If you’re reading this, chances are you’re just entering the job market. One thing that’s great about the younger generation is how technologically aware we are. Digital platforms, the newest tech, and social media trends don’t faze us! In fact, according to Aberdeen Research Group, 73% of 18-34-year-olds surveyed found their last job on social media platforms.
It’s a great skill to have, being digitally savvy, but our generation’s penchant for blasting our lives onto the world wide web can also be a career downfall. Surveys show that 70%-84% of recruiters and hiring managers are using social media as a tool to both scout talent, and eliminate applicants from the employee candidate pool which is why it’s important to curate your social media image.
So, what are some steps you can take to maximize your visibility to employers on social media? And what should you do to make sure digital indiscretions don’t end up costing you your dream job?
DO follow your potential employer’s social media feeds.
If you are applying to a specific firm or company make sure to follow and engage with their content. It will help you be a more informed applicant, and it will demonstrate that you care about the company and its messaging.
DO create and curate social media accounts that will help you engage with your chosen field.
For example, if you are in media or design, having an Instagram that showcases your skills, talents and personality is a must. If you want to be a writer, a journalist, or anyone in a field where communication is key, make sure that you are using Twitter effectively. And, if you are in a “professional” field like accounting, finance or law, a clean and concise LinkedIn profile will help you to both score jobs and create valuable connections within your chosen field.
DO be yourself.
Social media allows you to broadcast your individuality to the world. If you can stand out as being a genuine, passionate and engaging person it may just help push your resume to the top of a hiring manager’s pile. Plus, if you want to find the right fit for you, it’s important to be honest about who you are throughout the job seeking process. Highlight the best of who you are, and continue to have fun with your content!
DON’T share things online that you would not want an employer to see.
This includes drunken photos, crass or potentially inappropriate memes or jokes, or anything that you think might make you appear immature or less employable. In many cases what you put online will be the first impression to your employers, so ensure it’s the impression you want to make.
DON’T openly bash any former employers in your feeds.
Conventional wisdom says you should never tattle on or speak ill of a former workplace in an interview, and the same goes for your social media. Broadcasting your gripes online can come off as petty, unprofessional and may appear to be “sour grapes”. Any potential recruiter or boss will see that and immediately wonder if you will do the same to them. It’s not a good look.
DON’T write off social media altogether.
If employers cannot find you online, they may be reluctant to interview or hire you. Today, most workers need to be digitally capable as social media is a driving force for most products and services, so being invisible may detract from your application.
The bottom line is, be smart. Use social media as a tool to brand yourself as the kind of employee you aspire to be. Every industry and company is slightly different, and broadcasting how you will fit into the culture of any given workplace is key to impressing potential bosses. Be aware of the social media policies of the companies you are applying to and follow those guidelines even before you walk through the door for an interview.