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Using Social Media to Find a Job

Social networks have flourished over the last decade and for many of us they are now an integral part of our lives. Companies and recruiters are increasingly making use of social media to find new talent and check up on their staff, but there are some key things you should be aware of to improve your chances of being hired through social media.

Do:

  • Do choose the right networks: While businesses use a variety of social networks you need to be aware of which ones are relevant to your industry – it’s unlikely that an investment analyst will be hired through Pinterest. We advise using LinkedIn as a starting point because it is a network designed for professionals and it has integrated recruitment platforms.
  • Do ensure that your profile reflects you accurately: Make sure your profile headline gives a clear indication of who you are and what you do. Beyond that, take special care to ensure that your profile matches your CV – employers, job titles and employment dates should all be identical to your CV. If a recruiter sees that your online profile doesn’t match your CV then it doesn’t create a good first impression and could pose a lot of questions
  • Do use a professional profile image: It’s the first thing anybody will see when looking at your profile, so make sure it looks good. You don’t need an expensive camera or a studio session, just make sure your photo is clear and recent, and that you look presentable.
  • Do check your privacy settings: Edit your settings so that only the only people who can see your updates are who you want to see them. That’s not to say that you should block out everyone – if nobody can see your profile, you’ll never get any interest from it.
  • Do include keywords: Mention specific skills, job titles and synonyms of those titles so that people searching can find you easily.
  • Do encourage recommendations from colleagues, former managers etc: This adds an extra layer of credibility to your profile and they act like references that are immediately verifiable.

Don’t:

  • Don't post anything you wouldn’t want your boss to see: Even if you’ve got your profile locked down tight, some things can still get out. Pictures, status updates and comments that are inappropriate, offensive or disparaging to past colleagues or employers might come back to haunt you and could very well cost you a job.
  • Don't neglect your profile: You should update your profile regularly - few things are as off-putting as a vastly outdated profile. If your social media page says you left your last job 3 years ago then the person reading will be confused as to what your current situation is and may be wary of contacting you.
  • Don't over-connect: While having lots of connections does look good for your profile and may generate leads, connecting to too many people who don’t know you can result in your account being suspended. On top of that you may miss valuable information if your newsfeed is flooded with irrelevant posts. You should try to connect to people who are relevant to your interests and your career.
  • Don't over-share: The type of content you post is important to monitor, but so is the amount of time you spend doing it. If it looks as though you spend every waking moment posting, commenting and liking then the employer might wonder where you find the time to actually work.

Finally, we advise you to Google yourself. It’s a very simple and quick thing that most people don’t think about, but that’s the first thing a potential employer will do. Type your details into Google and see what comes up - if there is anything that might go against you in the recruitment process, track it down and remove it.

With regards to job hunting, think of social media as a marketing tool. It’s a way to advertise yourself so try to be clear, honest and promote a positive image.

For more detailed or specific advice and tips on social media in the workplace you can also check out our blog section, the Zedgeist, where we post a variety of articles relating to recruitment and the world of work.