It is a truth universally acknowledged that a new graduate in search of a good job must possess a carefully managed social media presence.
Although Jane Austen would have cringed to see the first sentence of Pride and Prejudice paraphrased thus, the simple truth is that social media play an oversized role in business and communication today. In fact, a well-managed social media presence has become as critical to the job search as a good résumé and cover letter. Of course a solid LinkedIn profile is mandatory, but knowing how to use other social media platforms to build a career is just as important, and business communication instructors are in a perfect position to prepare students for this key job search tool. Below are pointers to share with students about social media do’s and don’ts.
Using social media as a part of the job search entails cultivating profiles that would be attractive to a future employer. Hiring managers examine applicants’ social media carefully, and any post that could be construed as unprofessional, that puts the individual in a bad light, or that could be misunderstood in a negative way should be removed. Even on platforms that are kept private, savvy users understand how people within a network are connected and that such connections could lead back to the user and expose compromising information.
Although every platform need not be career-friendly, it is wise to analyze what each platform is known for and how presence on that platform could cause a viewer to react. Below are some guidelines to using the most common social media platforms in an effective job search.
After LinkedIn, Facebook is usually the first go-to network hirers will look at. Therefore, job seekers should do the following:
- Understand the intricacies of Facebook’s privacy policies to ensure that anything they don’t want their grandmas (or a hiring manager!) to see is private.
- Check one’s privacy measures from someone else’s device.
- Take advantage of job opportunities posted on a firm’s Facebook pages.
- Join Facebook groups relevant to career aspirations.
Instagram is known as an excellent brandbuilding network, and, consequently, anything posted can show a hiring manager a lot about an individual. Specifically, Instagram can be used to accomplish the following:
- Showcase creative portfolios (art, graphics, writing, etc.).
- State career goals in a short and to-the-point bio.
- Provide a link to professional presence on LinkedIn.
Using Twitter as it goes through its ever-evolving shake-ups can be risky. Still, it remains a popular network for employers to view how the user behaves online. When using Twitter, take the following steps:
- Create a professional bio.
- Indicate skills and interests by linking to legitimate sources.
- Add original business-related content.
- Use caution when commenting by showing courtesy and decorum.
- Follow relevant hashtags and keywords (i.e., companies, industry leaders, etc..
- Learn about Twitter’s privacy policies.
During the pandemic, TikTok became a great resource for job seekers in addition to offering career-building ideas, inspiration, and advice. TikTok can be useful to achieve the following:
- Connect with industry leaders.
- Respond to ads employers have uploaded.
- Upload job search materials within the app.
- Obtain information on virtually any topic.
A rule of thumb across all platforms is to demonstrate the ability to communicate clearly and concisely. That means carefully checking for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes before posting anything.
Following these tips just may lead a happy ending—just like in Pride and Prejudice.
Source: Weidinger, S. (2022, December 12.) Career building through social media: Do’s and don’ts. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com