. Employers love seeing your creativity and charisma online, so don’t be scared to post!
Sometimes Social Media can be Utilized Differently Based on the Career Field:
Usually, if you’re working in the communications field, recruiters care more about your entire social media presence and content (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.). They want to see how you have branded yourself and how you’re being received by others. A lot of the work you’ll be doing involves online presence, so make sure you’re proud of your own.
Being in a more creative industry, your social media should be used to promote yourself and your work. Post your poems, painting, songs, or whatever you specialize in. Not only can this get you a job, but it also shows employers you are proud of your work.
For other fields like sciences and humanities, recruiters normally are more concerned with if you have anything negative on your profiles rather than the profile itself.
Social media is an amazing place to meet other people who share similar career interests. Always look for people who are in your field to connect with and engage with them! Whether that means replying to a tweet, commenting on their Instagram, or sending them a Direct Message. But remember, keep it short, sweet and professional
How Social Media Can Hurt the Job Search
During your job search, your social media content is important. If there is one wrong thing, it can take you out of the running for the job immediately. Here are some things to avoid:
- Text language (i.e., ‘u’ instead of ‘you or ‘r’ instead of ‘are’)
- Imagery or language about drugs or any illegal activity
- Unprofessional username
- Posts with any discrimination about race, gender, religion, sexuality, disability, etc.
- Talking negatively about previous employers
- Overtly provocative imagery
You don’t always have to worry about hiding yourself on social media. Instead, work on curating a positive, professional, and welcoming presence.