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How Social Media Can Make or Break Your Job Search

social media
Table of Contents  
  1. Making it

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Social media is no longer just for sharing cat photos and recipe videos; it has also become a necessary tool for employers across the globe. In fact, Business News Daily reports that 70% of hiring managers screen candidates using their social media accounts, even when they’re not provided by the applicant. This makes it entirely possible that in today’s competitive job market, your online persona could be the difference between you getting a position at your dream company or not. That said, here are some pointers you should keep in mind about your social media presence if you want to land the perfect job.

Making it

Looking professional all around

Having a strong network and a polished profile on LinkedIn can leave a good impression on potential recruiters, but it doesn’t mean you should stop there.

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Having a strong network and a polished profile on LinkedIn can leave a good impression on potential recruiters, but it doesn’t mean you should stop there. Forbes reveals that 65% of employers check social media accounts to see if the applicant presents himself or herself professionally. Covering all your bases by making all your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts look professional will make your online persona more appealing to recruiters.

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Participating in industry conversations

There’s more than one way to look professional online, and participating in industry conversations is one of the best options. Responding to the latest news in the field you’re interested in by tweeting or posting about it can make you appear well-rounded and thoughtful. Having opinions on changes in the industry and sharing them online shows that you care about the big picture and can really contribute to the company.

“While traditional sites such as Monster.com and SimplyHired.com continue their reign in the job marketplace, people are supplementing their searches there with the vastly more diverse set of social networking sites. Strategically using both social media and job search sites can propel your ability to uncover opportunities in ways unheard of just a few years ago.” – TopResume

Grammatically correct posts

Although it may seem trivial, proofreading your posts can positively affect your chances of getting a job. When recruiters check your social profiles and find grammatical errors or poorly worded sentences, it may give them the impression that you lack good communication skills or worse that you’re incapable of putting in the effort. In contrast, having well-written sentences can make it seem like you’re the type to think before you post. This, in turn, makes your job application more attractive to employers.

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Breaking it

Inappropriate posts

One inappropriate post on any of your social media accounts can ruin your chances of getting an interview. Data based on Jobvite’s Social Recruiting Survey shows that 70% of recruiters said that sexually suggestive posts can affect a candidate’s application. Meanwhile, 83% said that references to illegal drugs online are a major turn off, while 66% said the same about profanity. Here on CareerAlley, we recommend that you make it a rule of thumb not to post anything that you wouldn’t want your mother to see — including photos of drunken nights and profanity-filled angry tweets.

Unprofessional connections

Being friends with everyone on Facebook is questionable, but acceptable. The same rules don’t apply to LinkedIn though, and you can’t just add anyone. Special Counsel recommends building a professional LinkedIn profile with good connections within your industry. Try and avoid too many unprofessional connections like family members, your hairdresser, or your local coffee shop. This is because your connections reflect the kind of network you have, which means that it can be a deciding factor on whether or not you get a second interview.

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Inconsistencies with your application

It’s easy to claim that you’re an organized and meticulous person on your cover letter, but do make sure that your social media accounts say the same thing. When recruiters look through your Instagram posts and see a selfie with a messy room in the background, it can tell a totally different story. Of course, the best solution is to be honest in your application, but it helps to also keep your story straight and be careful about what you post.

At the end of the day, it is important to understand that it’s not that difficult to make changes in the way you act online. It just requires some thoughtfulness and responsibility — traits that help you in other aspects of life, as well. In a world where private spaces continue to shrink, it pays to be aware of what you present to the public, especially when the audience is a potential employer.

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