How your Social Media Behavior Can Influence your Job Search
Social Media has grown to be an ever-present force, and while many view it as a fun way to stay in touch with friends and family, it can also be an important tool for your job search. Social media sites such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and especially LinkedIn, can be utilized to grow your professional network and connect with people in your desired field. However, it can also quickly backfire if not used appropriately. Nowadays it is almost a guarantee that when applying for jobs, employers will be looking into your social media pages to gain any insight they can- so using it strategically is important. Your social media presence can be a way for you to portray your personal brand and should give employers a memorable first impression of you. To make sure your online presence is helping and not hurting your job search efforts, there are some key tips to keep in mind.
Before beginning your job search, it is important to evaluate and clean up your social media profiles as needed. When evaluating, think of how you will be perceived and ask yourself if you would want your potential boss or a recruiter to see that post. If not, best to remove it. Any posts that show you performing or supporting any illegal or unethical behavior should always be avoided. Even if it is a personal account, it can easily be linked back to your professional accounts and connections.
Consider your privacy settings on your social media accounts. Often, people don't realize that a quick search for your name will show not only the posts that you've made, but all the posts that friends have tagged you in. If there are any posts that put you in a less than flattering light, make sure to either remove those individual posts or change your privacy settings. To get a comprehensive view of your online presence, try googling your name to see what comes up. It could bring up old tweets, accounts, or photos, and you want to make sure none of them will potentially hurt your chances with an employer. Tidy up your online accounts well ahead of time so that when you do begin your job search, you are prepared for recruiters and hiring managers to look you up without finding anything uncomplimentary.
Social media can be a great way to build your professional network. Connecting with people in the same field and industry as you is crucial for finding new career opportunities. Try looking for groups related to your field and industry and contributing to discussions taking place there and connecting with people. It's important to keep in mind that networking is a two-way street; think of how you can help others and not just how they can help you. Networking works best when you build genuine connections and prioritize quality over quantity. LinkedIn is the norm for networking, is a great tool to find like-minded career professionals and is considered a necessity for most fields. Make sure to keep your LinkedIn up to date and consider how you can network on other sites as well.
Your social media presence should always correlate with and validate your resume. Make sure that job titles, companies, and dates worked all match up. It can be a huge red flag for employers if they look over your resume that has the relevant experience that they are looking for, but when they look up your social media sites, they see a completely different portrayal of your background. They will not know for sure which one is accurate and it could deter them from moving forward with your application. Ensure your accounts are updated regularly and they show an accurate and complete picture before beginning your job search. Consistency is key!
Lastly, keep the venting about your employer, coworkers, or how your job search is going away from the internet. This is considered inappropriate and if a recruiter finds something of this nature on your pages, it's a surefire way to miss out on opportunities. You may think you are just posting that tweet about how much you hate your job for your friends and family to see, but hiring managers can also check your Twitter and will be quickly turned off to candidates who post things of this nature. Even your "likes" and comments on others' posts could potentially be seen by a hiring manager. Think before you hit send and try to avoid spending time on social media during work hours. Especially during job searching, you want to make sure that your social media presence exudes professionalism and is an extension of your resume and cover letter, not contradictory to it.
Your social media behavior can be a strong factor that influences recruiters and hiring managers when they are researching to either interview or hire you. Before beginning your job search, make sure that you know exactly what you have put on the internet, and how it may portray you to prospective employers. That includes what others have tagged you in, those pictures of you partying from years ago that are still searchable, and tweets that you may only have intended for your friends to see. LinkedIn is an important site for professionals to be on, but it certainly is not the only one that will be considered when you are applying for jobs. Social media can be a great tool to network and find opportunities in your career field when used correctly and its importance should not be discounted. Clean up your accounts, stay consistent and professional, network and build connections, and remember that your social media accounts can and should help your job search.
If you are looking for a career in the Logistics industry and have refined your personal brand on social media, begin your search today on the first and largest online logistics job board, JobsInLogistics.com!