Optimizing Social Media for Job Searching

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It likely isn’t news to you that recruiters are actively searching for candidates on Google and social media. According to a survey from Jobvite, 2 out of 3 hiring managers and recruiters check candidates’ social profiles, even if they are not provided. That number is growing, as more firms turn to online profiles to learn more about candidates’ professional and private lives.

Most hiring managers are not actively looking for negative details about your life. They just want to confirm that your skills and qualifications make you the best person for the job, and maybe see if you would fit the company culture. For these reasons, having a social presence is more beneficial than not having one. According to a 2015 survey from CareerBuilder of more than 2,000 employers, “35-percent of employers say they are less likely to interview job candidates if they are unable to find information about that person online.”

The most common places recruiters will seek information about candidates is LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Those in more creative industries may find their Instagram searched as well. Whether you’re already thriving on these networks, or need a little help, here’s how to optimize your professional image on each social platform.

LinkedIn

Jobvite has reported that 79 percent of recruiters hire through LinkedIn, and of those who use it, more than 90 percent search for, contact and screen candidates based on their profiles on the site.

First, make sure your profile is completely filled out, including education, past positions, and special skills. But don’t let your LinkedIn page flap in the wind. Recruiters will notice if your page only has 5 connections. Reach out to classmates and former coworkers, ask for endorsements and endorse those you know, and post relevant articles to increase your presence.

In addition to optimizing your own profile, LinkedIn is great for reaching out to hiring managers for jobs you’re interested in, or looking up someone who will be interviewing you.

Becoming an active LinkedIn user will show employers that you are passionate about your career and industry, while helping you make great new connections.

Twitter

Twitter is a great place to engage directly with employees and electives at desirable companies. You can listen to what people are saying about your industry or future employer, and keep up with the latest news. You may be surprised who is willing to have a conversation with you.

If you’re already active on your personal twitter, but it doesn’t quite fit a professional persona, you may want to consider having two profiles. Making your personal account private, and opening a public, professional profile to network with industry leaders could set you apart. If you choose to stick with one Twitter account, make sure you go through and delete any old Tweets that may be controversial or that discuss illegal behavior. Make sure your bio clearly explains who you are.

When using Twitter to find a job, use relevant hashtags and keep the focus of your tweets on industry topics. Follow and contact recruiters and companies you’re interested in, and share links they may find interesting. Twitter is a great place to show off your voice and demonstrate your viability as a job candidate.

Facebook

Facebook is the number one place that questionable past content may be lurking. Go through and delete or untag anything that recruiters may be way about, including references to illegal drugs, alcohol, profanity, or sexual content. Recruiters who find your page will also be paying attention to the spelling and grammar you use, so double check posts and make sure they’re correct.

Making your Facebook page private is advised if you are active on the network. The only things you should make public so you are searchable for hiring managers is your employment information, location and professional skills/interests. Recruiters don’t want to know everything about you, so they shouldn’t be worried to discover your page is private.

Staying active on social media is a critical part of the hiring process today. You can connect with industry leaders, and show your qualifications as a great job candidate. With the right social presence, your next job could be just a connection away.

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