What will they find when they check out your FaceBook, Instagram and other social media pages? And yes, you can bet they will — 92% of companies now routinely search applicants’ social media (and not just the ones you tell them about). That’s up from 80% just 5 years ago.
Clearly, making social media part of your job seeking strategy is super important, and will be even more so in the future. Here’s what else hiring managers say:
- 91% of recruiters use LinkedIn; 74% use FaceBook; and 66% use Twitter
- 73% have hired successfully with social media
- 33% have rejected a candidate based on something found in social profiles
Build Your Brand
In the same way that a company markets its products to customers, you can market yourself to potential employers. Think about what skills and aptitudes you wish to convey, and how they are an asset for your desired job. For example, a salesperson needs to be persuasive, self-confident and enjoy interacting with many people. An accountant would promote their talent for analytical thinking and detail-oriented work. A designer will demonstrate creativity with their Instagram pages and stories.
Of course, you would also include all the good stuff from your resume: work experience, accomplishments, awards, testimonials and so on.
Clean Up Your Image
Presenting your positives is only half the battle. You must also remove the negatives. We don’t just mean taking down (or making private) the party selfies. Delete any posts which could be considered controversial or offensive. Generally speaking, this includes references to politics, religion, sex, guns/drugs, and how bad your previous employer was. (You may not like how that affects your First Amendment rights, but it’s a jobhunting reality.)
Use your real name, not a cute/clever nickname — it looks more professional and makes you easier to search. We also advise keeping only the professional parts of your profile (employment and educational information) public. After all, you still want recruiters to find your page, which they won’t if it’s completely invisible.
Be Current and Consistent
Effective social media marketing requires frequent updates. Post every career-related announcement or achievement, such as a goal you helped your company achieve or an industry event you attended. Share interesting articles you’ve read about happenings in your industry.
Your brand must be presented consistently on every social media account you have. If that seems like too much work, consider making some of them completely private, so you can better manage the ones most used by recruiters (see bullet #1 above).
Identify Your Best Platforms
LinkedIn is a necessity for virtually every jobhunter. You’ll also want a presence on recruiters’ favorites, FaceBook and Twitter. Beyond that, look for industry-specific sites to show off your credentials and connect with employers. For example, Behance for artists/designers or GitHub for software developers.
The biggest asset of any social media platform is the way it lets you meet people who can advance your career. Work it to your advantage by joining groups, company pages, leaders in your field, people you’ve lost touch with, and career advisors.
Be aware, though, of job hunting etiquette. Don’t bombard hiring managers with messages, or invite them to be friends. And don’t use social media for communications with them during the interview/hiring process — use email and/or phone messages.
Make sure your own connection links are current and complete. Each social media account should include links to the others, as well as projects you worked on, your blog and your personal website. And don’t forget to put them in your resume and other job search materials.
Take Advantage of Tracking Tools
Another strategy you can borrow from the marketing pros is to track which of your posts received the most views, likes and shares. Then you’ll know where to direct your future content efforts. A quick search of the internet will lead you to a variety of free and paid tracking tools.
Now that your social media game is up and running, your job search can go full speed ahead!