How to Leverage Social Media in Your Job Search
Social media has become a huge part of the recruitment and hiring process, especially with the type of savvy organizations you probably want to join. A recent article in The Muse reported that 92% of companies use social media for recruiting and 45% of Fortune 500 companies include links to their social media platforms in recruitment advertising.
According to a Clutch survey this year, social media is incredibly valuable when finding a job, with nearly 15% of job seekers securing a position via a social media platform. Social media and all aspects of your online outreach can be especially important, since the vast majority of job openings are never posted. Although the estimates vary, many experts report that somewhere between 70 and 80 percent of jobs are never listed, with the positions going to referrals, in-house transfers and networking. To have the best chance at the ideal position, you want to use social media and online tools to both reach out and keep yourself discoverable.
How to Maximize Your Social Media Presence
You already know that potential employers will check your Facebook or other social media accounts. According to CareerBuilder, 70% of employers are checking your online profile before moving forward with an offer. The company also reports that 54% of employers who scan social media profiles report they have found content that has caused them not to hire a candidate.
So what can you do if you either have a poor or weak presence on social media? Here are five ideas to turn a negative into a positive.
- Build a solid LinkedIn profile. Almost all employers will look you up on LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn profile can do as much to support (or harm) your candidacy as your resume. Make sure your profile is error-free and current. Also, reach out to potential connections well before you start your job search.
- Check your Google search results. Employers may enter your name and city in the search bar and read what comes up about you. If you have a very common name, this may not be an issue, but if your name is uncommon, you want the first results to be something about your professional achievements or volunteer work, not something that makes you appear unfocused.
- Delete any posts that you don’t want potential employers to see. This includes posts that show you:
● Drinking or using mind-altering substances. Your drunken behavior will not impress a future employer.
● Acting like a party animal.
● Saying or doing anything inappropriate, such as belittling anyone for any reason or hurting an animal.
● Dressed revealingly.
● Using profanity. Your friends may not mind, but a potential employer might.
● Expressing political or religious opinions. Even though you have strongly held beliefs, those who read your post may not agree, and you run the risk of offending them.
● Flame throwing anyone. Resist the temptation to be heavily critical of others, especially if you do so in a mean-spirited way.
- Put up some new posts. Employers and recruiting agencies may only peruse the last dozen or so of your social media postings. Make sure these show you at your best, from both a personal and professional perspective.
- If in doubt about how employers will perceive your content, set your accounts like Facebook and Instagram to private to keep non-followers from viewing your posts. However, this is not foolproof and it is best to realize that if you post something, it can be found. There is very little that is truly “private” anymore.
Some of these ideas may seem restrictive and you may feel that they don’t let you be your “true self”. But honestly, don’t we all dress a little nicer and mind our manners more when we are interviewing, and then relax these standards over time? It’s just part of the process of leveraging social media to find your next great position.