The last decade has seen social media explode. Its use has evolved from pure social networks, where users kept up to date with friends or global news, to a powerful marketing tool for brands, a medium for driving purpose and for raising social awareness. Of course, it’s even now a place for individuals to conduct themselves professionally.
Whether you choose to connect with friends, colleagues, brands or industry professionals – across the myriad of platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube or Instagram – there are ways that you can leverage social media to support your job hunt and communicate your professional knowledge and experience.
By utilising the right social media platforms, implementing useful tactics and knowing your stuff when it comes to privacy settings, you can use social media to establish your personal brand, identify job opportunities and help progress your career.
Read through this resource for our guidance and advice on using social media to help your job search:
- 9 best practice rules for using social media to find a job
- How to use different social media platforms to find a job:
9 best practice rules for using social media to find a job
To start with there are some general ‘best practice’ tips and advice we would always give to job seekers keen to use social media to help their job search – regardless of whether they use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or even Instagram!
1. Check your online presence:
An article in Business.com from 2017 reported that 30% of all Google searches are recruitment related, equating to around 300 million each month!
It’s clear that many of us are using search engines to conduct our job search – but, at the same time, employers will also be using search engines to help their hunt for the right employee. Could your presence in search engines be harming your chances of making the right first impression?
Enter your name and location into Google and you will have full visibility of everything that is associated with you online. The results will include your social media profiles.
Ensure the information, opinions, and content you are sharing is attractive to potential employers and doesn’t raise any red flags if they were to search for you online.
By clicking on the various search options in the search engine, including news, images and videos, you get a comprehensive view of your digital profile, and where you are appearing. If you come across unfavourable associations on Google, you can contact them and ask the page to be removed from results.
2. Privacy settings:
Assess the privacy settings applied to your social media profiles. Many platforms give you the option to choose how public and searchable your profiles are.
Without changing your privacy settings, it’s likely that anyone could view your profiles by clicking on the search results. If you want to keep your social media strictly for the eyes of friends and family, review each of your social media platforms and make the profile private to ensure only your approved connections have access to your feeds.
3. Content Strategy
Establish yourself as an active participant in your industry by regularly commenting on and sharing relevant content.
Highlighting a shortlist of your favourite industry news sources, and proactively picking stories that you would like to share with your connections on your social media, can present you as an expert in your field.
Use software such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck to collate and schedule content, as well as monitoring hashtags and brand mentions to be able to jump on breaking news stories and industry conversations.
4. Dual profiles:
It’s not uncommon for individuals to create multiple social media profiles, especially if they are in careers that require a strong social media presence or use. So, along with making your personal profiles private, you might also want to consider creating profiles that are exclusively for your professional identity.
These profiles can be used to share relevant industry news, your professional thoughts and opinions and any work that you create. This will give recruitment personnel and potential employers an idea of your understanding of your chosen industry, how active or passive you are and your level of knowledge and expertise.
Choose your platform accordingly, while Twitter is useful for sharing articles, tagging the publication in the post and using hashtags to widen reach and engagement, Instagram is more suited towards visually led work, and hashtags and tagging also work well.
5. Review posting history
If you opt to stick with a single profile, it’s best practice to review the content that you have previously posted. Delete any posts that might interfere or contradict the professional brand that you want to build and that wouldn’t stand up to recruiters’ scrutiny.
If you have had the profile for some time, it’s likely that your posting style will have evolved with time, and what you once deemed appropriate, might have changed.
6. Update profiles regularly:
Make a point of keeping your profiles up to date. Especially on the social media channels that you actively use for job hunting.
Ensure that your online profiles correspond with your CV. For example, the dates of any previous employment should be aligned with those listed on your CV, and your qualifications should be accurate. Always be honest about your current employment status, even if you are unemployed, as often recruiters will be looking for candidates that are available immediately.
On LinkedIn, it’s best practice to keep your profile up to date. However, across other platforms, it will just be your ‘About You’ or ‘bio’ that will need to be updated when necessary.
7. Think like the recruiter:
Put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes, what would they want, or expect to see on your social media profiles? What is important to them and the role that they are tasked with?
Recruiters want to see examples of previous work, insightful information being shared, they want to see that you are well-connected and up to date with the industry in which you reside. As culture fit is an extremely important part of the recruitment process, they also want to see your personality interwoven throughout these elements to be able to assess if you would be suited to the business culture of the client.
Your social posts available for the eye of a recruiter should be articulate, insightful and intelligent.
They don’t want to see photos of university nights out, derogatory comments, argumentative or inflammatory posts.
8. Use keywords:
When writing the bios for your social media profiles, which you are using for job hunting, make sure you use keywords for the industry that you want to work in. These will be relevant when it comes to recruiters finding you.
For example, if the recruiter is hiring for a business development role in an FMCG company, it is likely they will search for sales or business development professionals with FMCG experience. Make sure you have all of those keywords – business development, sales, and FMCG – in your profile and you’ll be helping your social media profile appear in front of the recruiters.
9. Engage and communicate:
Once all of your profiles are up to date and your online presence has been reviewed, you’re ready to start actively looking for a job on social media.
Finding a job via social media won’t be an overnight success, it can take a lot of perseverance and some clever tactics (see below for advice on using each social media channel). It’s important that you don’t simply reach out to recruiters and ask for a job. Instead, opt for a softer approach by engaging with the content they’re sharing, use social media to understand more about the organisation and start a conversation.
How to use different social media platforms to find a job:
Below, we have created a comprehensive guide that details how to use each social media platform when job searching, the tactics to use depending on your career and the stage you are at in your job hunt.
Whatever platform you decide to use, make sure you follow Anne Corder Recruitment too. Across our social media platforms, you can be kept up to date with job seeker advice, plus featured jobs.
Follow Anne Corder Recruitment on:
As a B2B (business-to-business) social network, LinkedIn is clearly a great place to start with your job hunt. In fact, we would recommend every job seeker actively uses the platform to help their search.
With features dedicated to helping you find a job, and recruiters actively using the platform to identify candidates, LinkedIn is designed to help business people network and advance their careers.
As a first step, visit and follow our page on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/company/anne-corder-recruitment
How to use LinkedIn to find a job:
- Search jobs with ease
LinkedIn has a great ‘jobs’ feature, allowing you to specify what you want in your next job and then listing jobs that fit the bill. When you’re logged in to LinkedIn, simply click on ‘Jobs’ in the black bar at the top of the page.
You’ll then be taken to a jobs search feature, where you can specify career preferences and interests such as type of employment, titles, location, company size, industry and the stage you are at in your job search.
Many companies will use LinkedIn to advertise jobs with a wider network, whilst recruiters will also use the platform to share the jobs they’re currently recruiting for.
- Job seekers can ‘upgrade’ on LinkedIn
If you feel you want to make LinkedIn a primary tool in your job search, it may be worth considering the paid-for upgrade to a premium account. This will allow you to direct message anyone (including recruiters and hiring managers), gain full insight into who’s viewed your profile, become a ‘featured applicant’ and have insight into other LinkedIn users applying for jobs.
Tip: When using LinkedIn premium the account will auto-renew, so once you’ve landed your dream job make sure you cancel the £19.99 per month charge, unless you want to continue using the premium account.
- Connect and follow
Dedicate some time on LinkedIn to connecting with colleagues, those you’ve met at networking events, fellow students and beyond. The more connections you have, the wider your network will grow and you’ll be increasing the likelihood of your name cropping up in front of the hiring manager that matters.
Follow companies and industry groups that you find of interest too – especially ones with jobs you would like to apply for – and stay up to date with their latest news and updates.
Tip: When you’re connecting with people on LinkedIn, always use a personal message (instead of the automatic one suggested by LinkedIn). This gives you the opportunity to reintroduce yourself and, if appropriate, let them know that you’re currently looking for new opportunities.
- LinkedIn profile features
There are lots of ways you can make your LinkedIn profile packed with useful information for recruiters, beyond the standard experience and education. Use the personal summary section to list key skills and areas of expertise using keywords, before compiling a brief but to-the-point summary that highlighting your capabilities and achievements.
LinkedIn allows you to publish articles on your profile, add links to work you’ve had published online, create a vanity URL to be included elsewhere (such as in email signatures and on other social media profiles) and a cover photo.
Tip: As you update your profile, you may not want your whole network to know that you’re making changes. If that is the case, when on your profile in the right-hand column you’ll see an option to ‘Notify your network?’ Simply select ‘No’.
Twitter is a more informal environment, compared to LinkedIn. As a result, lots of different people use Twitter for lots of different reasons – from business purposes through to personal uses, such as catching up with friends or following celebrities.
Twitter, however, can still be hugely valuable for professionals and job seekers. Many thought-leaders in different industries have established themselves with the use of Twitter and it can be a great way to expand your network.
We regularly update Twitter with featured jobs, so make sure you follow Anne Corder Recruitment on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/ACRPeterborough
How to use Twitter to find a job:
When you start to use Twitter for the purposes of finding a job begin by following thought-leaders and searching for relevant conversations that you could participate in. A great way to start doing this is by using hashtags. You can find out more about using hashtags on Twitter here.
You can also use hashtags to search for jobs being promoted on Twitter. For example, if you’re looking for a digital marketing job you would search using the hashtags: #job, and #digitalmarketing.
- Professional uses beyond job seeking
Twitter is a social media platform used by many to actually help them in their jobs. For example, journalists will use Twitter to share news, ask for comment and raise their professional profile. Sales professionals, on the other hand, may find Twitter useful to keep in touch with a range of potential clients.
In the long run, this could really help with any future job searches!
- Keeping you up to date
By following publications relevant to your industry and thought-leaders (people who have influence within the profession) you’ll be able to stay ahead of trends and changes. As a result, when it comes to interviews you’ll be clued up and able to present yourself as someone who is both passionate and knowledgeable about their profession.
If you attend a professional event, tweet about it and use the event’s hashtag. This way you’ll be tweeting relevant, professional updates whilst also getting your tweets in front of a larger, targeted audience. You never know who could be at the same event!
Facebook is another kettle of fish again. Whether you choose to use Facebook for actively job seeking will need to depend on who you’re friends with – if you have kept Facebook exclusive to friends and family, it may not be much use for widening your job search. However, it may be worth updating your status to let people know you’re looking for new opportunities – as long as you’re not friends with current colleagues!
As with Twitter, we also share featured jobs and career advice on Facebook. Make sure you Like us here: www.facebook.com/AnneCorderRecruitment
How to use Facebook to find a job:
- Make use of your interests and career history
If you do opt for using Facebook, the first place you should start is in the ‘About’ section of your profile. Update your previous workplaces, add professional skills and include details of your education. Similarly, you can ‘Like’ relevant company pages to show your interest further.
- Update your status
As mentioned above, you may want to update your status with something like: “If anyone knows of any marketing opportunities in the Peterborough/Cambridgeshire area, I would be really grateful if you could drop me a message!”
- Take a look at Facebook Jobs
Facebook also has its own dedicated Jobs platform – where you can use your Facebook profile information to quickly apply for opportunities. It’s really simple to use, as explained here. You do need to make sure all of your Facebook profile is employer-friendly before applying but the tool is a useful way of searching for jobs that may be of interest.
Instagram may not be an obvious place to start for your job hunt, but it could help you to find out more about organisations, especially with regards to company culture. Similarly, if your profession has a lot of visual elements to it (graphic designer, for example) then Instagram is a great way to showcase your work and integrate yourself in a global professional community.
As far as finding out more about company culture goes, this article by Muse suggests that job seekers could have a look at images posted from the company’s location by employees – allowing you to find out about company traditions and more. Beyond that, having a nosey at the organisation’s own Instagram could give you an idea of their employer brand. A great example of this is Marriott Careers.
Find out more in my other blog: How to know if you’re a good cultural fit for an organisation.
Visit our other useful resources to help boost your job search: