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Sep 30, 2022

Career Success: Is Social Media An Asset or Liability?

Gone are the days when social media was a mere tool to keep in touch with friends and family. Today, it is much more than just a means to socialize. Whether it is about opening up on social issues, raising a voice against corruption, showcasing one’s talent, or even promoting a product/service, social media is now probably the most powerful medium of engagement in the world.

In recent years, social media has phenomenally influenced almost every industry and sector, and the job market is no exception. Several social media websites, such as LinkedIn, are solely dedicated to helping professionals.

Your social media profiles say a lot about you. What you write and present on social networking sites gives at least some impression of you. People out there judge you based on your social media accounts – be it about your personal interests, skills, or something else.

Fortunately - or unfortunately - employers also browse through your social profiles with the same mindset!

Why Social Media When You Have Job Boards?

Before the launch of LinkedIn in 2002 and subsequently the launch of their mobile platform in 2008, the primary source for employers searching for prospects was job boards. As a consequence of the rise of LinkedIn, the job market began to change and social media – predominantly LinkedIn – began to rule the job search market.

Presently, even though some job boards are still doing well, social media websites are constantly strengthening their hold over the job market, with LinkedIn being the most sought-after.

Regarding Facebook, the most popular global media site by far, it is much less likely to be used for a job or executive search. However, employees may use Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks to brag about their office environment, friendly work culture, and employee benefits to attract talent.

Importance of Social Media for Job Seekers

According to a 2018 survey, 70% of employers use social networks to find job candidates, of which 57% of those found something on candidates’ profiles that led to their immediate rejection.

This simply reflects how crucial it is to weigh the potential cost/benefit of content before posting or sharing information on social media, especially if you are a job seeker.

The report further suggested that 47% of employers are less likely to call candidates who have no online presence. This means job hunters simply can’t afford to stay away from the Internet.

Thus, considering that this trend in the job market shows no sign of slowing, the best solution for a job candidate is to leverage their social media in favor of job search benefits. Let’s find out how!

Using Social Media as an Asset for Your Job Search

If reports are to be believed these days, nearly 90% of employers or hiring managers to scan through social media profiles as part of their initial screening process. However, the sad aspect of this is that most job seekers still underrate social media as an effective tool for job search.

If you are one of them, it’s never too late to start! But before that, it’s good to know what employers or recruiters look for while scanning your social profiles:

Communication skills – grammar, spelling, and ability to convey ideas.

  1. Work experience and history

  2. Industry-specific skills and knowledge

  3. The way you spend non-working hours

  4. Use of alcohol and illicit drugs (yes, it’s true!)

  5. Your stance on social, political, and global issues

  6. Your language

So, now that you know why employers go through your social media presence, let’s see how you can make the most of it for your job hunt and career growth.

Be Wary of What You Post:

Social media should be used responsibly. You should refrain from posting anything that you would not wish to be seen by your present or prospective employer.

Before starting a job search, carefully scan your online presence, including social media. Clear up your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts. Also, don’t forget to check your privacy settings to make sure that whatever you want to be hidden from your employer will remain so.

Distinguish Between Personal and Professional:

Think before connecting with someone and sharing content. Also, pay heed to the nature of the content and where you are sharing it.

To begin with, decide whether your Facebook account is just to stay connected with friends and colleagues, or whether you want to keep your LinkedIn account professional while adjusting its privacy settings accordingly.

In case you need to add your employer’s details to your social accounts, check their social media policy beforehand.

Market your Experience and Skillset:

Although a resume should be fashioned by specific roles, your LinkedIn profile needs to be managed with a broad approach.

Highlight your skills with examples along with details of your professional experience. Always use keywords that your potential employer is likely to search for if they happen to go through your profile. Note that you should steer clear of using common or quirky jargon and buzzwords. Keep the information simple and concise.

Also, check for grammar and spelling while keeping both your online and offline profiles updated with every forward step you take in your career.

Expand your Network:

Once your profile is ready, use it to the best of your capabilities to gain/share knowledge and widen your network. Consider joining groups and following pages that are relevant to your profession.

Following employers, you want to work with, in the future and connecting with recruiters you already know are other great ways to grow your professional network.

Once your network achieves a decent size, start sharing posts, articles, blogs, and news. Also, try to involve yourself in group discussions to enhance your learning. All of these activities will eventually boost your network and help you grow professionally.

Prepare Yourself in Advance:

Social media can be leveraged to make an impression on prospective employers. These days, when gearing up for a job interview you can use social sites to research your future employer.

Many organizations share organizational updates, news, and announcements on social media platforms. During interviews, you can show your keenness for that job by keeping yourself abreast of the company’s latest updates. This will certainly give you an edge over your competitors.

The Bottom Line

The constantly growing influence of social media on the job market is a simple fact. With employers becoming more and more dependent on social media for talent search, it is now crucial for job seekers to maintain an online presence, particularly on social media.

Therefore, use your social accounts responsibly to avoid getting noticed by potential employers for any content that might lead to instant rejection. Think before you post, share or comment on social sites, and be particular about personal and professional use of the same.

Follow these guidelines to successfully make your social media an asset to your job search!

article author

Kshama Sharma - Resume, CV and Cover Letter Writing Expert


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