How Social Media Can Help You Find a Job
Social media is great for a lot of things, from staying in touch with friends to learning the latest dance fads. It can also be a powerful tool for job hunting. Social media platforms, especially LinkedIn, can help you build a network of contacts, find work opportunities, and connect with recruiters and hiring managers – all from the comfort of home.
Finding your next job
LinkedIn is the best social media platform for career-related networking. The vast majority of recruiters use it, so help them find you! It’s free to join and create a profile.
Here’s what you can do on LinkedIn:
- Create your profile with details such as work experience, education, qualifications, accomplishments and interests.
- Build your network by connecting to other users, including current and former colleagues and classmates.
- Learn about companies, including what they do, where they are, who works there, what their company culture is like, and more.
- Sign up to receive job alerts for specific companies, or see jobs recommended for you.
- See if you know anyone who works at a certain company, or anyone with a connection to an employee there.
- Follow relevant people, companies, topics and hashtags to stay informed.
- Find and apply for jobs, save job searches, contact recruiters, and notify your connections that you’re open to new opportunities.
- Participate in relevant conversations, groups and online events.
- Post and share relevant content.
- Access additional features such as direct messaging, private browsing, salary insights and video courses with a paid subscription to LinkedIn Premium.
Many companies are also on Facebook and Twitter. Following their accounts can help you learn more about them and hear about job opportunities.
You don’t need to belong to every social media platform – focus your time and effort on LinkedIn, and one or two others if you like. If you’re not on social media at all, consider joining LinkedIn at least, so that you have an online presence. Nearly half of hiring managers won’t consider applicants who don’t have one, because they like to gather information online before deciding to offer an interview.
How to make a good online impression
If you’re looking for work, it’s smart to edit your online content and ensure that you look and sound professional. According to research by employment agencies, seven in 10 employers say they check candidates’ social media profiles. Nearly 6 in 10 have found content that made them decide not to hire someone – so the following tips will help even if you aren’t actively using social media in your job search.
- Clean up your content. Don’t give recruiters a reason not to hire you. Delete or make private any posts or photos that are very personal or provocative. Remove anything else that could raise eyebrows: profanities, inappropriate jokes or memes, politically divisive content, etc. Be selective about the people, organizations or brands that you “like” or follow. Google your own name and see what comes up (tip: use your browser’s incognito mode so you’ll see what a recruiter would see, not what’s in your search history). Use a professional-looking head shot for your profile photo, which is always public.
- Make yourself easy to find. Some people like to use a nickname, or a name that’s funny or cute, on their social media profiles. That may be perceived as unprofessional. Plus, if you don’t use your real name, potential employers may not be able to find you – and, as mentioned earlier, many recruiters won’t consider applicants they can’t find online. Use your real name, spelled the same way you write it on job applications.
- Keep your profiles up to date. Your profiles and bios should reflect who you are today. Fill out every section. Write a clear, professional description of yourself. If you learn a skill, earn new credentials, or gain work or volunteer experience, add that to your LinkedIn profile. Update your Facebook and Twitter bios, too.
- Keep building your network. Even if you aren’t looking for a new job, keep making contacts. Think quality, not quantity – you’re not obligated to accept every request you get. Contribute meaningfully with relevant posts and by participating in groups and discussions. Don’t want anyone to know you’re job hunting? On LinkedIn, view your “Settings & Privacy,” choose “Who can see your connections,” and select “Only you.”