8 Ways to Leverage Social Media to Reel in Job Offers

13 flickrAre you using social media in your job hunt strategy?

Do you use social media to promote yourself?


Firstly, welcome to the big and bewildering world of searching for a job! For those in their penultimate year, or newly graduated, this is a springboard in how to search for a job. It’s time to formulate a plan to market yourself.



Having the age old resume, cover letter and a few good references should not be the entirety of your job hunt efforts. In the increasingly connected world we live in, you leave a digital track of all your doings, and this is where employers search for dirt.

Social media is the new norm in which to create an image, or personal brand for yourself, where you get to dictate what people see. As stalwart users, you are the young millennials that know probably more than anyone how to communicate online.

Key Fact: Employers are going through all your online profiles. 76% sift through Facebook; 48% LinkedIn, and 53% on Twitter (source).

We will start here, in social media, as it is a natural thing for new graduates, and because of the increasing importance placed on online profiles. Employers tend to create their first impression of you, good or bad from what they find online. There are a few steps you can take to shake things up in your favour.


1. Use search engines to look yourself up

Narcissistic much? Start now, because you may be surprised at what turns up, especially if you are an avid user of social media. Look up yourself with the most used search engines.

Practical Tip: Search the name you will use on your resume, no nicknames.

Is the search results good or bad, or embarrassing? Please note, if you casually searched and found phrases or images less than beneficial to yourself, employers will find out about it too.


2. Delete and Backspace those Pesky Comments

Fix, take out, or edit whatever needs editing. It doesn’t matter what employers already know about you, but it is vital that you make changes as soon as possible.

Key Fact: 46% of employers will not hire you because of explicit or inappropriate content they find, and 41% won’t because of alcohol and drug-related content (source).


3. Selfie & Instagram Much?

Continuing, make a search focusing solely on images.

Are these images of yourself portraying who you are? Or are they representing how you want to be viewed by prospective employers? Pictures are a thousand words, are they saying the right thing, and are they helping you in your job search?

Delete photos that you think are inappropriate or inhibiting your online image.

Example: Restrict them to the strongest privacy settings.

Key Tip: Go through group photos, as many miss this, where paranoid employers may use systems or specialists to try and turn up photos that would put you in a bad light.


4. Private your Public Settings

As mentioned just before, tinker with your privacy settings. Most social media platforms have public settings on by default. Think of what you want to keep public and private.

Example: Keep your Facebook account private, and your Twitter public if you are using it to gain interest in your target industry.

Selling Market of Media Platforms

Employers can buy or find ways to bypass privacy settings. Social media regularly sells or provides personal information, private settings aside.

Example: A government organisation may be able to demand all information if you want to work with a sensitive sector of the government.

Key Tip: Be extra cautious in editing out and deleting anything that could create the wrong impression.


5. Type up your bio online

Think about firstly your area of study, your interest areas, or the types of jobs you desire.

Whether it be a particular industry, including the above mentioned, write your bio.

Key Tips: Keep it professional and straight to the point; as well as eye-catching and interesting. Most online media sites have places where you can write one, so choose which media platform you would want to focus on in your job efforts and type away.


6. Share yourself Online

Creating a portfolio of previous projects and jobs with recommendations is an awesome way to woo employers. Convey to professionals far and wide your previous achievements, by illustrating with detail what you can do, and what you will bring to a company or team.

Example: Create your website.

Creating a site with your name, or a portfolio site showcasing what you are all about will further impress and make you stand out from the rest of the crowd. Also, this will mean you have at least one online profile that you have complete control over.


7. Put the ‘Pro’ in Professional

Keeping in mind that employers can potentially sniff out anything they want about you online, always be professional. Whether it be a Facebook or Twitter comment, know that every little thing you do online leaves footprints.

Key Tip: If you aren’t sure whether it is appropriate or not, don’t post it!


8. Workout Everyday Online

Be consistent. In previous articles, I touch on the importance of maintaining your online presence.

Don’t: Add inactive blogs or a sites to your resume or CV.

You are telling employers you are lazy, not committed, and have a genuine lack of interest in the supposed ‘interest areas’ of what your sites are about. You need to have an active presence online, where you are updating, posting and being seen.

Don’t: Spam and flood message boards.

Be particular and focused in your efforts, in the specific industry or job you are after, to create a genuine sense of passion and interest to show employers you are focused and relevant to that area.


In Closing

Make it a habit, and gradually create more and more content online. The whole point is to make a lasting impression of yourself.


What are your thoughts on using social media for your job hunt? What tips made the most sense to you?

Please share your ideas and insight in the comments below.

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