careerBUZZ: Social Media for Job Seekers

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 10:35am

As graduation looms a little closer and the job search gets more deliberate, consider cleaning up your social media pages first- that picture of you passed out on a beach in PCB may be the deciding factor that eliminates you from the running for a position.

More companies are using social media to recruit employees and it is estimated that 3 out 4 hiring committees will check out your social media profiles before considering you for a job.  A recent study from JobVite concluded that about 55% of recruiters reconsider candidates after looking through their social media sites that include anything from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, to LinkedIn and personal blogs. Don’t let one post keep you from getting a job- consider practicing these social media behaviors to come out as a hirable candidate. 

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Spring Clean

Clean up your social media profiles by deleting those grumpy status updates and pictures that you wouldn’t want your employers to see. If you notice that your pictures are unprofessional, consider removing them or changing your security settings to private. As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words so make sure your profile picture is a clear picture of you that is appropriate and portrays you in a positive light. After cleaning up your pages, consider Googling yourself to track down any digital dirt you might’ve missed.

Avoid Using Social Media to Blow off Steam

Nothing looks worse to a recruiter than seeing pages of complaints about a current boss or co-workers. Having a large number of complaints on your page could make you look like a negative person who is inflexible and whiney. In addition, complaining can often lead to posts that might cross the TMI line. Instead, use your social media to share content that is interesting to read and applicable to your career. Follow your dream company, share articles from your favorite blogs, and connect with those in your field. Staying tuned in with those in your career can give you an edge by exposing you to new opportunities and a chance to network before sending your resume out. 

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Tell the Truth

Job seeking is competitive, but you should never lie about your qualifications. Employers will often figure out whether you are telling the truth by looking into your social media profiles. Furthermore, contradictory posts will also cause a recruiter to question if you are a trustworthy candidate. So if you say you’ve been sick for the past week, but have been posting pictures of you at the beach, that will get back to your employer. Furthermore, if you’ve been fired from a job, be honest about it and explain the situation to the recruiter.

Reach Out to People

Social media can be a great tool to meet potential employers and significant people in your field. Consider creating a more professional persona by reaching out or simply following the people and companies that make up your world. Start interacting in a positive way by posting less selfies and more content related to your interests. Also, consider following your dream job’s higher-ups on Twitter and Instagram as they have more opportunities for interaction than LinkedIn. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, favorite their posts, and engage with them- maybe they will give you a shout out!

For more advice on using social media to land a job, visit www.themuse.com.

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Written by Hannah Ebbing, student blogger

Note: all GIFs courtesy of giphy.com