There are two main social media networks that recruiters and hiring managers will check before interviewing or hiring you: Facebook and LinkedIn. For employment purposes, we highly recommend using both but it's important to be wary of what you post on these platforms and how you portray yourself, a 2018 survey by Career Builder found that 70% of employers screen candidates through their social media presence and 57% found online content that made them reject a candidate!
It's time to clean up your Social Media profiles and start making the most out of your online presence in your job search:
LinkedIn is a Social Network for professionals. It's a place to display your skills, your experience, share work-related content, connect and network with other professionals, and, of course, follow your dream companies!
LinkedIn is generally the best social media platform to find a job and is used for most professions and industries. There are other alternatives to LinkedIn that are also worth signing up to, such as Xing, Opportunity and more!
The platform is a great place to start building your personal brand, highlighting your profession, skills and interests for other professionals to see - you never know who might stumble across your profile!
Use a striking headline that will attract the attention of your target audience. Include keywords related to your job sector, your job title, location, and your interests.
Grab attention with a strong headline: "Marketing & Communications Assistant at Europe Language Jobs | Writing Creative Content for European Jobseekers" rather than "Marketing Assistant". Make the most out of your 120 characters!
Just like your headline, your summary should grab the attention of your target audience. You should use strong keywords to improve your chances of being discovered, write an engaging personal statement about yourself, convincing potential employers to connect with you.
Include: What you do, why you do it, what interests you and what you are looking for.
Use a professional LinkedIn profile image of just yourself with a clear simple background, avoid any personal photographs out drinking or eating & definitely no group shots! Your cover photo can showcase your job sector, it's common for people to use a professional stock image of an office or desk - this shows professionalism.
Include your current and past positions with a clear paragraph outlining each position, using bullet points to outline your daily tasks - and remember to use keywords! Don't be afraid to show yourself off, add any certifications or achievements to this description, too.
Start connecting with people you know on LinkedIn. These may be people from your school or colleagues from previous jobs, friends, family, and local recruiters.
Try to keep your connections relevant to your industry and start connecting with other professionals and recruiters too! Make the most of the opportunity you have to network with recruiters, employers and other people on this platform.
Add a minimum of 10 skills to your profile, think of keywords related to your industry, for example - Marketing, SEO, Google Analytics, Content Writing, Social Media Promotion etc. It´s always nice to endorse your connections for their skills to give their profile a boost too - hopefully, they will endorse you back!
Now that your profile is nearly complete, it's time to add your content! Your content should be relevant to your industry. For example, a user with a headline about Graphic Design would benefit from sharing Design-related articles, videos etc.
Sharing this type of content shows that you have a genuine interest in your industry and helps to build and maintain a strong personal brand.
After connecting with a few familiar faces, you can start requesting recommendations (we recommend asking people first). Be polite and provide them with recommendations, too.
It looks great if you have at least a couple of recommendations on your profile to show that people would recommend you as a professional.
Use LinkedIn to search for your dream companies, follow them, try to engage with what they post, and keep yourself up-to-date with their company updates and news. Never miss an opportunity to engage with them!
LinkedIn is a great place to search for jobs. The job board feature is extremely easy to use; you can filter by location, sector, job type, and more. Nowadays, most companies have a Linkedin presence and advertise their positions there, so it's worth having a browse.
Make sure you keep your profile up-to-date and take full advantage of each of the above features. There are also some LinkedIn Alternatives that offer great professional exposure online and can help to give you that extra boost in your job search!
In the previous years, Facebook wasn't branded much of a 'professional social network' and recruiters only really used this platform to 'spy' on candidates, checking to see if they were the right 'cultural fit' for their company and to verify their overall professionalism.
However, over recent years, Facebook has become much more of a professional network since the introduction of their job feature. This feature has proven to be very useful to companies, allowing them to advertise their vacancies for free to their biggest fans!
This is even more of a reason to clean up your profile and start networking with your dream employers...
First things first: check your photographs, videos, posts - there might be some content worth deleting for the sake of your career.
Remember that sometimes, you will also need to make sure you untag yourself from other people's posts, next to reviewing your own.
Of course, you might want to keep some personal content on your profile - photographs from holidays, parties, etc. but the safest solution is probably to make your profile private to avoid anyone from finding anything that might ruin your chances of getting hired!
Obviously, no recruiter will be appalled upon finding out you like to party - many people do. Nobody expects a potential candidate to spend all their time - including leisure - performing only work-related activities. It's clear you go out, but if photos commemorating your shenanigans are on the wilder side, it's better to keep them away from potential employers.
The images you use as cover photos and profile pictures should be an honest, up-to-date representation of yourself - this can be smiling, laughing etc. but try to keep it professional.
Don't panic if a friend tags you in a series of pictures from holidays, posing in bathing suits. It's Facebook, after all - no one will gasp seeing you casually dressed. As long as the photos are not provocative, don't be paranoid about them being out there.
If anything, pictures of you doing sports or performing certain activities will present you as a human being. They might also act as an endorsement of what you have written in your CV - if you had decided to include a hobbies section and said you like water sports, photos of you with a board or skimming the waves will prove your honesty.
Your Facebook feed can be a bit more casual, but for your profile picture, choose a neutral one. It doesn't have to be the same photo you used on LinkedIn, but aim for one where you're fully clothed, smiling, and preferably on your own.
Keep in mind that in the initial stage of the hiring process, the recruiter will have most likely only seen your face on LinkedIn, and maybe in the tiny photo in your CV, if you'd included it. If your profile picture sports a group of people, they might have troubles deciding if it's the profile of the right person.
Being unable to find you online might also be perceived as suspicious, so make sure you're present at least one of the popular social media channels. Even if you don't plan to be active there or if it's set to private, the fact the profile is out there can reassure a recruiter.
Search for ex-colleagues, past and current friends, family members, and more. People who you don't mind showing your content to.
Would you trust a profile of a person who only has 12 friends?
Yeah. A recruiter wouldn't, either.
We're not saying that you need to be Mr or Miss Popular, but an average person old enough to be looking for a job will have more than a few friends on Facebook. Even if you're not a Social Media person and are not particularly sociable in real life, you will have met quite a few people over the years.
The number of Facebook friends is not a factor recruiters take into consideration when looking up a candidate, per sé. God forbid. All they want is to confirm whether the person applying for a position at their company is authentic and trustworthy or not. In times when scam is running rampant in all domains, we'd all rather be safe than sorry and not waste our time on silly jokes.
Search for career-related groups - you can usually find these by searching for your job sector or the location you are looking for work in. For example - Graphic Designer Job: Creative Heads or Manchester (UK) Job Opportunities. Lots of recruiters and companies post their job opportunities in these groups, so it's a great way to job hunt.
Find your dream companies on Facebook and follow them. This will help you to keep up to date with their company news and updates. You can use this as a research tool to discover lots of useful information about the company you'd like to work for.
You can also impress a recruiter by being up-to-date with the company's activity during the interview. It will demonstrate your genuine interest in your potential future place of employment and show your motivation.
This won't be relevant to all of you, but if you have a business or a creative hobby/interest, why not create a page on Facebook to share your work? Not only will this help you to gain exposure, but it's also an extra thing to add to your CV - showing how proactive you are!
As we have mentioned, Facebook added the job search feature last year and now your profile is more or less ready, it's time to discover some opportunities!
One advantage that Facebook has over LinkedIn is the option to find events. Use keywords to search for events that may be interesting for your industry. For example, by searching 'Marketing' in the events section, you may find a workshop close by or a free course that will boost your CV. It's the perfect way to discover key networking events in your industry!
Share content that will attract your target audience, this could be in groups or on your own profile. Facebook is also a great place to share your own content, gaining exposure to your work!
The aim of investigating the candidates' Social Media accounts is to gain a glimpse into their more "personal" life, meaning: life outside of the professional, strict, stiff information provided on LinkedIn. The recruiters simply keep in mind that the potential employees are also people - and they want to learn a bit more about them.
When considering a candidate for a new job, especially for small-size companies where everyone knows each other, employers do not only assess their qualifications. They also want to make sure they are the right fit for the team - so that both the current employees and the new person joining them will feel comfortable. In order to do that, they need to know a bit more than just where the person went to school and what sorts of diplomas decorate their bedroom walls.
What the employers pay attention to are not only the elements of your own profile. They might also have a look at what kind of content you engage with: the sites you follow or the comments you leave behind. That means that using your personal accounts, you do not only have to be careful about the things visible on your profile, but also what can be found on other peoples' organisations' sites.
The most common reasons for not hiring someone given by recruiters often include:
However, do not perceive the Social Media screening process as a sieve meant to filter out the majority of candidates. The recruiters are not actively looking for reasons to doom you - they want to get to know you better. All of you. There are actually situations where the kind of content posted on Social Media encouraged employers to hire a particular candidate. They most commonly include:
Again, be careful what you post on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, since these are some of the main social media profiles that recruiters use to screen candidates! It's important to portray a professional image and to adjust your privacy settings accordingly.
You can use both Twitter and Instagram to search for jobs too, follow relevant companies or relevant career-related hashtags. For example - #MarketingJobs #TechJobs or more generic hashtags such as #WereHiring or #BarcelonaJobs. You never know what opportunities you might find!
Depending on your career, you can use some Social Media platforms to showcase your work, show off your skills, network with people in your industry and most importantly, search for jobs! Social Media has opened great opportunities to network and communicate more freely with your dream employers! So start showcasing your work now!
Photographers, upload your work to the following sites:
Designers, there are lots of free online portfolio sites to show your work off:
Writers, we recommend building your own blog and start posting your work online. There are lots of free blog platforms to use:
Obviously, not every career will benefit from using online portfolio sites and other social media platforms so these may not apply to you and your industry. If we haven't mentioned your career above, we recommend doing some research to find out if there's anywhere you could be adding your work or building a presence online that will help you to stand out from the other competition.
It's time to follow our 10 steps for LinkedIn and Facebook and showcase some of your work online. Recruiters and hiring managers will be impressed by your professional online presence and hopefully, this will help you to stand out from the crowd! Make sure that you add your LinkedIn profile URL and relevant portfolio sites to your CV as clickable links! This gives the recruiter the ability to view your work straight away and shows that you use your initiative when job searching!
You are ready to polish your online presence and make it work for you in your job hunt. Take some time during this weekend and improve your social media presence so that it works in your favour when looking for a job!
Feeling inspired? Visit our blog for more career advice! How can you be sure the information we provide is top-notch? We are a group of professionals working with recruiters, career coaches, and HR specialists from all over the world!
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