How can you use social media to find a job? Lucie Mitchell reports.
The jobs market is fierce right now, with candidates having to think carefully about how they can stand out from the crowd and land that dream role. Cultivating a strong and active social media presence can help workers search for jobs and promote themselves, as it can enable them to showcase their skills and get noticed by potential employers.
According to research by StandOut CV, 79% of job seekers have used social media to search for jobs during the last year, and half credit social media in finding their last job. The survey also found that one in 10 people have created posts on social media with the aim of attracting employers.
“Countless employees have shown that social media is not just about personal content, but it can be a really beneficial tool for job hunting too,” says Katherine Jones, social media executive at Rewind Creative. “Position your online presence correctly and you can network and work with the brands of your dreams.”
Gabriella Walker, a people operations consultant who also runs her own Instagram account, adds: “Your job hunt can really come into its own when you embrace using social media to give people an insight into ‘you’. CVs are a great tool for potential employers to understand your previous experience and skills, but they’re also limiting. It’s hard to get your personality across in them, your values as a person and the intricacies of your skills because realistically you only have a couple of pages of a word document to play with.”
Social media is therefore becoming increasingly important for job seekers in the current job market.
“It not only provides a platform to find job opportunities, but also helps to research companies, network with professionals in the field, and showcase your own skills and achievements,” remarks Lucy Hall, founder of Digital Women and Social Day. “Many recruiters use social media to find and vet potential candidates, making a strong online
Victoria McLean, CEO & founder of career consultancy City CV, adds: “Most people will find great power in using social media to network, build your personal brand and demonstrate your skills – plus it’s also a helpful research tool into companies you’re thinking of applying to.”
One of the best things job seekers can do is to create a standout portfolio, advises Jones. “Don’t just state on your CV what you are good at or have a passion for – create a killer portfolio through your social media account. For example, if you are seeking a job in make-up and already have lots of content of your work, create an Instagram or TikTok page
displaying your best pictures and videos. This gives the hiring manager the chance to not just read your skill on your CV, but see the physical work in a visual way alongside your copywriting skills. This can really help you stand out from the crowd and align you with what the business is looking for.”
Networking and engaging with professionals in the industry is also vital. For example, job seekers can post comments on industry-related content or interact with brands to demonstrate skills and knowledge.
“Share content that shows your expertise – this could be sharing work case studies, ideas, or educational updates,” comments Hall. “This will help you gain credibility in your market.”
Social media is a two-way street, so it’s important to engage and connect rather than simply broadcast thoughts and opinions, adds McLean. “Being consistent is key, and this will help in building long-term relationships. Remember, even if someone isn’t going to give you a job right now, they might remember you when a relevant role does come up.”
LinkedIn is the obvious choice for job seekers as it can provide valuable opportunities, but other platforms can be useful too.
“Twitter is a good place for following leaders and influencers in your industry and keeping abreast of industry news,” suggests McLean. “Engage in the conversation and share your thoughts – this is about making yourself visible. You may also find that companies post job vacancies on TikTok and Instagram, and they might make this content a little more informal and engaging, so you may get a better sense of what the company is like.”
Walker believes that Instagram is becoming increasingly beneficial to job seekers. “More and more employers are starting to promote their jobs on Instagram, but it’s also a great tool for building a community of like-minded people around you who want to see you do well.”
Facebook can also help as there are numerous professional groups to join that provide opportunities for networking and promotion. “You can join industry-related groups, follow company pages and even find job postings on Facebook’s job marketplace,” says Hall.
As much as social media is a valuable resource for job hunting, mistakes can be costly, so it’s important to exercise caution. For example, posting inappropriate or unprofessional content online, which could be seen by potential employers, could damage a candidate’s chances of securing a role.
“Employers often look at a candidate’s social media profiles as part of the hiring process,” comments McLean. “Be cautious about sharing overly personal, controversial or inappropriate content that could harm your professional image. You might want to make your personal accounts private, so your potential employers see only what you want them to see.”
To conclude, Walker advises employees to use social media to develop their ‘personal brand’ and add colour to job applications.
“Use social media to flip your job search on its head,” she says. “Instead of seeing social media as a way to find a job, see social media as a way for people to find you and build your personal brand. It’s such a powerful way to stand out from the crowd and you’ll surprised how effective it is and the results that you’ll get from it.”
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