We have become a global and highly digital community, with social media playing a significant role in connecting friends, family, colleagues, and businesses. Whether using Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, or some other social media outlet, there is no question that people use these platforms to communicate or share, in many cases much more so than phones, email, or snail mail. For job seekers, this means social media can play a vital role in landing a new job that potentially pays well and provides incredible benefits.
Under the microscope. Before examining how social media can be used to find a job, let’s discuss a critical concern that will impact the effectiveness of your social media outreach: your digital footprint. It is extremely difficult to erase photos and other things you post once posted. Of course, posting a video of your cursing at someone will look less than professional. Review all your social media outlets and even ‘google’ yourself. See what pops up. For anything you see that is childish, negative, unprofessional, or in any way could potentially harm your candidacy for a job, delete or erase it. If it is a post, photo, or video on a friend’s social media, ask them to delete it. Yes, you could restrict who sees a post, but if even just one friend ‘shares’ the offending material, it will get out to the Internet and be visible to potential employers. And yes, hiring managers and employers look at applicants’ social media sites, fair or not. For those who have “questionable” posts that can’t be deleted, try to offset it by posting pictures and positive texts (photos of family or you at a training event). Doing so will possibly bury the posts you want to disappear or show more of the positivity and professionalism you bring to the table.
Utilize relevant social media. For social media to be effective, you have to use it, especially those platforms that are great business platforms like LinkedIn. You can’t use social media if you are not on social media or do not have accounts with the social media channels. At the minimum, people should have a LinkedIn page to post updated information regarding their work history, educational/training background, and professional achievements. It would also help your page get noticed by job recruiters if you gathered many followers and shared posts relevant to your profession. To do this, invite colleagues to follow and follow back those who follow you. Additionally, it would help if you asked colleagues to post letters of recommendation on your LinkedIn site. These recommendations can potentially help you stand out from a pool of applicants, especially since most LinkedIn users have little to no recommendations posted.
Engage. Don’t be passive with social media. Engage with others, particularly businesses and professionals related to your field. You will likely generate additional followers through your interactions, many of whom may know of job openings posted or not posted on company websites or job search engines. Make engagement a regular part of your workweek by asking your connections how they have been. Develop real friendships with others, and you will find them keep you informed about job openings. LinkedIn sends notices when a colleague or other follower reaches a milestone, such as a work anniversary. Use those notices as a start to congratulate them for their achievements, but don’t stop there. Make a habit of asking more specifics like what they are working on, their long-term goals, and what, if any, help they need. These engagements can be crucial to opening doors to incredible job opportunities!
Job search websites. Check often the job search boards or job search engines. A job board and job search engine function differently, so use both. Posting a profile on these websites could generate interest from recruiters and companies once they see your credentials. From there, they will often check out your social media pages, which in turn may lead to invites for interviews. Use several keywords in your job search to see what pops up on your screen.
Hashtags, hashtags, and hashtags. Job seekers often overlook using hashtags on social media sites. Relevant job-related hashtags are often used on social media platforms to maximize the exposure of these job postings. For example, #DeafJobs signals that this job is especially for deaf and hard of hearing people or is within the deaf fields. #DeafEd, #ASLTeachers, or #InterpreterJobs are many hashtags used on social media to indicate specific jobs. General hashtags such as #Jobs #JobVacancy #JobPosting are used to broaden the job postings to the mass audience. In short, hashtags are especially effective within social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, where users can follow hashtags and find jobs that they like.
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