Social media has enveloped every area of our lives, yet it can be so much more than a mindless pastime. If you are searching for a job, social media can be a valuable tool to add to your job search toolbox. In fact, a Harris Poll survey in 2018 found that 70% of employers use social networking sites to find job candidates, and the pandemic likely made that number increase. While it should not be the only tool you use, it can help you find potential options and showcase yourself to employers.
How to Search for Jobs on Social Media
So how can you use social media to find a job? First, consider it one of your many networking opportunities. You can start relationships with people in your network that might lead to job opportunities. You can also become a helpful player in the industry, sharing posts that are relevant and connecting people to job options that do not work for you but might for them.
Once you have a solid network, join in your niche, such as professional associations and LinkedIn groups. Use those groups to watch for job postings. If you can find groups in the geographic area where you want to work, that is even better.
While finding job postings is a great way to use social media, it is not the only option. You can also use these platforms to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Be the person people know they can count on for solid advice, and you may find yourself with job offers you were not expecting.
Finally, do not be afraid to send personalized messages to leadership in an organization if you are interested in working for them. This can make your application stand out and show that you are a go-.
Job Networking Sites – Where to Search for Jobs
Not all social media sites are created equal when you are looking for a job. The three that can provide the most benefit are:
- LinkedIn – LinkedIn is designed specifically for professionals, and it is important in building your online presence. This is often the first social media page where people will post job opportunities when they have them. The LinkedIn jobs section makes it easy to apply by using your resume already posted on the site. Nearly 90% of recruiters are using this site, so make it a top priority. Once you have your credentials updated, you will not have to post regularly on your page as it is not expected.
- Twitter – Learn to search hashtags on Twitter. Follow #nowhiring and #graduatejobs to find job ads. Get creative with your hashtags to search in your chosen industry, too. Actively post on Twitter to keep your name in mind with potential employers. You never know when an engaging tweet from a job seeker will catch the eye of a potential employer.
- Facebook – Following corporations that you might wish to work for on Facebook can get you immediate information about job postings. Do not neglect this site, assuming that it is only for fun social connections, because 55% of recruiters are actively using Facebook to find potential new hires. Facebook requires regular posting to stay relevant and current.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Social Media for Your Job Search
There are both advantages and disadvantages to using social media for a job search. On the positive side, consider these perks:
- You can build a personal brand using your social media pages.
- Hiring managers will find you more easily.
- You can network and connect with people who might hire you.
- You can interact with companies you are interested in working for.
There are drawbacks, of course, as with any tool in your arsenal. These might include:
- Over-sharing could hurt your ability to land a job.
- Managing multiple sites can take a lot of your time.
- The content you share on social media is permanent, public, and powerful. Nearly half of all employers in one study found items on social media that caused them to not hire someone.
Mistakes to Avoid
As you are building a social media presence to help with your job search, be certain to avoid some common mistakes:
Sharing Inaccurate Information. Your professional social media pages and your resume or CV should match. While they do not have to be identical, the information should be factual on both. Even Facebook should match, as a recruiter who sees many posts about one niche but qualifications in another on LinkedIn may question your truthfulness.
Being Too Active. You can be too active on social media, and that can turn potential employers away from you. It can also make you appear desperate for a job. Be judicious in how often you post. Every thought and emotion, especially about your job search, does not need to show up on your social media feeds while you are searching for a job.
Sharing Improper Items. Recruiters will find you online, and they do not want to see provocative or highly polarizing items posted on your pages. It is important that recruiters and hiring managers can feel confident that their brand and its future representatives will be reflected in a professional manner. To see what they might be able to see, open an incognito window and Google your name. See what pops up in the search results. Edit your privacy settings so the less appropriate items can only be seen by close friends and family, or take them down altogether. Similarly, avoid posting negative things about past employers or people you interviewed with, as this can reflect poorly on your personal branding goals.
Tips to Be Successful
On the other hand, there are certain things you can do that can make your social media pages an effective part of your job search. Consider these strategies:
Actively Take Part in Discussions. Simply following and liking posts is not enough to get you seen. If you want to impress, take part in debates and discussions in your niche. This can help with your personal branding as a thought leader and get you noticed.
Show Your Personality. Try not to be bland. Show some of your personality in your social media posts. As long as you can keep it professional, this can become part of your personal brand.
Keep Your Profiles Updated and Active. A stagnant, stale profile is not going to capture the minds or attention of a potential hiring manager. To impress, keep your pages updated regularly. Do not be afraid to add some creativity to your page to help it stand out, especially if your niche is related to visual arts in some way. Regularly interact with your pages and the people on them to ensure you are visible when a recruiter comes calling.
Using social media to help with your job search can improve your visibility and appeal to potential employers. Additionally, as a Post University student, you can access more guidance from the Center for Career and Professional development. We provide career portfolio building, resume writing, interview skill development, grooming, networking skills, and effective job search training.
If you also need to further your education as you pursue a new career, check out the undergraduate and graduate degree options at Post University. You will find something to meet your needs with both online and on-campus options.
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Please note jobs and/or career outcomes highlighted in this blog do not reflect jobs or career outcomes expected from any Post program. To learn more about Post’s program and their outcomes, please fill out a form to speak with an admissions advisor.