Employers are increasingly turning to social media to look you up when they receive your job application. The idea is to gain an insight into candidates that goes beyond what they present in their application and during an interview. Of course plenty of personal information is often displayed across these social media platforms, therefore it’s essential that jobseekers are aware of how to ensure their use of social networking sites helps rather than hinders their job search. The steps below are examples of how you can use social media effectively.
Yes, of course you are allowed to have a social life, and employers are aware of this. But they will not be very impressed if you display a particularly unfavourable image of yourself online. To prevent any negative judgements being made, be selective when it comes to the photos you display on your social media profiles. In particular ensure your profile picture is suitable as no matter what your privacy settings, employers will be able to see this image. Customise your privacy settings for both Facebook and Twitter so you can control who sees your information and make sure you’re up to date with any changes to these settings. Also consider small details such as your email and username – are they sensible or ones that haven’t been changed since you were 15? Also, make sure your profile is truthful. One of the main reasons for an employer rejecting a candidate after viewing their social media profiles is discovering they have lied about their qualifications. So be sure not to mislead employers!
Many organizations now have their own social media sites, which makes it easier to gain an insight into a potential employer. By using their Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn pages to research the company, you can discover much more about the company culture as well as keep up to date with their latest news. In addition, you may be able to discover the big names behind the company and connect with them too, or at least know their full title so you can address your application correctly. A great advantage of company social media profiles is the ability to see when job vacancies, work experience placements or internships arise. By following companies of interest via social media you can ensure you’re aware of their latest careers news, giving you the opportunity to apply as soon as possible.
Now you’ve assessed and updated your social media profiles, and are confidently projecting a professional image, you can reach out to people who will aid your career development. LinkedIn is particularly effective when it comes to networking online because the site itself is more professional than the likes of Facebook and Twitter. You’re able to connect with people you’ve worked with or aspire to work with and your profile displays your CV and past work experience so hiring managers and recruiters can decide whether to approach you. Thanks to the wonders of social media you can build professional relationships with people across the globe, opening doors that you may never have known existed otherwise.
So as you continue your job search, remember to make use of social media to improve your chances of successfully finding employment. As long as you ensure your profiles on social networking sites are professional, you use them to keep up to date and research relevant companies, as well as connect with people to expand your network, social media will help rather than hinder your job search.
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