When social media ﬁrst emerged, it was most commonly used to keep in contact. with friends and family. At Christmas you used to compete to see who could throw the most snowballs at others and you would frequently log on to ﬁnd that you had been poked by a friend from school many years ago. Since then, the use of social media has changed enormously. It has now become a valuable job search tool that you ignore at your peril.
In a survey of recruiters and hiring managers carried out by Live Career Facebook emerged as the clear winner for managing your professional social media presence 174%) followed by Lived In 156%) and Instagram (49 %). In 2021 68%. of recruiters said that job seekers need to ensure that they have a Linkin proﬁle and that 656 of hiring managers don't mind potential candidates contacting them through Linkin. Studies have also shown that 92% of companies will use social media for hiring and that 75%. of hiring managers will look for the social media proﬁles of candidates. High Fliers 'The Graduate Market in 2023 review conﬁrmed that 95% of the UKs leading recruiters that are listed in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers are using social media as a way of ﬁnding graduates. In 2021 Digital 2021: The UK found that nearly 78% of the UK population are active on social media with the average user (aged 16-64) spend nearly two hours a day on it. As a result, advertising jobs using this medium is becoming the most accessible and fastest way to reach graduates and those looking for a career change.
Before you start using social media to ﬁnd your dream job there are a few checks you need to do beforehand. It is always best to assume that any future employer will have a look at your social media proﬁles and you don't want there to be anything on there that will risk your application being immediately put into the reject pile. The ﬁrst thing you need to do is Google yourself in incognito mode so that your search results won't be affected by your search history. If you ﬁnd any photos or posts that are inappropriate either remove them or change your privacy settings. Make sure that you use your own name and remember to keep some information public so that you can be found, like your employment history, location and professional skills.
Create a strong online proﬁle that is linked to the other social media platforms that you are using. If you have developed a new skill or completed a qualiﬁcation don't forget to add those on too. It is also one to add things which highlight your personality, putting forward ideas, interests and opinions of things that are outside your academic achievements. At the same time, however, don't forget that both current and prospective employers can be very sensitive to their employees presence online. Taking that into consideration, before you post anything online consider whether you would be happy if your friends, family, future and current employers saw it published in a national newspaper. If the answer to that is no, then change it. If you have dormant accounts that you haven't used for a long time and won't use again then delete them.
Let potential employers know that you are open to new job opportunities and specify the types of position you are interested in and where your preferred location is. This process is a two-way street and is an ideal source of information for you on the companies you are interested in. Find out and read any information on changes happening within the company and how they treat their employees. You can use LinkedIn and Twitter to identify who the leaders are of the companies you're looking at. Follow them, comment, and respond to their posts or tweets. This can get their attention and possibly give you an advantage over other candidates who aren't doing this. Avoid voicing any personal opinions on things like politics, keeping everything as business- focused as possible.
Though you want your posts to help your job search by getting your name and credentials out to potential employers for your own safety, do not broadcast your personal information to the world. Do not add any critical or negative comments about your current employer or reveal any information about any conﬁdential projects you may be working on at present or have worked on in the past.
Make use of different tools to help yourself stand out from other potential candidates. If you want to pursue a creative career you could use Instagram or Pinterest to produce a portfolio of your work to show to potential employers. If you want to be a journalist, you could create a simple website or blog to showcase your articles. Check to see if there are any industry speciﬁc sites or networks that will enable you to target your skills to a speciﬁc audience.
If you haven't already, create a LinkedIn proﬁle. This is a social network for professionals and is the easiest way to make connections with people in your industry. It's also a great place to search for jobs as it advertises vacancies. If you already have a proﬁle make sure that it is up to date and isn't full of cliched buzzwords. Your proﬁle should include relevant professional information including your previous experience, skill set and education history. Ensure that you make full use of your biography as this is the ﬁrst thing that employers will see. Let them know what type of roles you are looking for, your current location as well as your work experience, interests and hobbies. Your LinkedIn proﬁle is very similar to an online CV but with some extra useful features.
LinkedIn allows you to have personal testimonials, like the positive feedback companies use to persuade other potential customers. Ask people you know to write a few positive words about your work
Once you have created your professional proﬁle start adding connections. These can be previous and current colleagues, friends who work in similar roles, friends from college, boss or supervisor. Connect with people you don't know such as someone in the industry you're interested in. Don't forget to join groups as that can help you to connect with new professionals. Once you've connected, keep in touch. If a friend posts that they've got a new job comment to send them congratulations. One ﬁnal tip on Linkedin.
Unless you are very publicly job hunting you don't necessarily want everyone to know and seeing that you have suddenly updated everything would, make it obvious' to everyone. When you're editing your proﬁle ﬁnd the 'Notify your network?' section and ﬂip the button to off.
Facebook is increasingly being used by organisations to communicate with staff as well as customers with the aim of getting their comments and views. Some companies are using the platform to not only vet potential employees but also to advertise and recruit. In a recent survey it was found that Facebook is the second Most popular social media platform in the UK with nearly 73% of internet users using it in the past month. Through advertising it is capable of reaching up to 38 million of the population so that is a huge number of potential employees that the advert for their current vacancies would reach. Employers are posting vacancies that can be applied for with the click of a button.
As a result, it makes complete sense to make sure the 'Work and education' section of your proﬁle is completely ﬁlled out and that you have added any particular achievements like promotions and opportunities to travel to your 'Life events' timeline. Make sure that you 'Like' the companies that you'd really like to work for. This will give you regular updates on their activity which will give you topics to talk about in an interview as well as letting you know about any potential vacancies.
As potential employers will look for you on all social media platforms it makes sense to keep parts of your proﬁle visible to show that you are a normal, real person. It is advisable to keep most of your proﬁle to friends and family like your photos, likes and any personal 'About Me' information like your relationship status restricted while keeping your main photo public (and professional) along with employment and educational information.
Although Facebook is not seen as the primary networking platform the way LinkedIn is it is still a very good place to develop a professional network. A good way to do this is to join groups in the industry you're interested in and contribute to conversations. This will not only potentially provide you with knowledge from other professionals but also with opportunities to network and become aware of career opportunities.
Although X (Twitter) is a very informal platform you still need to remember to keep your proﬁle professional as you are trying to attract the attention of potential employers. As with the other platforms, make sure you have a professional-looking photo. Use your bio to say what types of roles you are looking for and include key words that are related to your industry. Also add links to your LinkedIn profile, CV and website if you have one.
X (Twitter) is a very different platform in comparison to Facebook and LinkedIn. First of all, you are limited to 280 characters in your posts, which may make you wonder how you could use it to conduct a job search. The one thing that makes X (Twitter) stand out from LinkedIn and Facebook is the use of hashtags. These can be used in a number of different ways to aid your search.
You can use hashtags to directly search for jobs as employers will often tweet job adverts with an accompanying hashtag. Type in words like #hairdressing jobs or
#jobs adding in speciﬁc things related to your job search like #jobskent or #engineering jobs.
Hashtags can be used to ﬁnd connections in the industry you’re looking at. If you're going to a conference or attending a networking event you will ﬁnd that the event will most likely have a hashtag that will let you see others who are talking about it before the event even happens. This gives you the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and meet them at the event.
Discussions and chats
Use the hashtag feature to ﬁnd popular trends and hashtags related to your ﬁeld and join in the discussions and chats. This is a very good way to build up your network, establish yourself as an industry expert by anyone who searches for that hashtag and hopefully gain yourself some inﬂuential followers. The retweet with quote feature means that you can share insightful tweets on your own page adding your own thoughts alongside them.
You can use hashtags to keep up to date on trending topics and to ﬁnd out the latest that's happening in your industry. If you're following the right mix of people and companies your feed should reﬂect, in real time, what is happening in your industry, as it happens.
Who should I follow?
First of all, following someone on X (Twitter) is a less personal process than connecting with them on LinkedIn. You can use this platform to follow a wide range of other users. The one obvious one that a lot of people overlook is job search experts. This is an ideal group of users if you are actively job hunting as your feed will be constantly being updated with advice and tips on how to get that amazing job. Some companies have dedicated company job accounts where they advertise new jobs. If the company doesn't have a dedicated account, then follow the main company account as they are likely to advertise there.
Follow other people in the same ﬁeld as you. This includes the major players and those working in your dream companies. This is the ideal way for you to start building your community and can help in a number of ways. They are most likely to tweet about job openings and things happening within the company, providing you with information that could prove useful in an interview. You could start interacting with them by retweeting one of their posts or replying to one of their posts, they may end up following you back, increasing your connections. Make full use of the Twitter list function. This helps you to keep up to date with the added beneﬁt of letting them know. When you add users to a public list, they are automatically notiﬁed, therefore putting you on their radar.
A few ﬁnal hints about using X (Twitter) to job hunt. Make sure that you use it regularly. There is nothing worse than a potential employer ﬁnding you and that there has not been anything posted in the ﬁve years since you set up your proﬁle followed by 60 posts added in the last week in an attempt to make it look populated. Don't just share your own thing. Make sure you mix it up with re- tweets, links to colleagues or interactions with others in your community. Finally, don't over interact. Don't join in on conversations with the sole purpose of promoting yourself, don't retweet or favorite absolutely everything someone posts and deﬁnitely don't beg someone to follow you so that you can direct message them. This will only backﬁre on you and make you look like you are coming on too strong and have the opposite effect of what you were trying to achieve.