Probably 99.9% of our teen through adult population is familiar with social media in one way or the other. Whether you are a 13-year-old boy posting pictures of your sneakers on Instagram or a 30-something year old professional adding your skills and qualifications to LinkedIn, social media is a part of your daily routine.
I recently wrote an article that touched on the Evolution of Social Media, the benefits of using it correctly, and the harmful effects of misusing it. Now, I want to dive a little deeper into that and focus on setting yourself up for professional success as it directly correlates to social media and the hiring process.
Recruiters Are Using Social Media Too
It’s most undoubtedly evident that more recruiters, hiring managers, and human resource departments are taking notice of the social media presence of their prospective candidates during the interview process. It is also evident that many prospective candidates are not keeping this in mind as they begin their professional job searches.
Let me put that in perspective for you. There are over 2.92 billion users on Facebook and over 740 million users on LinkedIn alone. That is a vast pool to try and pull top talent from.
If you are actively seeking a new employee, why not begin your search in a place where such a large pool of “fish” already exists? If you are a candidate and seeking employment, why would you not want to take advantage of another social networking opportunity to market yourself, your skills, and your qualifications?
Social Media and the Recruitment Process
A few of the most significant benefits to using Social Media properly for potential candidates are:
- Ability to discover job openings that you never knew existed.
- Build credibility and knowledge base by engaging with companies of interest.
- Introduce yourself to new professional networks online.
- Set yourself up for the job to find you and begin the recruitment process.
Your profile should actively represent you, who you are and what you have to offer to a prospective employer. You should monitor your social feeds regularly to make sure you are always painting yourself in the best light.
You should also put yourself in a social media specialist’s shoes. Think honestly about what you are putting out there for the world to see, and determine whether it is an image of someone you would want representing an employer brand.
Social Media No-No’s
Remember, employers use social media too, it would be best if you never did any of the following:
- Post about your job interviews.
- Publicly criticize your current work conditions.
- Badmouth another business.
These types of posts, if seen by a hiring manager, can lead to a loss of interest in you as a candidate. Remember, the person interviewing you is also reviewing many other passive candidates. If you stand out, they must see you as an ideal employee who already possesses the qualities, morals, and values the company needs and upholds.
Preparing for an Interview using Social Media
Searching for a job is never a fun venture. It is time-consuming, stressful, and downright nerve-wracking at times. On top of that, interviews can be uncomfortable and unpredictable, so preparation is critical.
As a candidate, you can also use social media to prepare yourself for an interview. Below are a few tips for preparing for an interview with the help of social media.
- Research a company’s social media platforms and their presence, not just their website.
- Find out who will be doing your interview and research them as well, especially on LinkedIn.
- Jot down a few questions based on posts that you have seen about the company. For example, I see you just had a company retreat. Is that something that occurs regularly?
A company’s website should give you all the details of what that company does, their recruitment strategy, social media marketing, and what services they can offer. You may even be able to find their benefits package and job descriptions. However, a company’s social media platforms can show you more about the company culture, employee engagement, and how the brand is being portrayed.
Research the Employer Brand
An interview is a lot easier when you feel you know the person conducting the interview. Knowing who they are and what they do for the company allows you to ask the right questions and engage in a level of conversation that wouldn’t otherwise exist. Don’t be afraid to ask specifics. They will appreciate your research and dedication to preparation.They are also using the benefit to using social media for job recruitment, so they may know more about you than you realize.
Having a small list of questions regarding the company or the job itself is always recommended. You never want to leave an interview without asking at least a few questions. When a candidate has no questions, the interviewer is left to assume whether or not you benefited from the discussion.
It’s hard to gauge interest without dialog. Often, these questions make you stand out and allow the hiring manager to remember who you are.
Important Social Media Tips for Employment
Lastly, there are a few essential things to keep in mind about social media and its relation to obtaining that perfect job you are seeking.
- Privacy settings are never foolproof.
- It’s a public platform.
- Employers are using it more and more for candidate screening.
- Your profile must be up to date to be relevant.
Social media is a unique tool that can be used by both job seekers and employers alike. As you transition from young adulthood to a career-oriented professional, you need to make sure that you keep in mind that your social presence can hinder your ability to successfully transition from an intern or part-time worker to a valuable full-time employee for the company of your dreams.
You must allow your transition to manifest itself in your social activity. Just like the old saying, “You are the company you keep,” with the emergence of social media, “You are the person in your profile pic.”
For both job seekers and hiring managers, keep these tips in mind. They will help job seekers stand out to employers and provide employers with the ideal candidate to grow their business.
Last modified: March 18, 2022