There’s no denying that social media is big business in today’s Internet-dominated world. In fact, nearly two billion people are signed up to at least one platform worldwide, we spend a total of 22% of our time online looking at our social media pages, Facebook gets an incredible 137,644,000 unique visits per month and an unbelievable 250 million tweets get sent out every single day on Twitter.
With these statistics it’s hardly surprising that we all want to jump on the bandwagon. As well as being a great way to see what our friends are up to, social networking can also be an excellent marketing tool.
The likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can also be a very useful tool if you’re looking for a new job. Many companies post their vacancies on their social pages but it also provides a valuable insight into what a company stands for, what their values are, what it would be like to work for them and how they interact with their customers.
There are of course downsides to using social media as well and it’s important to remain cautious about what you’re posting – especially when you’re looking for a new job and potential employers may be searching for you online. Below we have listed some of the dos and don’ts of using social media while job hunting so you don’t get caught out.
How to do it right
If you’re job hunting, one of the first things you should do if you haven’t already is set yourself up on professional networking site, LinkedIn. This is an excellent tool because it allows you to connect with other people in your industry, companies you would love to work with and people you have worked with in the past who could prove to be valuable contacts.
You can also join groups and discussions which is a great way to get yourself noticed. Furthermore, when you do get interviews, you can search for the people you will be meeting and find out a bit more about them which could prove to be invaluable when you meet them.
Remember however, LinkedIn is a professional social networking site so keep everything on your profile that way. From your photo to your updates and the comments you’re making, potential employers could make a decision about whether to hire you or not based on these things.
Facebook and Twitter –
Most of us use Facebook and Twitter for posting photos of our holidays, nights out, children and pets. When someone updates their status we may comment on it, we like funny photos and share interesting videos.
There is a whole other side to these sites however so don’t forget to use them to comment on industry trends and news and follow the right people in your sector so you can try and build a relationship with them.
How to do it wrong
When you’re applying for jobs and attending interviews it’s safer to assume that every potential employer is going to have a sneaky look at your social media profile before meeting you. You can of course increase your privacy settings but it’s well worth cleaning up your profile just in case.
Drunken photos, offensive language and comments, negative remarks about your last job or employer and anything that could be controversial are big no-nos. Even if you have your privacy settings on maximum, it’s a small world and one of your connections may know someone at the company you’re interviewing at.
Because we know that many potential employers will look at our profiles before meeting us, most of us have got into the habit of hiding everything we post from everyone except the people we’re connected with. Although this is good practice, bear in mind that it can also be helpful to allow interviewers see a bit of your personality on your social media pages. Seeing that you’re actively participating in industry discussions also shows that you’re knowledgeable and passionate about what you do.