There is a common misconception that searching for a job is as simple as searching open positions on job boards and hitting the "apply" button, but that is not the case.
In today’s competitive market, the process of finding a job encompasses activities such as researching prospective employers, building out a deep professional network, and formatting your resume and professional profile so that they are easily found by hiring managers and recruiters –and there is no better platform to do all this than social media.
More and more, we see savvy career connoisseurs turning to platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Twitter to network, search for new job opportunities and expand their professional brand. The trend of professionals turning to social media to further their career objectives is one we don’t see slowing down anytime soon.
Here are four ways social media can help you further develop your professional presence online and help you finally find your dream job.
Every day you don’t have a strong social media presence is another day you lose an opportunity to connect with professionals who want learn more about your brand
The Brand of You
Branding isn’t just for businesses anymore. Savvy professionals know success in today’s corporate world is all about effectively positioning yourself as a thought leader.
How well you market yourself, your experiences, and the unique qualities you bring to the interview table directly correlate with the likelihood you will be selected for a new job or promotion. Even if you aren’t actively looking for career advancement opportunities, there is no time like the present to start building up your brand's equity.
Your social media presence plays a large role in your overall branding, so it is important to have a strong and consistent professional voice online. Stay active on social media; engaging with companies you like, sharing content you think may help others, and celebrating the successes of those in your network are great ways to position yourself as a valuable addition to any team.
If you are an active job seeker, keep in mind many businesses perform social media checks before extending a job offer or interview.
Not having a consistent, professional, and well-polished presence on social media can stop you from getting the job; however, a successful online presence is just as much about what others see as it is about what they don’t see. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates during the hiring process, 48% use social media to check up on current employees on social media, and 34% have reprimanded or fired an employee based on content found online.
In short if there is something you don’t want an employer to see, take down the content, or at the very least, change the privacy settings of your profile –but don’t go off the grid entirely!
Post Today. Plan for the Future.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that even if it is on your private social media account, once something is on the internet, it’s on the internet forever. And in the future, when your dream job comes down to you and another candidate, a prospective employer isn’t going to look at the timestamp of any questionable content they find associated with you or your profile; they are going to pick the other candidate, and you will be left in the dark as to why.
To avoid this happening, try to build a habit of asking yourself, “Could what I am saying/advocating cost me a job down the road?” before posting. If the answer isn’t an immediate “no”, it may be wise to reconsider the post altogether.
Nothing Like Networking
LinkedIn is the gold standard of online networking, but other social media platforms are supplementing the professional networking giant.
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are great channels to connect with like-minded professionals in a more casual capacity.
Connecting with individuals through groups and trending threads are both great ways to pick the brains of your peers, learn about companies in your local area, get inside information about companies with open positions coming down the pike, and receive job searching tips from professionals who have recently found their dream job.
Not having a consistent, professional, and well-polished presence on social media can stop you from getting the job.
Another Way to Apply
More and more, employers are tapping into social media platforms to give their open positions a little extra boost. In 2017 Facebook launched a job posting program on its platform, and this makes sense. If a user likes what they see on a company’s profile page, why make them leave and go to another website to learn how to join their team?
Remember, a job seeker’s level of activity can vary dramatically from person to person, so if your job openings are only on platforms geared toward those actively and aggressively searching for a new job, you are losing the opportunity to connect with a giant section of job seekers.
For career professionals, when you do decide to actively search for a new professional opportunity, remember that no one job board has 100% of all open positions. If you find a company you’re interested in working for, be sure to check out their website or reach out to them on social media; they would be more than happy to give you a full list of opportunities –and as a bonus, you might be able to use the opportunity to network even further with a current employee at your dream company.
For organizations, having company pages on social media is an essential part of business development and corporate branding. Along with being an additional way to drive brand awareness and expand your corporate reach, a healthy social media presence helps consumers and prospective employers get a better idea of your business and its corporate values.
Much in the same way you would research a potential candidate’s social media presence during the interview process, you can be assured that candidates are researching yours –reviewing how healthy the relationship with your customers is; checking in on company reviews to better gauge workplace culture and values, etc.
The Big Picture
In the professional world, social media has become a profound tool to make connections with others who share similar interests and common professional goals. Don’t let your dream job or dream employee slip through your fingers because your social media presence is lacking!
As our world becomes more connected, the way we engage with each other will continue to change, but the more established you become with your social media presence, the more likely it is that your dream job will find you.
Whether you’re an organization or a job seeker, if you don’t have a social media presence, bump the initiative to the top of your priority list. Every day you don’t have a strong presence is another day you lose an opportunity to connect with savvy business professionals who want to connect with your brand.