Social media is a great tool to help us stay connected. We can check in on a friend or share a funny post. But social media is also crucial to a job search. Platforms like LinkedIn, AgHires.com, or other job search sites are specifically designed to help job seekers find jobs. In addition to these platforms, sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can also make or break your chances of landing a job.
When you apply for a job, there is a chance an employer will search your name and check your social media profiles. This statement isn’t meant to scare you; it’s meant to inform you. Employers are looking at your personal and professional profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. They want to learn about your personality and your character to see if you may be a fit for their company. Essentially, they’re looking for a reason to hire you.
Finding too little information can quickly turn off a potential employer. If you have no social media, it can be a red flag to an employer. They can’t find out more about your character, values, interests, or why they should hire you. Social media is a way for you to showcase yourself, so use it to your advantage. If you have social media but haven’t posted in more than 6 months, then it could show hiring managers the account could be dead.
Likewise, finding too much information can also be a warning sign. In a recent Penn State study about job seekers and social media use, they found job seekers who post self-involved, opinionated, or suggestive content are less likely to be selected by recruiters. What does that mean for you? Don’t post inappropriate photos, videos, or information on your accounts. Additionally, don’t slander your previous employers or share confidential information.
Before you apply for a job, check over your social media. Do your posts paint you in a favorable light? Or do they showcase some of your embarrassing moments? Rather than deleting your accounts, make use of the privacy settings. Positive and professional posts can be shown to the public. But other posts could be set to private. If you’re questioning a specific post or photo, it’s best to make it private.
It’s also important to build a good social media presence. Share content that paints you in a positive and professional light. This is a great way to build your following and gain connections. Join groups relevant to your industry. You’ll stay up to date on the latest trends, information, and job opportunities.
Social media showcases your personality, interests, and passions better than a resume. Check your profiles and make changes if necessary before you apply to another job.