Content Writing: Job Hunt Blog

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Six Ways to Optimize Social Media During a Job Hunt

It’s not uncommon to be cautious about your social media presence when you are looking for a job. Some people recommend going completely private on social media; however, that can leave you at a disadvantage. When implemented correctly and strategically, social media can be advantageous to you during job hunting.

AdWeek notes that 92 percent of recruiters surveyed reported using social media as part of their hiring process. About 37 percent of companies screen potential job candidates using their social media profiles, according to a CareerBuilder.com survey. Of these companies, 65 percent do it to see if candidates present themselves professionally, 51 percent check if candidates’ personalities match that of the company culture, and 45 percent check to see if candidates are qualified.

With the amount of employers and recruiters looking at your profiles here are 6 ways to optimize your social media presence during your job hunt.

1) A complete, relevant, professional, and up-to-date LinkedIn profile will elevate you as a candidate 

Your profile shouldn’t just be a replica of your resume. Unlike your resume, you’re not restricted by a page limit. Not only should you include basic information, but go above and beyond to enhance your profile’s content. Shannon Gausepohl from Business News Daily recommends “[adding] context to all qualifications and experiences,” listed in your profile.

2) Posting inappropriate content will hinder your chances of being hired 

The same CareerBuilder study found that “34 percent of employers who scan social media profiles said they have found content that has caused them not to hire the candidate.” This can include inappropriate photos, evidence of drugs or alcohol use, poor communication skills, and discriminatory language. A good rule of thumb to follow is if you wouldn’t be comfortable showing your grandmother your profile, then it’s probably not something you should post on social media.

3) Engage and network with industry professionals, influencers, and companies you want to work for 

Mention them on Twitter, connect with them on LinkedIn, follow your favorite industry influencers, use relevant hashtags. Engaging with industry professionals and potential employers, and contributing dialogue to a trending topic in your field can open up career opportunities. Companies and recruiters will have a higher chance of noticing you, and seeing that you are making relevant and insightful contributions to the industry. In an INC. article, Jayson Demers, Founder and CEO of AudienceBloom, recommends joining LinkedIn groups. Twitter is another great way to network with industry professionals.

4) Develop a personal online voice and brand

According to the CareerBuilder survey, some employers hired candidates because of how well their personality shined through on social media. Recruiters want to see that you are a well-rounded candidate, both professionally and personally. According to Demers, “trying to make yourself look like some overly polished, professional robot will just make you invisible to potential recruiters.” You may be a great fit for the role, but demonstrate your interests outside of the workplace. Let your voice and your passions shine through, and show that you’re more than just your resume.

5) Have a professional-looking LinkedIn profile picture

LinkedIn is not the place for selfies or group photos. Your photo should be high quality resolution with a background that isn’t distracting, and you should have a warm and friendly expression. LinkedIn recommends your profile picture “exudes approachability.”

6) Avoid spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and communication blunders 

The great thing about social media is that it’s instantaneous in the fast-paced Internet world. The bad thing about social media is that it’s instantaneous. Make sure to truly proofread your writing before you put it out on social media. Before you hit the send button, make sure what you’re putting out for the world to see is factual and grammatically correct.

** This blog was originally written during my time at Slice Communications. It was published on the agency’s website but has since been removed.
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