The number of social media users worldwide hit a whopping 3.5 billion at the end of last year, equating to around 45% of the population, derived from recent studies carried out by Emarsys. And we surely wouldn’t be surprised if this number gradually increased over the course of 2020 due to many of spending more time at home and conjuring up activities to keep us busy!
I think we can all agree that social media can be a blessing and a curse when it comes to tackling the job hunt. Even though our personal and work lives are very much separate, there is a fine line between the two whether you are applying for a new vacancy or even when you have secured a job.
In this blog, we explore how social media can hinder your job search but most importantly, we look at how social media can help you in the job hunt and the ways you can use these platforms to your advantage.
So, let's take a look at how social media may negatively affect your job search journey.
You would be surprised at how many employers and recruiters perform a pre-screening of candidate social media whilst looking for a new hire. This is why it’s essential to stay on top of your channels to eliminate the chances of silly mistakes that could potentially risk your employment opportunities.
Your social media accounts provide your potential new employer with an overview of what you are interested in, your lifestyle outside of work, your behaviour and many other elements you choose to share. This is therefore sometimes their first impression of you and noticing something inappropriate from the offset could damage your chances of securing a job. Whether its Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram, posting improper images, videos or posts is a huge no-no.
An aspect that many people forget is that social media can still have an impact even if you are already employed. It's important to stay mindful of this and be careful with what you post. Just because you’ve secured the job, it could still be at risk if your employer notices insensitive content across your social media accounts. This can include posting harmful remarks about your employer, colleagues or the company that could be seen as offensive, or again posting inappropriate content that could give the organisation a negative image.
If you’re not sure if something you are posting is inappropriate, step into the shoes of your employer or potential employer and ask yourself, would my employer approve of this? Or will this affect my career prospects?
TOP TIP: If you feel that any of your social media content could jeopardise your job hunt, be sure to alter your privacy settings and delete anything that you would not want your recruiter or employer to see. You can double-check how much of your personal life appears online by Googling your name!
Now onto a more positive note! How can social media HELP you find your next job?
Social media has plenty more positives towards a job search than negatives and if you use it correctly, it can act as an extremely powerful tool to support your career prospects. And with many more companies and recruitment agencies turning to social media to share new vacancies, the job opportunities available on these channels are endless!
Social media allows you to share your most valued accomplishments, professional portfolios, volunteering endeavours and even your own personal passions outside of work. This is your chance to highlight your expertise, show off your skills and create your own personal, yet professional brand that paints a great picture for recruiters and employers. Building a positive online presence allow employers and recruiters to develop a greater understanding of your personality and can better decipher if you would be the ideal fit for a role.
Another great advantage of utilising social media in your job search is how quickly and easily you can search and apply for vacancies suited to your experience and expertise. Social media channels are extremely mobile-friendly, meaning you can tackle the job hunt on the go. You may also grasp a better understanding of companies or industries you are interested in, by following what they post and what their team is like.
A fantastic feature of social media is the potential to network with many different people all over the world, that share your interests and expertise. Transform ‘it's not what you know, it’s who you know’ into reality and start connecting with like-minded professionals to boost your career opportunities.
What channels can help me the most with my job search?
If you haven’t got a LinkedIn account, we recommend you consider signing up! After all, 90% of recruiters are active on LinkedIn according to SHRM, making this one of the most important sites for job seekers. Made specifically for professional business purposes, LinkedIn is the most effective social media option for connecting with potential employers and searching for relevant jobs to suit your expertise. There is also an abundance of interesting industry and career-focused information available on LinkedIn, in the form of career pages, groups and by following hashtags.
TOP TIP: Remember to keep the details of your experience, accomplishments and other elements of your CV and LinkedIn the same, so that employers aren’t confused by varied information!
Find out more about how you can optimise your LinkedIn profile to ensure your profile stands out again the crowd.
Facebook is also an up and coming channel for aspiring job seekers, with many companies now using this to post their new vacancies. You can even apply via Facebook directly, making it a quick and efficient way to get your job search ball rolling. According to Business Insider, there are now over 65 million organisations utilising Facebook pages whilst Jobvite’s latest survey derived that Facebook is now the second most popular social media site for recruiters. So, why not also explore this option on your next job search?
Although Twitter and Instagram aren’t made for business and recruitment purposes, these channels will allow you to follow particular industries you may be interested in, keep up to date with company posts that you admire and many other quick wins to stay connected in a professional way.
In a constantly evolving world, social media is becoming more and more beneficial for job seekers and employers alike. You should aim to use your social media channels to your advantage, expressing your interests and passions, whilst displaying a professional and accurate image towards your potential employers or recruiters. Social media gives you the opportunity to express your personal brand and increase your chances of landing and maintaining your next role.