Social media and your job search – Your Must Do Checklist

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Words by research recruitment specialist Lara Fisher-Jones from Stopgap 

As well as social media being another way to hunt for your next job, please be mindful that it's also another way of enabling a potential employer to check you out.  It's common for employers to analyse applicant's profiles during the hiring process.  Please find below some general hints on how to make sure you leave a positive impression:

Social media status

Every time you post a status update on Facebook, upload a photo to Instagram or retweet on Twitter you leave behind your social media footprint.  When you kick off your job search we would recommend that in addition to dusting down your CV you conduct a social media spring clean and remove any inappropriate information, content and images that you wouldn’t want a future employer to see.  

Privacy settings

Next you should check your privacy settings.  Try to ensure that all of your content is private, and not set to public or friends-of-friends. Employers can potentially check applicants' social media profiles pre-interview - and some may reconsider applicants based on what they see.  The following could well put off future employers - posting negative comments about a previous employer or company, posting pictures of oneself in a state of inebriation, references to illegal drugs and references to political affiliations.

Facebook and Twitter

Widely used by candidates and employers alike, our tips to ensure that you maintain a professional social profile include:

  • Create two profiles, one personal and one professional and keep these two networking profiles separate, one for engaging with your friends, the other to engage with companies and employers.
  • Ensure that you set your privacy settings to maximum on personal profiles
  • On your professional profile, consider adding details of your qualifications, education and relevant skills. You should also join groups that are relevant to your job search and ‘like’ companies that you are interested in.

Potential employers can be impressed by what you post and share - it can demonstrate communication skills, professionalism and a range of relevant interests and qualifications.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great platform to connect with like-minded individuals and businesses alike and is really important in your job search.  However, LinkedIn users need to remember that this is a professional platform above all, and not the place to post personal information.  You need to use it to showcase your achievements, education, skills and qualifications as well as sharing your opinions and thoughts on issues within your field of specialism.  A LinkedIn profile is in essence an online CV, so be sure to include your previous jobs and achievements within your profile in order to attract the correct recruiters or employers in your field (think of the key words carefully too).  All of this will help you to build a positive personal brand.

If you'd like any further advice on your LinkedIn profile, CV or how best to present yourself please get in touch with the Stopgap team. To discuss market research roles, please get in touch with our research recruitment specialist Lara Fisher-Jones.

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