Social Media

How to Leverage Social Media in Your Job Search

Nearly everyone has social media these days. If you don’t have a social media account, it may be worth considering. Many employers are checking the social media accounts of potential job candidates to learn more about them and gauge their aptitude and level of responsibility. Whether you believe this is a good thing or a bad thing, it is a reality that must be considered when on a job search.

For professionals, the main social media platform you should be on is LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, you build a profile with your work experience, education, volunteer experience, achievements and a professional profile picture. This provides a place for you to connect with other colleagues and potential employers and build a network of connections who might be of use in finding a job. LinkedIn is the number one social media platform for professionals because it allows potential employers to view their credentials and users are also able to keep up with their industry news through their LinkedIn news feeds. LinkedIn is not meant to be a “fun” social media platform like Facebook or Instagram. It is not a place to keep your colleagues updated on all of your adventures. Your activity on LinkedIn should be kept professional.

When searching for a job, the other social media platform you will want to take into account is your Facebook profile. What are your privacy settings on your account? Can your potential employer see everything you’ve ever posted, including decade old late night selfies of your 16-year-old self? This is certainly worth considering, because you probably aren’t the same person you were at 16 when you first set up your Facebook profile. Look into changing your privacy settings so that your more personal posts and pictures are hidden to anyone who is not your Facebook friend, and make sure your profile picture is decent and at least semi-professional. It can also be helpful to fill out some of the profile information with your former work experience and a short bio about yourself. Giving a little TLC to your Facebook profile can often go a long way in how a potential employer perceives you and whether or not you land that second or third interview.

How are your social media accounts? If you don’t have LinkedIn, go set one up. It’s free, and it will help tremendously in your job search. Don’t forget to clean up your Facebook profile, looking at it through the eyes of a potential employer and making sure it is presentable to the public. These small steps will go a long way in helping you present yourself well to potential employers online.

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