Social Media in the Job Search

Social Media Working For You!

Social Media Working For You!

Are you aware that the majority of recruiters, over 90%, are using LinkedIn as a recruiting tool in evaluating potential candidates?  Along with the ever growing use of LinkedIn, many of those same employers are scanning potential candidates through various other social media sites such as facebook, google+, Twitter and Reddit, to name a few.  And with that, an increasingly growing number of young job hunters are now rejected because of their social media use and on-line persona. Many employers mention that certain information found on-line would indeed make a candidate more attractive or help the decision to extend a job offer, IF the candidate in question has a positive on-line presence.

So it’s becoming increasingly important in understanding that anything you do on-line is essentially front-page news for those looking.  It is imperative to present a professional and ‘sanitized’ persona across all networks.  A simple Tweet or a questionable facebook status update could make or break a job offer.

Why Use Social Media in your job search?

Essentially, because in today’s times you have to. Using social media in your job search is about making yourself visible in a digital world and linking yourself technologically where you can interact, network and market yourself.  The three primary sites, at the moment, are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.  And an increasing number of employers are using these sites in vetting, recruiting and advertising positions for hire.

The majority of open jobs are not posted on job boards, but are found through networking.  Using social media sites as a networking tool may help you find these job postings or find out about job opportunities through your online connections. Social media has become a way for prospective and professionals alike to network, talk and discuss and share areas of interest.

Using social media in your job search is important as it:

Demonstrates to employers that you are well versed in current technology and social media capabilities

Helps you to develop and showcase your “personal brand” as you grow your on-line persona

Can link you to opportunities that would otherwise go by unrecognized.  Many positions are never made available to job seekers because they aren’t posted publicly on job boards, etc.

Builds your professional networking contacts.  Using social media can help your network grow quickly and exponentially which can be crucial to your job search possibilities

Allows you to research industries, companies, organizations and related positions of interest

Makes you visible & check-able to hiring managers, recruiters, and other decision makers allowing for easy fact-checking of supportive information

The key is to shift your emphasis from looking at positions to finding people in areas of interest to be in communication with. This is done by starting, creating and maintaining an up-to-date & comprehensive profile about who you are as a candidate. The ‘big three’ social media tools to consider would be LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Getting started using social media sites may seem overwhelming at first, and to be honest, it is.  So just get started by focusing your time and energy on one site and make yourself ‘presentable.’


If you’re not already on LinkedIn, you definitely need to be. For the aspiring or working professional, this site is the “Holy Grail.” Basically, it’s a site that allows you to connect to people in a variety of indsutries and positions and is geographically wide-open. Depending upon which level of LinkedIn it can also allow you to see profiles of anyone else on LinkedIn, and give you ways to connect with them.


Well, if you’re not on Facebook as of yet, then you’re probably the only one!  Facebook is a good and important tool to use in that you can connect with people pretty rapidly, easily post what you’re doing in the moment and give and receive feedback instantaneously.  It is ubiquitous having over a billion users, 1/7 of the planet, connected on-line.


The best part of Twitter is that it allows you to connect with people you don’t know, based on common interests.  What a great way to do some networking.  Granted, it’s 140 characters at a time but nevertheless, it gets you out there!

Here’s where it gets tricky & serious – Tips to creating and maintaining a positive online presence:

  • Clean up your “digital dirt!” Remove any pictures, content, or links that can be of a compromising nature and send the wrong message to potential employers. Do a Google search on yourself periodically to see what comes up and if anything needs to be addressed?
  • Remember the internet is public domain. They are called social networking sites because, well, you get the point. It is becoming not just commonplace but an expectation for employers to do an online search of you as a potential candidate. They may do such before even making an invitation for an interview much less allowing an actual offer to hinge on your on-line personna. A good rule of thumb is to not put anything, or allow anyone you know, to put anything out on a social networking site that you would not want to see on the news.
  • Use social media sites to your advantage. Maintain your online profile by portraying an image consistent with how you want to be perceived. Your profile is a way for you to demonstrate to potential employers you as a candidate and addition to their organization.
  • Make sure that everything written and conveyed in your communications show your skills and attention to detail by using proper grammar, spelling and punctuation. Remember that homophones such as their/there/they’re, it’s/its, hear/here & were/we’re, etc., are different meanings for different uses and it matters!
  • Convey your professional image(s) by selecting a photo or making a graphic/logo that suits your message and intent. Choose your screen name carefully and keep it sounding professional.
  • Include great references on your profile from a variety of different people to better ‘validate’ a positive & professional image of you and who you are.
  • Using social networking sites are a great way to get yourself ‘out there!’ There are several sites and the ‘big three’ are highlighted above but there are many more that could be effective for you too? You’ll want to think about what outcomes you’re seeking and shoose the best tool for such. Remember that social media presentation and networking is time-consuming and takes a building of momentum for it to become effective. This will not happen overnight and requires steady and constant nurturing on your part for it to expand. But, once it does, it can take on a bit of a life of its own and you’ll find that it becomes and entity working for you.

Good luck, get started and get out there!

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