Nov ’16

Social media is a great way to connect with friends and family. It is also a good way to connect with recruiters. Many job seekers have now learned to follow recruiters and all potential employers through various social media accounts, so that if a job opens they can quickly send in a resume.

But while social media is a great way for you to learn about job openings, recruiters can also learn a great deal about you.

What Social Media Can Do to Your Employment Opportunities

Because social media is so easy for employers to find, it can make or break employment opportunities. Employers often have a very easy time finding and accessing social media accounts, and they often find them without your knowledge and use them to decide if you’re an employment candidate.

That means that a single inappropriate “selfie” prevent you from getting the job of your dreams. But not to worry – smart decision making and an “employment ready” social media account can actually help your chances, and possibly make it easier for you to beat out your competition.

What is an “Employment Ready” Social Media Profile?

It’s always a good idea to thoroughly look through your current social media profiles, delete or hide anything that may prevent employment, and make sure that your privacy settings are thorough. But it’s not just what you hide that can help with employment. It’s also what you share, and how you create your profile(s):

  • Professional Photos – For better or worse, we live in a very visual world, and that means that people are going to judge you by “how you look.” If you post a profile photo where you look professional and healthy, the employer is going to be attracted to your professional appearance and what it means for their company. They’ll be better able to picture you there because you’ll “look” like the modern employee.
  • Professional Posts – What you post can make a powerful impact as well. Posting your thoughts on the industry, or information about charities, or other harmless posts that show you as a good person and a hard worker will all wow a potential employer and ease any of their concerns about your character.
  • Professional “Follows” – First and foremost, if the business has an account on the social media platform you’re using, make sure you follow them. This will prove that you’re really interested in their company. But you should also follow other industry pages, to show the recruiter that you genuinely care about their industry.
  • Fully Completed – You have the option of hiding most of your social media profiles from unwanted eyes. But if you’d like to keep your profile public – especially a professional network, like LinkedIn – make sure that you’ve completed your profile as well. A fully completed profile is attractive to employers, because it shows that you’re committed to professional growth. It’s also a great way to show information.
  • Keywords – When you complete your profile, think in terms of keywords as well. Imagine what the recruiter is looking for in a job seeker. They’re probably looking for someone that uses certain words in their profile, or shares information about themselves that would be good in an interview. While you shouldn’t keyword stuff or place words/information in a place it doesn’t belong (for example, if you’re an English teacher looking for a job, you don’t need to put “The English Patient” as your favorite movie), if there is a place to talk mention something about your industry, add it, and keep the “key words” in mind.

Specific social networks will have their own requirements as well. Always imagine you’re a recruiter and guess what they want to see. On LinkedIn, they’ll want to see that you have connections, endorsements, and possibly employees in their company. If you can add those, do so. On Facebook, they’ll want to see professional information (to show you’re passionate) but also some “value” in your personal information, like that you read good books or you share information on charity events.

And never forget to expand your social media reach, and consider the same tips for each one. There are other social networks available for people in your industry, and you should consider joining them, filling out profiles thoroughly, and trying to consider ways to enhance those profiles in order to improve your job interview chances.

Social Media Can Work For You

Everyone hears horror stories of an applicant that didn’t get an interview because their social media profile had something terrible, or a candidate that lost a job because of their opinion they shared on their Facebook/Twitter account. Social media can work against you.

But it can also work for you. Applicants that go out of their way to create amazing social media profiles are going to attract far more recruiters, and give themselves an excellent opportunity to get a call back for an interview and land their dream job.