It is no secret that we are living in a world increasingly driven by social media. To the second news updates, keeping in touch with long lost friends and planning those special events are just a few of the positives that social media brings.
However, when it comes to your job search and looking for your perfect role, just how much of an impact do the likes of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have? Can your online profile hinder your chances of career progression or, used the right way, actually enhance your chances of securing your next opportunity?
One of the main areas of caution that should be highlighted around your social media profile and job search is the use of Google, and other search engines. When receiving a CV it is so easy for employers to put a name into Google and find anything connected to the name, including social media accounts – no matter how secure you think your profile is.
With this in mind, think carefully about the photos that you are tagged in, or the last status you uploaded. For example, if you have had a bad day in the office, venting on Twitter or Facebook might seem a great way to gain sympathy. But if a future or perspective employer sees that you have been badmouthing your current firm then this can put you on the wrong-footing before you have even had the chance to go in for an interview.
Additionally, what might work for one social media platform might not work for another. Pictures from your most recent holiday, or enjoying yourself over a meal or a glass of wine are great for something such as Facebook, but will not be suitable for LinkedIn which is widely considered a networking platform for professionals. Be sure to take this into consideration – one size doesn’t fit all.
The benefits of online engagement
Saying that, it isn’t all bad news. Social media can enhance your job search and help get your name out there to any future employers. The vast majority of firms now engage in some sort of social media, and use it as a platform to promote their brand or advertise roles that they are currently recruiting for.
It is also a great way to promote your own brand. Putting your skills and experience on LinkedIn, for example, will only make you more attractive for both firms and recruiters who are looking for their next star candidate.
Once you have secured an interview, social media can also be a great way of ascertaining information on the firm you are interviewing with as any recent news on the firm might be found on Twitter or on their recent blogs.
Bringing this information to an interview will demonstrate that you have done considered research into the firm, therefore putting you above other candidates who may be interviewing for that role. Research on who will be interviewing you on LinkedIn is also a great way to gather information, and something that we encourage our candidates to do.
In summary, when used correctly, social media can be a fantastic recruitment tool, and help you on your way to securing that perfect role. Be sensible, however, about the content you are loading on different platforms so that nothing, especially some throw-away comment, gets in the way of your progress.